Happiness doesn't come to those who sit back and wait for it.
It comes to those who fight for it.
1. Unless you make make being happy a priority, it might pass you going in the other direction without you ever realizing it.
(Lake Pichola, India. 2007. All photos by LBG.)
So start small. Do something positive for yourself tomorrow morning, whether it's fixing yourself a healthier breakfast, talking to someone gently instead of grumpily, or just closing your eyes and thinking about nothing for ten minutes.
2. Try your best not to get caught up in the ridiculousness of life.
It's easier than ever these days to get sidetracked by meaningless pageantry and unnecessary drama. All it does is surround you in a fog of confusion and obscure you from your goal. When this happens, step away from the mist and focus on what matters.
Think of the funny way your dog sighs when he's sleeping. Think of the delight on your friend's face when you gave her those wildflowers. Think of how few ingredients you really need to make a simple delicious meal.
3. Remember that chaos is in the eye of the beholder.
This is a photo of a peaceful morning in India.
(New Delhi, 2007.)
And this is a photo of hardly any traffic to speak of.
(New Delhi, 2007.)
Chaos only becomes frustrating when you choose to look at it that way. Change your attitude and who knows what you might discover? (Penicillin, Post-Its, Velcro and chocolate chip cookies, for starters.)
Even better, start collecting chaos. But limit it to the stuff that really speaks to your soul. You'll be surprised what you learn about yourself.
4. Remember that a ray of light is easiest to spot when it's surrounded by complete darkness.
Don't let tough times get the best of you. This is easier said than done, I know. But don't give up. Put your trust in something bigger than yourself, turn on some good music and keep looking for the light.
You can start by practicing at home.
5. Remember that even a palace garden is sown and nurtured one square inch at a time.
Every dream starts out small and fragile and a tiny bit scared. That's why you're there -- to water it and feed it and encourage it and never lose sight of the ultimate vision. There will be a million steps along the way. Take pride in checking off each little one.
6. In India, they have a saying, "Everything will be all right in the end. So if it is not all right, it is not yet the end."*
*Line stolen from "The Exotic Marigold Hotel" trailer, which I absolutely cannot wait to see.