Jan 23, 2011
Four life lessons that bring happiness
We all want to be happy. Book stores have aisles and aisles of self-help books, many of which include chapters on how to be happy.
Here is a list of four lessons I have learned that bring happiness:
1. Assume the best.
Recently I had a difference of opinion with a friend and was concerned that she would tell mutual friends that she was wronged by me. I was feeling defensive, but the truth was I did not know whether she had said anything to anyone about the disagreement. When I assumed the best, that she kept our interaction confidential, I felt at ease and open-hearted to her and my other friends.
2. Seek first to understand others, then seek to be understood.
When two people see things differently, both people often feel compelled to tell the other person their side so that the person will agree with them. So, what you have, is a situation where both people want to get their point across first. This can often result in one person speaking and the other person not listening and not hearing. When we first seek to understand the other person, we are open to hearing their point of view, we may learn something, we may agree, or we may disagree, but at least we listened to another point of view.
3. When people are angry, they may also feel hurt.
Recently a friend of mine lashed out at me saying, “I am angry. I do not care about my harsh language, I am mad.” She was indeed angry, but as we talked about the situation, she softened and was open to hearing that I cared about her welfare. She felt hurt by a decision that was made and felt left out. When she was yelling at me I did not feel open to hearing what she had to say. When she talked about feeling hurt, I felt open hearted and sorry she was hurt, and so we were able to resolve what happened.
4. When two people are angry, they may both have the same feelings about what transpired.
When I have talked with people after a disagreement, and we both share our feelings, it always amazes me that we both share the same feelings. When your children are arguing, ask them what they are feeling and you will most likely find they have the same feelings. When they realize this, they will feel better toward each other.
What are some of your life lessons?