The Key To Happiness

Key To Happiness

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The other day I was at a BBQ, chatting away with a few women having some good old down to earth girl chat.  One of the women who I have known for 9 years commented on how happy and great I looked. She said it didn’t look like I had aged a day since we met and I looked better than ever! I was quite humbled and almost uncomfortable with the compliment at first, and then I embraced it.  Hell ya! I AM totally freekin’ happy.

When she asked me my secret to happiness, I realized that first and foremost, I choose to be happy. I take care of myself physically and emotionally, I have several passions and I choose to see what is great in my life, even when things seem kind of crappy. For me, that is the true foundation of happiness.

Happiness is a choice and having passions will help increase your joy!

So many of us (me included) get wrapped up in the daily stuff that needs to get done and we often forget to enjoy the great moments of life and do things we love to help us re-energize our lives. We run around harried, dazed and tired as we grocery shop, take care of the kids, make meals, honor our commitments to others, work longer hours to get ahead and focus on our checklists of things to do.

While all of theses things need to get done, they don’t need to run our lives and wear us down. When we are focused on the s**t that needs to get done, we forget to take care of ourselves, and our passions fall to the side or totally off the radar causing us to feel like there is very little or no meaning to life. In my conversation with the women at the BBQ I realized many people don’t even know what their passions are!  We are so conditioned to work, go home, make dinner, take care of “life”, go to bed, sleep (if we can), get up in the morning and repeat.  We are on a treadmill of a dispassionate life that lacks meaning. No wonder so many people are unhappy and can’t get out of the vicious cycle of just “doing” and feeling exhausted.

The irony is that we don’t actually have to make much of a change.  We can do all of the normal daily activities that we do and bring passion to it!  It is a choice to see the glass half empty or half full, or maybe just know there is a jug of water right beside you to use anytime. What is already great in your life? What can you do to make someone else’s day? Can you give someone a smile or hold the door and make his or her day?  It really doesn’t have to take any extra time, and you will feel better when you start focusing on being present for the moments of your life rather than focusing on the to do list. (By the way, I have learned that the list is never done – and if it is, it probably means you are no longer above ground. So be grateful for the lists!)

Instead of focusing on your problems and running harried thinking about everything that needs to get done, create passion by choosing to enjoy the moment and finding the little things that make a difference to other’s lives.

Bring passion to daily activities and focus on being present in the moment for true happiness. @DawnMariePayne   – Tweet it!

How to bring passion and presence to your life.

When you are focused on the enjoyment of the moment or helping someone else, you can’t be simultaneously focused on your problems. Have you ever been so focused on something that you totally forgot about everything else? Maybe you have been engrossed in an interesting conversation, or you were cheering on your kids at a soccer game, or you were watching your favorite sports team win the finals. Whatever it was, for the moment, you probably didn’t notice your problems.  This is because we can only truly focus on one thing at a time.

Discovering and enjoying a passion can bring a welcome reprieve from the daily grind. In addition, doing something you love will release endorphins (happy hormones), which is a huge bonus!

A great way to discover or re-discover a passion is to think about what you loved to do as a kid.  Did you love listening to music, being out in nature, dancing, reading, being creative, baking, cooking, fixing things or socializing?  Anything you can think of that you loved to do as a kid can be a hint about something you may love to do again now.

Is there an activity you used to do that you can modify now to better suit your needs?  For example, did you love riding your bike but your back is too sore to ride now? Maybe you can try a different style of bike, ride for less time, or decrease the intensity. Did you love gymnastics? Ballet or hip hop dancing? How about trying ballroom dancing, zumba, pilates or yoga?

All these activities have the same base principle of movement, breathing and rhythm. Get creative and try some new activities! Maybe even try something you never have never thought about, ask your friends and family for suggestions.   You just never know, when you are open to trying something new, you just may discover something you love!

No matter what you discover as a passion, you always have the choice to bring passion to what you already do. You can find ways to make your days more interesting by being engaged with the world and connecting with the people around you, by being truly present and in the moment, rather than just running through life to get it done.  Give it a try; you will be amazed at how great you feel – physically and emotionally!

Now I would love to hear from you!

  • What are your passions, what do you love to do?  How can you bring passion to your day-to-day life?


  • If you don’t have a current passion, what did you love to do as a kid?  Can you resurrect some old passions to re-energize your life?

To your passion and mine, from my heart to yours, my hope for you is to Live a Life You Love.  Keep on trucking and remember to stop and smell the roses every now and then


“Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?”
-Bob Marley

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