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Being human. We must acknowledge that we are imperfect. This includes accepting those days where we feel an urge to snap at friends, or throttle some sense in to those around who are mindlessly making avoidable, destructive mistakes. Accepting those days where we want to throttle ourselves for those same reasons. Accepting that sometimes, we can’t help but react. A short response, a quiet or cold brushing off, the obvious yet unspoken issues creating unwanted space, is sometimes the last thing that you need and those small things can hurt and chip away on that trigger for one to act negatively or sometimes even spitefully. But what if, instead of reacting, or absorbing what others dish out, we turned to a happy mantra? A positive intent? A bit of love?

Festivities! Happy New Year. Happy Birthday. Happy Easter. Happy Hanukkah. Happy Thanksgiving. Happy July 4th. The happy list goes on…

These special days are named for celebration. As different as each of these celebrations may be, they all have one thing in common – the word we start with when wishing someone well on said dedicated special day: Happy.

This is a word of importance. It holds good intentions, integrity and power. To stop for only a few seconds and consider the meaning of it, would you agree that it is significant?

What is the first word most of us say in those first precious seconds of the new year? Happy. We begin the year with positive, headlong resolve. Now I know that many of us are well meaning, but usually somewhere in those first couple of months in the new year, the get-going in your metaphorical step for your new year’s resolution takes a step to the side and fizzles out.

Happiness is something that we all strive for in life, in one way or another.

Perhaps it’s the focus on wanting instead of the mantra/result that keeps us from achieving . Words can be very powerful things, and a short, thought provoking example was once shared with me that I’d like to echo:

Man: I want happiness.
Buddha: First remove ‘I’, this is the ego, then remove ‘want’, this is desire. All that remains is happiness.

I want happiness

I want happiness vs. Happiness

For those who may be unsure of using mantras due to their frequent use in religion and spirituality, it doesn’t need to be complicated. A mantra can be seen simply as an affirmation. It can be as simple as a single kind word you tell yourself. This link shows simple mantras you can use to encourage happiness in everyday life. You can say the aloud or to yourself in your own mind at any time.

Things that can diffuse tension for me are usually like a cup of extra milky tea, playing my guitar, listening to softer music, or if I’m really caught in a moment, as simple as taking my tongue off the roof of my mouth.

There are plenty of other pick-me-ups we can implement that don’t take any extra time out of your day. See what happens when you smile at a stranger. When you grab an extra coffee for that quiet guy at work. When you compliment someone who seems down. When you offer a hug instead of a handshake. When you offer patience along with your persistence.

At the risk of feeling judged and somewhat vulnerable, I wish to share my set affirmation that I say to myself in the mirror each day: I see you. I know you. I accept you and you are loved. You are seen. You are known. You are accepted and loved. You are a good person with good intentions.

Here’s a thought. If we could start each day with simply naming that initial ‘happy’ word to ourselves, wouldn’t that be something? Could that hold the tipping power for a good day? Could that be enough to get you thinking about the right things? Could it invoke a personal revolution? Could it change your world? After all, if I’ve learned anything from my own pursuit of happiness, it’s that small things are often the things that make for big change.