Breaking out of Autopilot

“Sorry, I don’t have time. Can this line move any faster? I just want to get home.”

Hey, I get it, we’re all busy and let’s face it, life can be tiring and pretty overwhelming.  We’re living complicated lives in an increasingly complicated world.  Between jobs, family, friends, and the tedium of cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and driving, it’s easier to live on autopilot.

Let me explain, in the midst of the monotony of life, how often do you take the time to appreciate life going on all around you?  Do you notice the nice things people do for you?  Do you go out of your way to do something nice for someone else?  How often do you take the time to reflect on and be grateful for the positive things in your life?  Do take the time (as the cliché goes) to stop and smell the roses or notice how beads of dew shimmer in the morning sun?

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own life that I forget to see – really see – people and life going on around me.  I worry so much about finishing the next assignment on time, a new project at work, what I’m going to cook for dinner, and planning my weekends that I walk right past opportunities to find happiness.  The caveat to living life on autopilot is that while it may be easier for me to just live, just living isn’t enough anymore.  I don’t want to just live.  I want to live fully and enjoy life.

While my life may not appear to be as fabulous as the lives of the travel bloggers I see documenting their trips across Europe or their adventures in the Amazon, I like my life. The way I see it, if I can make my small corner of the world a better and brighter place by training myself to ‘think happy’, I will find happiness on my life journey.

Wanting to be happy is different from actually being happy.  I like to think that happiness, much like love, is something that we have to practice, work on, and choose everyday.  Thinking happy and actively choosing to be happy are important steps along the journey.  This blog is my attempt to break out of autopilot and into thinking and choosing happiness.

Recently, I heard about an Emmons’ study where subjects who wrote down one thing they were grateful for everyday reported being 25% happier for a full six months after only three weeks of ‘gratefulness journaling’.  I think there’s something to this and inspired by this research, I am starting this blog as a sort of challenge to myself to think and eventually be happier.

As I journey through life trying to find happiness, I will use this blog as a sort of journal where I’ll share the happy highlights of my week and hopefully, I’ll inspire some others to ‘think happy’ in their lives.

Welcome to my life’s happy highlights.


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