Elizabeth Gilbert (‘Eat, Pray, Love’) once said “You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.” I take her words to mean that maintaining a mindset of happiness and contentment requires mental discipline. What we focus on expands and thoughts held in mind attract in kind. If you choose to dwell on your worries, turn them over and over in your mind, you will surely chase away happiness. If you choose to count your blessings (and endeavor to be the blessing others count on), to walk on the sunny side of the street, then happiness will be your natural companion.

Abe Lincoln reminded us “Most folks are about as happy as they choose to be.”, the point being that it is vital to make your choice a conscious one, to live in awareness. If you want to hardwire your mind for happiness and contentment, learn to release the negative and instead concentrate your mental energy on noticing and fully appreciating the small blessings that are everywhere if you look for them, if you are receptive to receiving them and acknowledging the good, if your heart and mind are open.

I still remember a quote my father kept under glass on his desk: “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorns have roses.” Dad’s long-ago example inspired me to adopt “The Habit of Happiness, An Attitude of Gratitude” as a central tenet of my life.

Closing Quotes:

“If we counted our blessings instead of our money, we would all be rich.” – Linda Poindexter

“Blessing must arise from within your own mind. It is not something that comes from outside.” – Dalai Lama

“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.” – Camille Pissarro, 1830-1903, Impressionist painter

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” – Henry Ward Beecher, 1813-1887, abolitionist

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier