Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Hugh DeBurgh of The Way of the Passionate Warrior.
You want a happy family. But, perhaps, you feel your dreams of family happiness slipping away? You are not alone. It makes you wonder, why is something so universally sought after so hard to achieve? Perhaps we are going about it the wrong way, or perhaps we are working at cross-purposes. You know, one step forward, two steps back?
The reality is that family happiness is not that hard to realize even in today’s stressful times. It just requires that you refocus your life by considering the following key steps:
Stop trying to live and start living.
No effort is required to have a happy family. So why are you working so hard? You can search to the ends of the earth, but you won’t find happiness there. You may find happy people and the healthy lifestyles that are conducive to happiness but there is no magic answer. You can work your butt off but you won’t help you achieve happiness. Happiness is not a prize to be won. Or wealth to be gained.
Make family happiness a real priority, not just words.
What you say, to yourself and others, doesn’t matter. It’s your focus, or lack of it, that counts. What do you focus on every day? The focus of your life should be consistent with your priorities. Is what you do everyday focused on your and your family’s happiness?
Stop thinking about what you want and live in the moment.
Happiness is not a theoretical future state it exists only in the Now. Right now you are probably thinking about what you can do to increase the level of happiness in your family and that’s good, but thinking isn’t going to do it. Not even action will bring happiness. The best way to begin your discovery of family happiness is to stop looking for it. You already have this pearl in your heart – you just may not realize it. You see, you don’t create happiness you discover that it is already yours and then you revel in it. To be a happy family is to share this wisdom and to live in the reveling, together.
Take a few moments and focus on a family member that you want to be closer to.
Grace them with your undivided attention. Honor their personal space, but give full attention to what matters to them at that moment, even if it matters not a bit to you. By doing this, you share the happiness inside yourself, and they share theirs. It is the most intimate experience that you can achieve.
Reorganize your life’s schedule to reflect the importance of family to you.
Time is the most precious resource that you have, and it’s strictly limited. Spend as much of that time with your family as they are a priority in your life. And when I say spend time with your family, I don’t just mean being in the same room. I mean sharing intimacy that is happiness.
Know that you cannot buy a happy family.
As much as you want to provide for your family, oftentimes your energies would be better served by simply being with them, rather than doing things for them. The greatest gift you can give your family is your undivided attention. They don’t need toys or jewelry. They need you.
Simplify your life.
Eliminate complexity. Drop resentments and old grudges. Focus on what you want now. Remember Key #3 the past is no longer real and the future never will be. If you want a happy family life, share that happiness that is within yourself, and do it right now. Clutter in your life just serves to cloud your focus. To fully experience your happiness within, you need to focus on it with clarity. Make sure that your attention is not divided.
I hope that this article helps you to discover the happiness within you, and to share that happiness with your family, and others, without distraction. That is the true key to family happiness.
All the best,