Have you ever thought that your idea of happiness would be to spend a week’s vacation preparing for and holding a yard sale?
That you would be just beside yourself with delight at digging through boxes that hold years of foolish purchases, projects you were going to do, and clothes you bought and never wore?
And once you finished thoroughly enjoying that long walk down bad memory lane, you would also be doing a lot of reorganizing, neatening and cleaning up of what remained?
Hmm. Didn’t think so. Me, either, truth be told.
However, it’s what my husband and I did this past week as we faced years of just plain stupidity and clinging to stuff. We were sure we had trimmed our possessions down substantially a couple of years ago after we had attended Financial Peace University and became debt free.
We discovered, however, there was much more letting go and learning in store for us.
I admit that my hubbie and I got a little grumpy as we worked our way through stuff and cleaned out areas of the barn that hadn’t been touched in over 10 years. It would have been easy to feel cheated and angry, that we could have gone with our original choice to be in Tennessee visiting my brother and his family instead of deep into down-sizing and reorganizing mode.
But, it was time to face the music, and my eternal optimism was ready to dance to the beat.
So here are ten lessons in happiness I learned—and relearned—this past week.
Smile early and often.
Not only will you be happier, you will receive many smiles in return.
Be authentic in your friendliness.
The warm response you generate might surprise you.
Be joyful in the morning.
Nobody likes a grouch, yet it often doesn’t stop us from behaving like one. Be joyful instead. It’s a lot more fun.
Be grateful for the things you are letting go.
Remember that some folks own less than what you are letting go. Say a prayer of thanks for the abundance in your life.
Be content with less stuff.
When you decide to sell or give away things you no longer need or want, you may very well experience that “ahhhh moment” where you feel a weight lifted you didn’t even know you were carrying. You may not have even realized the stress that roomful, houseful or garageful of projects you plan to do “one day” was creating in your life. Just let it go.
Remember to say thank you.
People like to feel appreciated, and a simple and friendly thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the rest of your day! goes a long way towards lifting up people, including yourself.
Take the opportunity to delight.
Charge a little less. Ask the person how their day is going, or if they’ve seen anything interesting at other sales. Show them how to use something, or share a funny story. We all have an inner child who loves to be delighted, so have some fun.
Look for the good.
When you see children patiently waiting for their folks, or just looking with their eyes instead of their hands, let them and their parents know you’ve noticed. Remember that what we pay attention to grows.
Keep a playful spirit.
A friend of mine stopped by with her adorable little girl. Faith skipped around cheerfully, exploring all the treasures. She migrated to the toys, grabbed a couple of stuffed bears and put them in an office chair for an exhilarating, spinning ride. She was just enjoying the moment. We adults would do well to remember that lesson.
Give – it generates happiness.
Keep your eyes open for ways to give. We had a mom with two young boys stop by. The older boy kept picking up a couple of small baseball action figures, looking at his mom, and putting them back down. My husband noticed this, went over to the boy and asked him if he’d like the toys. The boy shyly nodded yes, and Keith told him he could have them as long as the boy’s mom said yes. That little youngster beamed from ear to ear, and just played with those figures until his mom, who was very grateful for the small gift, was done. Of course, we made sure the youngest got to pick something to take home as well, as we didn’t want to cause difficulties. Giving freely and thoughtfully brings joy to the giver and receiver.
When we remember step back from wherever we are, we can gain a more true perspective, and ultimately, a deeper sense of happiness. There is always a move we can make that will leave us feeling more joyful and gratified.
Your challenge today and this week is to take one or more of these lessons and apply it. I’d love to hear what you’ve done previously, or what you plan to do.
Thanks for coming by and sharing in the comments. You enrich everyone’s day by doing so!
Image credit- D. Sharon Pruitt of Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr