INSIDE THIS GUEST POST: Sometimes little moments are so profound. This mom vowed in an everyday moment, to mindfully rethink her definition of happiness, to learn from her daughter, and what she had to teach her that day.
I sat next to my 6-year-old as she repeatedly bounced a tiny-white teddy bear from her knees to mine. She's simply full of joy all the time. I decided to ask, "Sweetie, why are you so happy?"
She thought for a few moments, and then responded in that bubbly voice of hers, "I don't know."
It was an honest answer. She truly didn't know. She had no standard to really define her happiness. No medium to grade herself upon.
She's simply just happy.
Sometimes little moments are so profound.
My thoughts drifted to my own self-awareness.
I began to feel a little discouraged because the happiness I know doesn't seem to come that easy.
We have to earn happiness, right? It doesn't come for free. Maybe when we hit that milestone we're pushing for, when the kids are self-sufficient, or when we have the perfect amount of funds in our retirement account.
Then we can be happy.
However, deep down inside I didn't want that to be true, nor do I think any of us do. We want happiness now.
I vowed in that moment, to mindfully rethink my definition of happiness. To learn from my daughter, and what she had to teach me that day.
5 Truth's About Happiness From a 6-Year-Old
Sometimes you need to talk to a 6-year-old to understand life again.
1. Happiness is here.
That little bear was not new. It had been lying around our home for quite some time. She simply picked up something ordinary and decided that it could bring her joy. That was it. It was right there in front of her, and she saw potential.
Where are we searching for happiness? Are we constantly looking over the horizon and forgetting what is right in front of us? Maybe we need to narrow in and take our focus back a bit.
We might be surprised to find that happiness is right in front of us. Just like that bear was for her.
2. It's the little things in life.
Our kids find joy in the simplest things — Like a walk to the park, a ride to grandma's house for a visit, or an unexpected ice cream cone.
The little things are the big things.
Where along the way do we as adults lose our love for the ordinary things in life? Is it the constant influence of the world? Or do our natures evolve to become more self-centered over time?
Let's give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. Maybe, just maybe, our need for the ordinary pleasures of life never leaves us — we simply must work on uncovering that need from time to time.
3. We don't need more to make us happy.
Maybe we can start with who we are, and what we already have, and find happiness there. True happiness. Not the artificial kind that comes from constantly trying to gain more and more.
My daughter seems to understand how satisfactory it feels to make do with — or even embrace what she already has. I can do the same.
4. Make time to play.
Children don't question whether they should play or not — they just play.
When was the last time you blew up a package of balloons and jumped around trying to keep them in the air? Read a good fiction book? Or got competitive with the family and a board game?
There are so many fun ways to recharge our batteries that bring joy. Let's get lost in a little nonsense now and then.
5. We must slow down if we want to be truly happy.
I was lucky enough to capture that sweet moment with my six-year-old that day. I happened to be still just long enough. But how many moments like that have I missed?
We can't spot those beautiful moments in life if we're too busy. In fact, we'll miss them altogether. Stop and pay attention to things like a sunset, an unusual flower along our way, or even the simple fascination of our child playing with a little toy.
Let's slow down and notice.
About the author: Amy Brinton is a mom to four girls, wife, and writer, who believes in living fully from the heart. Aside from her family, she loves travel and lots of warm sunshine. She resides in the Phoenix area where the sunshine part comes pretty easily!