Hey there Friday.
Has your week been full of beautiful joy and happiness? I really hope so.
Have you ever read something where you couldn’t help but smile all the way through and when you got to the end its like the mini you inside your brain does a big happy dance shouting “YES THATS SO IT!”? Well, I wanted to create a section to my blog where I could share the things that, when I read them, make me do that same happy dance in my head. The internet is an incredible space that gives us the opportunity to read beautiful, inspirational things and see amazing pictures that can motivate us and bring so much joy, and I think its important that we share things like this because you just never know who it might reach. A quick side note- none of these ‘happy little things’ are mine, they will all be copied from the original website with a linking to the website above!
This space is going to be called ‘Happy Little Things’ and it will be its own category on my blog where you will be able to find all these little bits that I LOVE.
Lets give it a go shall we?
This first ‘Happy little thing” is actually a letter from a book called ‘Dear Stranger’ which was put together by the charity Mind in help of raising mental health awareness and helping those that might be struggling. The book is essentially a collection of letters from all sorts of different people- celebrities, sportsmen, psychologists, writers etc- trying to explain their perception of happiness and how we can strive for it in our everyday life. Although this book is in aid of mental health, the book can benefit anybody and is sure to put a smile on anyones face.
It was actually my mum who found this letter online. She saw it and sent it to me knowing that I would absolutely love it. I proceeded to send it onto about 12 different contacts in my phone just so they could read it and smile like I did. This letter from Richard Branson is something that I couldn’t agree with more as somebody who is definitely guilty of letting worries and stress take over sometimes, I can’t even put into words how much I love it. I hope you enjoy as much as I did and it inspires you to live your happiest life.
You don’t know me but I hear you are going through a tough time, and I would like to help you. I want to be open and honest with you, and let you know that happiness isn’t something just afforded to a special few. It can be yours, if you take the time to let it grow.
It’s OK to be stressed, scared and sad, I certainly have been throughout my 65 years. I’ve confronted my biggest fears time and time again. I’ve cheated death on many adventures, seen loved ones pass away, failed in business, minced my words in front of tough audiences, and had my heart broken.
I know I’m fortunate to live an extraordinary life, and that most people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But they haven’t; in fact it’s the reverse. I am successful, wealthy and connected because I am happy.
So many people get caught up in doing what they think will make them happy but, in my opinion, this is where they fail. Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being. In order to be happy, you need to think consciously about it. Don’t forget the to-do list, but remember to write a to-be list too.
Kids are often asked: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ The world expects grandiose aspirations: ‘I want to be a writer, a doctor, the prime minister.’ They’re told: go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, and then you’ll be happy. But that’s all about doing, not being – and while doing will bring you moments of joy, it won’t necessarily reward you with lasting happiness.
Stop and breathe. Be healthy. Be around your friends and family. Be there for someone, and let someone be there for you. Be bold. Just be for a minute.
If you allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment, happiness will follow. I speak from experience. We’ve built a business empire, joined conversations about the future of our planet, attended many memorable parties and met many unforgettable people. And while these things have brought me great joy, it’s the moments that I stopped just to be, rather than do, that have given me true happiness. Why? Because allowing yourself just to be, puts things into perspective. Try it. Be still. Be present.
For me, it’s watching the flamingos fly across Necker Island at dusk. It’s holding my new grandchildren’s tiny hands. It’s looking up at the stars and dreaming of seeing them up close one day. It’s listening to my family’s dinner-time debates. It’s the smile on a stranger’s face, the smell of rain, the ripple of a wave, the wind across the sand. It’s the first snow fall of winter, and the last storm of summer.
There’s a reason we’re called human beings and not human doings. As human beings we have the ability to think, move and communicate in a heightened way. We can cooperate, understand, reconcile and love, that’s what sets us apart from most other species.
Don’t waste your human talents by stressing about nominal things, or that which you cannot change. If you take the time simply to be and appreciate the fruits of life, your stresses will begin to dissolve, and you will be happier.
But don’t just seek happiness when you’re down. Happiness shouldn’t be a goal, it should be a habit. Take the focus off doing, and start being every day. Be loving, be grateful, be helpful, and be a spectator to your own thoughts.
Allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment. Take the focus off everything you think you need to do, and start being I promise you, happiness will follow.