Three things that influence our Happiness

Three things that influence our Happiness

Three things that influence our Happiness 1000 1376 JOY IS NOT OPTIONAL

I grew up in an environment where SERVICE  was part of our daily lives. As a kid, I loathed it and didn’t understand it.  Putting on my costume to go dance somewhere across Chicagoland in the Polish Dance Troupe my parents organized, I would go begrudgingly and with a lot of attitude. “Its Saturday, why can’t I watch morning cartoons like every other kid!”  “Its Sunday, can’t I go play baseball at the park?” ” It’s Wednesday night, why can’t I be on the track team!”  And the same conversation was about Polish School too.  When I would travel to Poland for the summer, I would complain about my heavy suitcases filled with American dollars, toilet paper, newspapers, and toothbrushes and no Charlie’s Angels on TV.

As I grew older, I came to understand what my parents were doing . The free Poland my Father once knew no longer existed, and something must be done. To be Polish in the United States, meant we could take actions here to change what was happening over there.  Sharing the culture through the dance troupe we continued to express and retain the heritage, by sending an 8-year-old with contraband filled suitcases to a Communist Ruled country who can enter without notice, we acted.

No matter what we are going through in life, the ripple effects of our actions can be extraordinary. By choosing to do good deeds, we will almost certainly have a positive impact on society. Two suitcases, dance at a convalescent home, a kind word at the check out line, no matter big or small these actions cultivate joy in the world for everyone. The three  factors that seem to have the most significant influence on increasing our happiness are our ability to reframe our situation more positively, our ability to experience gratitude, and our choice to be kind and generous.