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If we’re going to make this work, Happy New Year has to be more than a wish

Jan 04, 2020 03:49PM

By Joe Capell

“Happy New Year!”

How many people wished you a ‘Happy New Year?’ Do you think they are wishing you to be happy just on New Year’s Day, or are they wishing that you be happy for the whole year?

Is it even possible to be happy all year? Probably not, but, you can definitely be happier. Here are a few ways how:

1. Try to make the people around you happier. One way to be happy is to surround yourself with happy people. And that’ll be easier to do if you can be the source of some of their happiness. This doesn’t mean to subvert your will and always do what someone else wants. But it does mean to do little things (or occasional big things) that will bring a smile to their faces. Surprise your spouse with flowers. Play a board game or read a book with your kids. Do something to help a co-worker. Heck, just smile at people. (It might be unnerving at first, but eventually they usually smile back.)

2. Step away from your rectangles. We spend way too much time staring at our rectangles. We have many rectangles: cell phones, laptops, and/or televisions. (Some people even stare at the microwave oven, waiting impatiently for food that is taking too darn long to heat up!) These rectangles can be entertaining and informative, but they often divert our attention from the real world. Interacting with people and/or nature is a bit more difficult if our face is transfixed on a rectangle.

3. Don’t focus on the negative. It’s amazing how much the negativity of others can change our own attitude. Maybe you really liked a movie...until you saw how much some other people disliked it. If you’re always looking for what’s wrong with something, you won’t be able to enjoy what’s good about it. (Oh, and stay away from online comments sections. That’s where nastiness goes to breed.)

4. Try something new. It’s pretty easy to get stuck in the rut of our everyday life. Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something you’ve never done before can add a thrill and maybe even a bit of happiness to your life. I read a book once by a philosopher that emphasized how if we try new things, we might actually like things we didn’t think we would. (I believe it was called “Green Eggs and Ham.” Look it up if you get the chance.)

So, if we want our “Happy New Year” to be for the whole year and not just New Year’s Day, it really isn’t that difficult. (The rest of January deserves a little happiness too!) For more funny-ish stuff, go to (Capell is a Serve Daily contributor.)