Are you as happy as you would like to be? Or could you be happier? These weeks leading up to the end of the year holidays can for many be an emotional roller coaster.
A gateway presents itself as a choice. You go up to it. Then you decide: Do I go through it?
My last 50 weeks of HuffPost articles have offered several themes relating to happiness. Happiness grows from a state of mind -- a perspective about life and your engagement with it, and the actions you take to support your happiness.
The following 8 Gateways include links to previous posts for a happier and more rewarding life.
1. Act gratefully ...
.... be thankful
Having a sense of gratitude is the foundation of a happy life. Being thankful has a way of communicating itself to others, sending a wave of happiness out into your world, which has a way of coming back to you.
Think of all the beauty that's still left in and around you and be happy!
2. Do what you really love to do ...
... be true to yourself
Do you know what you do that makes you happy? Do more of it. Perhaps you have been a person who has tried to please others and conform to their notion of how to live a happy life.
You may march to the beat of another drummer. Fulfilment and happiness will come from honouring what is true for you. Your unique strengths are the aptitudes, gifts and talents with which you were born.
The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness.
You have to catch it yourself.
3. Connect with today's opportunities for happiness ...
... be open for a new day to dawn with fresh hope and inspiration
Each day holds the possibility for joy. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is low and 10 high, how do you rate your happiness now? If it is low, imagine turning the dial up and choose a higher level. What if when you start your day, you choose 9 on your dial. Try it and see what happens.
The really happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery when on a detour.
4. Act on your agreements and commitments ...
... be complete
One of the keys in the post below has to do with clearing out deadwood, handling the agreements you have made so that they do not literally drag you down.
You know the kind of thing, you keep passing by the light bulb that needs changing. Or you keep meaning to clear out the garage. Or make an appointment with the optician. Or take the old clothes to the goodwill store.
Try dedicating half a day to completing some of those commitments. The chances are that you will feel very happy that you did.
The essentials to happiness are something to love, something to do,
and something to hope for.
5. Resolve old hurts, caused or received ...
... be forgiving
Holding on to old hurts you have either inflicted (guilt or shame) or received (anger or resentment) can create a cloud of unhappiness around you.
Reconcile yourself to past pain, let it go and move on. Forgiveness is a process. It does not necessarily happen overnight. But it is within your control to choose to forgive; to be someone who is for-giving, both to yourself and others
He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.
Johann von Goethe
6. Contribute your talents, time and energy ...
... be giving
Doing the most mundane tasks, such as stuffing envelopes, takes a weight off the organizer of a non-profit and can be a delightful time to hang out with others. No brain power required. Such activities can be therapeutic while they are useful.
What about a talent you love to use: painting and decorating, sewing or knitting, fundraising, acting, design, singing. To give freely what you love, while others benefit, expands your happiness.
All who would win joy, must share it; happiness was born a twin.
7. Have fun ...
... be creative with the gift of your life
When times are tough, it may not always seem like it, but imagine your life is truly a gift. Use your imagination to be playful, to create the best your life can be in every circumstance.
To live happily is an inward power of the soul.
8. Get to know who you truly are ...
... be trusting
Your human spirit is remarkable beyond words. Who you are is indefinably connected with everyone else, and so is never abandoned. Our world is extraordinary, beautiful and blessed. Regular meditation can assist you to see it this way, and to trust in the process of life unfolding more perfectly than you could ever imagine. Be happy with just who you are.
There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.