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The Fastest Path to Happiness

Happiness belongs to those who are easily contented. ~Aristotle

Here’s a gentle reminder that Happiness is a state within us. It is a chemical reaction based on where we put our focus, and from which perspective we choose to experience the world.

We are the ones who hold the key to lasting happiness. And we are the only ones who can deprive ourselves of the happiness that we all desire and deserve.

Sometimes, all it takes is a whisper of gratitude, to draw our focus back to our hearts and away from the discontentment and negativity that our minds are naturally attracted to.

This past Christmas, I took on the responsibility of cooking for our extended family. And when I was in the kitchen, preparing the food, I found my mind wandering off, thinking about negative things, thinking about things to complain about, thinking about certain people who made me upset.

I caught myself doing it, and was alarmed by the negative feeling it drew into my inner space.

And then I started to consciously redirect my attention towards being thankful. It was like a game.

As I was chopping vegetables, I would say –sometimes verbally- “I am so thankful that I have the resources to buy vegetables. I am so thankful for this knife, without it would be difficult to cut vegetables.” Standing at the sink, I would say, “I am so thankful that I have water. I am so thankful for this beautiful sink. It’s so useful and cool looking.

Going to the fridge to get the ingredients for the next thing I was cooking, I’d say, “I am so thankful I have a fridge. I am so thankful for the fridge full of food.” Standing over the stove, “I am so thankful for this pot. I am so thankful for the beautiful gas stove, it has provided so much for our family’s needs. I love that it’s stainless steel and black.

When I dropped something on the floor, as I picked it up, I would admire the beautiful wood floor, which we never take the time to appreciate, “I am so thankful for the wood floor, I love the red tint it reflects.” And as I am saying this, I would be reminded, “I am so thankful for this house. A house with all the characteristics we once dreamed about, and it became a reality. Thank you Universe for always watching out for my needs and always fulfilling my dreams.”.

This went on for some time.

At first, it felt fake and forceful, but slowly, the feeling of love and warmth over took me, and the whole experience of cooking became a dance with the flow of life; a pleasant experience; a meditation.

I became lost in the presence of that blissful hour, in the kitchen, lost in the abundance of each moment, with overflowing love.

It doesn’t take a lot to get you started on the path of being thankful.

Gratitude is the fast track to contentment, and contentment for our present life situation, contentment of this moment regardless of what is in front of us is the key to happiness. Simple.

Next time you find your mind wandering off to the land of discontentment, complaining, or negative thoughts, don’t give yourself a hard time. Instead, try the simple method above of giving thanks, to those things you are immediately interacting with.

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Want more articles than the blog posts on this site? I’m currently experimenting with more frequent writing that reflects on something I’ve learned each day, or something that made me happy. This article was extracted and then polished from the TSN Insider Newsletter. You can subscribe here to receive my “TSN Insider” emails.

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About the author

Tina Su is a mom, a wife, a lover of Apple products and a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) for our motivational community: Think Simple Now. She is obsessed with encouraging and empowering people to lead conscious and happy lives. Subscribe to new inspiring stories each week. You can also subscribe to Tina on Facebook.

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25 thoughts on The Fastest Path to Happiness

  1. Dear Tina. What a wonderful idea. The power of gratitude is indeed,phenomenal, moving us gently into the happy now :)

    I often try this when things seem to be going wrong. Does create a shift. I also write a daily gratitude journal blog with a cousin. We write one thing we’re grateful for everyday and its been a real changing experience. Now , am constantly thinking of what am I grateful for today, and get all excited about it. Slowly the entire outlook is changing. Fantastic stuff.

  2. Jessie

    Wow, thanks, Tina!!!!! That was simply beautiful and I’m thankful for your blog :D

  3. Clau

    Thank you for this post TINA…
    I can relate so much, especially when there is so much going on that we forget to take time to slow down and be grateful. ;)

    Love,
    Clau

  4. Wonderful advice, Tina.

    When ego (with its never-ending concerns) wins, we lose. When we focus on gratitude, we win.

    Cheers!

  5. It’s true: once you practice gratitude it just becomes a way of life. I mean, sometimes you get back into your “non-grateful funk” but once you get started up again, it’s hard (and you don’t want to) stop.

    Plus, the more grateful we are, the more the good stuff comes into our lives! Love how that works. :)

  6. Tina, great reminder, thank you. I used to write often about gratitude. I think it was this thing for a while on LiveJournal. I need to get back to do it more!

  7. Positivity is our best friend, people who live and believe in a positive manner live a very prosperous life

  8. I enjoyed your article on “Happiness” so much. I tweeted it!

  9. Hi Tina,

    What a lovely article! Indeed, gratitude is the fastest path to happiness. It is so easy to take things for granted in our lives today. We have so many things that require our focus that we forget what is important. We forget to be thankful for the people and the things we have in life. Wanting more and more is not going to bring us happiness. Millionaires are not necessarily the happiest people on earth. What really matters is learning to be grateful and thankful for what we have.

    Thank you for sharing this article! :)

    Irving the Vizier

  10. Yes, its as simple as that. If we keep grateful for what we have, even the small things that we never notice before, it will give great contentment if you do that. Can start by saying thanks for the job that you have now.

  11. lee bonifacio

    hey Tina, what a wonderful post. I thoroughly enjoyed it as I am going through the exact experiences written in the post. this was a gentle reminder and a very helpful one!. its also funny how the help or guidance you need are shown in the most unexpected places and time.

    Appreciation is truly a beautiful thing.

    have a wonderful evening.

    lee

  12. Serenita

    Dear Destiny, please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as she did, this troubled world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that she will make all things right if I surrender to her will; hoping that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with her forever and ever in the next .

  13. Suzanne

    Hi Tina, a very nice post. I completely feel the same because I am experiencing just the exact same feelings you wrote here. Your words seemed to be a friendly way of reminding me. I needed them! It’s also interesting how words of advice are sometimes like road signs that you need and they come in the most unexpected moments.

    The knowing that you’re needed is a really wonderful realization.

    My best to all of you.

    Suzy

  14. Serenita

    Tina, your motives shine like the oracle of Delphi. Your words I just read. Your thoughts I feel inside and your hopes become mine.
    We are what we must be and we do in our search for Happiness our best. Your best helps me to do mine.

  15. Serenita

    This Christmas I tried. I really tried. To do my best. To cook like my mother-in-law did. But she did it as all of they did when she was younger. I tried to cut the vegetables like they did. The times and the meal was different and I think that I failed. but they were happy. But I wasn’t except for the fact that I tried to think like you said you did. That gave me my relief.
    Maybe my future family will like me like I want them to. I hope with what you wrote. But I have to hope because I see that they will be able to.

  16. I crib a lot. My family agrees. Sometimes I correct myself and apologize. I will definitely try your technique. Any trick to make me remember this when it happens? ;-)

    Thanks Tina. It’s always refreshing to see your blog. BTW you can easily concentrate on your baby and feel THANKFUL. What do you think?

  17. Amber

    I needed to read this today. Thank you!

  18. I’ve got to try this more often, really works!

  19. rose

    it was helpfull , thank you

  20. Denpa

    The quickest path to happiness is to avert your eyes to reality.

  21. Deepak

    Tina ,

    thanx this is too good ,,,,,,I m feeling very calm & happy..now

    Thanx friend

  22. Tana

    Beautiful! It brings us back to the present as well! :)

    Thanks Tina!

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