The perfect holiday?
- Written by Eric North aka “The Happiness Warrior”
As The Happiness Warrior, I believe that it’s the attitude we project and the mindset that we employ that creates more happiness and fulfillment in our loves. If the holidays are a time for reflection and warm feelings, why not think about all of the great things we did this year and how proud we are of our efforts and accomplishments? Why dwell on the acceptance and approval of others when we have everything about ourselves to celebrate? Holidays are the time when we give ourselves a break. It’s time to recharge and loose our obsession with perfection. When we feel this connection with our authenticity we also find ourselves creating greater connections with others. Happiness expands and our vibration will rise as the days grow longer and the sun reappears.
The holidays have so many meanings to all of us yet no matter how hard we try to fill ourselves with cheer and joy sometimes we feel lonely and wanting. It's a time when we know we’re supposed to be happy and jolly, but all too often our fears and insecurities arise, and we’re reminded of our shortcomings and doubts. We crave the perfect holiday, but too often we’ve forgotten what it’s all about. Instead of celebrating life and all of its joy, we’re creating a mindset for unhappiness and increasing periods of unease.
For me the holidays are a chance to slow down and feel appreciation for my life. I’ve given up on the dream of perfection and instead look for beauty in my surroundings and small pleasures in life. The holidays are the people that we care about, the bright lights and warm feelings of contentment, connection, and being happy with our lives. The days are shorter, and the shadows can feel deep and endless. We follow our traditions whether they make sense or not and try to keep a long gone feeling going without thinking about who we are now.
The holidays are always the same in spirit, but life changes, people change, and we’re not always meant to follow the same paths. Change is a fact of life that we should embrace. When we open our eyes to new people, places, and experiences happiness will abound and new paths are there to be taken.
Nostalgia is a funny feeling that often disappoints and lets us down. It can be a disturbing memory of something that might have happened that gets faded through the years. Or it can be a warm feeling that gives us joy and makes us smile in remembrance. I see the past as a story of lessons that I learned from and that will never happen again. When we stop fighting chaos in our minds we can learn to yield and adapt. This is how we create new behaviors to be happy.
Nothing comes closer to our emotions and self-sabotaging behaviors than the holidays. We can change this when we adopt a new mindset of happiness and contentment. Every year is a new opportunity of our own making where happiness is in reach. Why do so often fall into sadness, and regret?
PERFECTIONISM IS A LET DOWN
Show that you care and let your love and happiness shine through your efforts. Be authentic and welcoming. Stop doing suffocating rituals and embrace change and new perspective as we look forward to another new year. Stop doing the same things over and over again and look for new signs that your life has moved forward. The present is beautiful at this very moment. Close your eyes and open them once again. Reassure yourself that you are grounded and know that only you have the power to write your story.
Ask yourself what would make you happy? Be honest, let go of ego and focus on your intention. Everything starts now in the moment, each action we take creates value and continues us on our journey. How can we make the holidays more meaningful when we’ve forgotten the small pleasures in life?
The lesson to be learned is that we can indeed create a more holistic set of expectations. What choices can we make to better our lives?
AVOID EXPECTATION HEARTBREAK
As The Happiness Warrior, I’ve always relied on a serendipitous mindset. Whatever I believe might happen always surprises me and becomes better. This helps me to have no fear of the future and sleep well at night. An open mind is a gift that we can always take with us and one that never disappoints. When we are rigid our expectations can break us. Why live our lives with so much pressure and self-created doubt? Look at life as an adventure and find your dreams come to life.
Expectations can bring us heartache when we seek too much from ourselves and others. Know your strengths and weaknesses and understand the humanity of others. Forgive and let go of hateful thoughts and negative emotions. What we perceive in one another is never the only truth. When we learn acceptance our lives will begin to flow, and we’ll find happiness wherever we go. There’s always a reason for where we are in every moment.
THE PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES TELL US WHO WE ARE
I always tell myself that I want to attract people in my life who are doing good things with their lives. It builds the sense of community that I strive for and makes me feel connected and secure with my life choices. When we find others that are like us we can feel a sense of reassurance and purpose that our lives might have been missing.
It’s the people in our lives that tell us who we are. Do we want to be happy, or do we allow others to control our narrative and tear us down? Know when someone is good for you or not and be strong in your intention. Ask yourself do they make your life better or do you hold on to something that never was with a sense of guilt or remorse. Often the best course of action is to let someone go and find your own path without their influence and negativity. Be your own best friend and make your holidays special with your own terms and conditions. The new year is just around the corner.
How to be happy every day during the holidays and every day in the future:.
1. Maintain realistic expectations. Stop feeling obligated to perform or push yourself beyond your limits. I’ve always found that it’s unfair to expect too much of others. Employ a serendipitous mindset and know that all will be well and believe that future events will delight you.. Don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting too much too and being disheartened. Flow with the energy around you.
2. Take an active role and be proactive. Stop waiting and take action towards a desired outcome. We can surprise even ourselves when we have goals and defined intentions.
3. Look at change as a positive factor in life that causes us to learn and grow wiser and stronger. One of my five non-negotiable core values is to be “ready for anything”. Life is an adventure and surprises can find us at our best.
4. Remember that perception is different for everyone. How we see ourselves is not how others see us. Creating a growing sense of empathy is the way to create a happier path through life. Be kind, forgive, and know when to move on. Life is a journey and not all will come with us.
Creating our best holiday mindset revolves around finding meaning, purpose, passions, and core values that bring us together. Family and traditions are ours to create. Be open minded, tell yourself that you like everyone, and find a kind word for all. Wish others well and find your own blessings. We can choose to be happy at any time, but when we share and love fully we capture the spirit of the season. Make this year your own perfect holiday!