5 keys to a happy 2012

Every Wednesday I share another’s words of wisdom, exploring how I can apply this wisdom to my own life. Please join in the conversation and share your thoughts in the comments section. Because if you’re anything like me, you have a lot to learn in this life. 

Sharon, my beloved aunt and creator of the above infographic, expertly captures these 5 keys to happiness along with demonstrating why they matter.

How to stay positive? It’s tough. But like any habit, with practice it becomes easier. Plant little reminders in your surroundings. It could be the words “think positive” written on a sticky note or a silly little string tied around your finger.

How to love your work? This one is harder because it could entail a radical life change, although you may get away with simply changing your attitude. If you focus on how your work contributes to the greater good of humanity (assuming that it does), you will find more meaning in the mundane tasks. For example, if you are a barista, a finely crafted cup of espresso and a warm greeting can transform a bleary-eyed human to a smiling one. Smiles spread like rapid fire on this planet. Smiles also lead to joy.

How to value experiences? Go on a trip instead of buying that expensive new TV. Visit a friend who lives far away instead of buying a new wardrobe for 2012. Take your family to the zoo or the museum rather than the mall. The memories will last much longer, while the material possessions will fade into the background as soon as you put them away.

How to give more than you take? Volunteer for a cause you believe in. Donate money to those who need it more than you do. This one’s easy.

How to keep healthy? Exercise a few times a week. Take a walk or ride a bike. Drop in at the YMCA and go for a swim or take a class. Consume more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and processed foods. Shop on the perimeter of the grocery stores, where the healthy foods reside. Watch your alcohol consumption and quit smoking. Eat mindfully. While staying healthy is not easy, it is simple.

Here’s to the next 12 months. May they be as beautiful as you are.


  1. I am working extra hard on that whole “love my work” thing. I think a big part of it is going to be taking a close look at my role and figuring out how I can expand it. My ultimate goal is to never be bored while I’m putting in my 8 hours!


    1. That’s a worthy goal. I, too, hate being “bored.” It seems like such a waste. It depends on who you are, but loving your work can be harder than staying healthy! Good luck.


    1. And thank you for the visit. It is so true, isn’t it? Why don’t more people understand this? We do not live in a vacuum. No man is an island. Etc.


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