Happiness Easy as 1-2-3

I want my day to feel like there is boundless beauty and possibilities and joy to be felt, discovered, explored, and expressed.

JoyfulI want to burst – burst with excitement, burst with joy, burst into song, burst into laughter. It occurs to me that’s it’s been awhile since I’ve burst and perhaps now is the time.

I want to feel peaceful like a gentle babbling river or like the sound of sails in the wind.

And you know what?

I can. And so can you. Here’s what we all seem to forget. We have the power to create any feeling we desire. Now, that’s a powerful thought.

This blog is inspired by an article by motivational expert Tim Shurr who has a super simple strategy for increasing your happiness. It’s as easy as 1-2-3. Here’s his advice:

123Step One: Ask yourself, “What do I want to feel in this moment?”

Step Two: Be intentional. Ask yourself purposeful and deliberate questions like, “What do I need to think, believe, or do in order to feel fulfilled, joyful, peaceful, content, or blissful?” Don’t limit yourself by saying you don’t know the answer to that question. With a bit of introspection you can find the answer. And don’t say there’s nothing you can do to feel a certain way. Remember, you have the power to create any feeling you want. Everything is possible.

Step Three: Stay mindful. Once you’ve made up your mind how you want to feel in this moment and you’ve gained insight on what you need to do, DO IT!

There you go.

I don’t mean to be glib. I’m not saying that if you sing “everything is awesome,” suddenly you’ll feel just fine. Believe me when I tell you that this year has been my most challenging so far. I was paralyzed by my negative emotions there for awhile. I had to make a conscientious decision to begin living again. Even though I couldn’t control much of what was happening, I realized that doesn’t mean that I’m powerless over my emotions. Feeling sad, frustrated, stressed, or angry are not my only choices.

So, next time you’re feeling negative emotions because of someone’s thoughtless words or because of a challenging situation, keep in mind that how you feel is in your own hands. Other people and circumstances do not determine or cause your feelings. You do.

Perhaps you automatically react in a negative way to certain situations or people. If this is the case, make the necessary changes and establish boundaries in your life for your own sanity. If you cannot completely eliminate negative people or stressful circumstances, then you will need to work on how you think and react. Not an easy process, but entirely doable. As Shurr points out, the secret to success is recognizing and shifting self-limiting beliefs and habits. Utilizing the three steps listed above could help you start on the path to more healthy thought patterns.

You can put this information to use in other ways in your life as well. As Danielle LaPorte, author of The Desire Map, advises, maybe your goals should not be based on what you want to accomplish or achieve, but on how you want to feel.

I like that thought.

So what do I want to feel at this particular moment? Please excuse me while I go do some sort of bursting…

What do you want to feel right at this moment? Please share in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Chaiwat and Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.


Julie A. Gorges is the author of two young adult novels, Just Call Me Goody Two Shoes and Time to Cast Away and co-author of Residential Steel Design and Construction published by McGraw Hill. In addition, hundreds of her articles and short stories have been published in national and regional magazines, and she received three journalism awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association while working as a newspaper reporter. Julie currently lives in southern California with her husband, Scott, and has two grown children and three grandchildren.

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6 Responses

  1. Well said Julie! I have an inner strength course running right now and one of the things we’re working on is emotional boundaries – which is something that is so easy to take for granted and yet can make such a huge difference in our lives. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • juliegorges says:

      Best of luck with your inner strength courses, Marquita. I can imagine what valuable tools you are passing along in the classes. Yes, emotional boundaries – easier said than done, right? But absolutely necessary. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  2. Millen says:

    You inspired me to do some bursting too… into joy, carelessness and laughter. It’s been awhile for me….
    Thank you for the inspiration, Julie!

  3. Suzie Cheel says:

    Funny just looked at the Desire Map sitting on my shelf unread and you have inspired me to put it on my too read list.
    Yes so easy to do the first 2 steps , it is the doing that sometime we slip.

    I wake feeling happy and then continue my day following my intentions to stay in happy mode xxoo

    • juliegorges says:

      I agree. It’s easier to identify how we want to feel and even how to get there, but putting it into practice – that’s the hard part. And then staying in the happy mode – even harder. But well worth the effort! Thanks for stopping by, Suzie.

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