Paths to Happiness

In this Ted Talk, actor Shawn Achor discusses happiness and the difference between doing X, Y, and Z then being happy and being happy then allowing that to support you in doing X, Y and Z. This simple idea challenged my way of thinking, which enticed me to reflect upon how I was coming to routine situations and interactions. Cognitively it makes sense; If one isn’t living in the moment, practicing happiness now, they won’t be practiced in happiness in the future.

Furthermore, actions stemming from happiness are much more effective at attaining happiness rather than actions stemming from discontentment, which will only breed more discontentment. It seems bizarre to do anything other than be happy in the moment when described in this way. If we act from a discontent place in order to become happy, it’s less likely we will do so with authenticity and connected purpose. If we work toward living authentically, being present and happy in the moment, those emotions will fuel and inject themselves into all we do.

We must continually reflect and celebrate the amazing-ness of regular moments throughout the day. This develops one’s capacity to be happy in the moment, which will fuel living happily in all moments. 

Practice Makes Perfect

Or so the saying goes…
Taking time to recognize and celebrate each moment has to be practiced. You might be wondering, “How exactly does one practice happiness?” Shawn breaks it down for us. Do one of the following each day or try all four. If you do this, happiness will soon be knocking at your door!

  1. Three new people, places or things to be grateful for each day
  2. Exercise: Preferably 30 minutes a day, five days a week
  3. Meditation: 7 minutes is all you need to create change in the brain (and with meditation – the more the better!)
  4. Random Acts of Kindness: A smile, holding the door, picking up a piece of trash, doing someone else’s dishes. It doesn’t have to be huge or money related, it could be as simple as giving someone your full attention at the check out stand.

Doing this already? How do you feel?

Leave comments, suggestions, or other related practices in the comments section below.


Author: Caitlin Hegwood

I create healthy recipes, share natural self-care tips, provide mindfulness practices, offer private and group yoga classes, and health and wellness coaching to my amazing community of wellness seekers. I hope you'll join me on this journey to wellness by subscribing below!

2 thoughts on “Paths to Happiness

  1. This is such a great video, he’s so funny I was even able to get Luna to watch it!

    Thanks for sharing,



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