I have been writing these posts for well over a month now, and I have covered a wide range of topics. All of my entries have had the same goal of giving you my thoughts on how to live a happy, successful life. As can too easily happen with new endeavors though, I got so excited to share my vast array of knowledge with you, that I skipped right over one of the simplest, but most important, ingredients to living a happy life. I used to think that this vital piece of the puzzle was so obvious that it didn’t need to be discussed, which is probably why I skipped right over it, but I have realized that I was mistaken. I now know that many people are unaware of how critical today’s lesson is. So today, I will take a step back to share with you one of the keys to happiness. Now read carefully because here it is. You have to surround yourself with the things that make you happy.
It sounds too simple to be important, but in my experience this is crucial to living a happy life. Whether it be your home, your car, your cubicle at work, or even just your bedroom,
you need to have your “happy place.” Superman had his “fortress of solitude,” Batman had his “Bat Cave,” Peewee had his “Playhouse,” and you need a special place as well. This needs to be a place just for you. You need to have complete control over the space, and what is inside of it. Once you have the place the fun part begins, filling it with all of the things that make you smile and fill you with that warm, happy feeling in your belly. There doesn’t have to be any rhyme or reason to it, and things don’t have to necessarily go together. All that matters is that everything in that room brings you happiness in one way or another. If you pay attention to your gut or your instincts, you will find that you intuitively know what items should go where. Be careful not to over think it, and just have fun with it.
As a bachelor living on his own, my “happy place” is my apartment. My 2 bedroom kingdom is filled to the brim with the things that make me happy. Yes, my decor is a little different. And yes, I have some seemingly random things here and there. Everything in my place however, shares the common trait of making me smile. It would take me far too long to describe everything in my “happy place,” and I would like to maintain some sense of privacy as I gradually share my life with you in these posts, but I will give you an overview of some of the items that populate my home.
I have what borders on an unhealthy obsession with chickens, or more precisely, roosters, so nearly everywhere you look you will find some sort of feathered fowl. In fact, my entire kitchen is done in roosters. I have chicken salt and pepper shakers, chicken towels, and chicken cookie jars. Another thing I have an addiction to is shoes. I love tennis shoes and keep my collection out where I can see them all displayed in my room (and yes, I see the irony in someone who doesn’t walk having tons of shoes). On a shelf in my bedroom I have 3 stuffed animals representing three of the great minds of the last century, Alf, Phil Robertson, and Albert Einstein. I have lots of pictures of my loved ones hung about the living room, and amongst them are several of the paintings I have done over the years. I have a hand carved, wooden hippo, a Dallas Aquarium snow globe, and a sign that reads “Jasper Hale is my favorite vampire,” all within 4 feet of each other. Each of these random items has almost no monetary value, but to me they are priceless in terms of the memories and feelings they carry. These are just a few of the hundreds of things I have surrounded myself with to build an atmosphere of happiness, but I think I have successfully illustrated my point.
All that matters is that when you enter your space that you feel happy. This is your place to go where you can feel completely at ease and comfortable, or the place you can go when you need an emotional boost after a rough day. If you practice using your imagination enough, you can even get this same feeling of happiness simply by visualizing being in your “happy place.” I use this strategy all the time when I need to get myself into a happy, pleasant emotional state after experiencing a stressful or upsetting situation. You just have to take a few moments to mentally visit your space, and your emotions will change naturally. Whether you are actually there or visiting in your mind, the positive effects your “happy place” will have on your life are remarkable.
With any luck, you already have a space, just for you, that you can go to for a boost of happiness. If you don’t, then find a place to call your own and fill it to the top with anything and everything that makes you happy. All of the other techniques and strategies to living a happy, successful life I share with you will only truly be effective if you have a home base for your happiness to build from. I call mine my smile sanctuary or my chapel of cheer. Are those names corny? You bet. Do they make me smile? Yes, indeed. And after reading this, you should know that that is all that matters.