Happy New Year! About 2,000 New Year’s Days ago, a man named Seneca lived. He was a philosopher, statesman, dramatist, humorist, and an advisor for the emperor Nero. Seneca had many views on life, including, “I’m not bald, I’m just taller than my hair.” Many of his fundamental views still hold true today and, if followed, may help us all live a happier life. Here are just three of his many thoughts, but perhaps if we follow them, 2013 can be our best year yet!
“A man’s as miserable as he thinks he is.”
Sure, everyone’s heard about the power of positive thinking, but think about the opposite. If you tell yourself that things are bad and you view the world through a negative filter, of course that’s what you will be surrounded by. You determine the way you let others affect you. Yes, it’s easier said than done, so start one day at a time. You may be stuck in awful traffic, but you got to listen to that new album or wrapped up that audio book. Funds may be low so you have to stay in this weekend, but then maybe you can read that book you’ve been putting off or start that new hobby you’ve been thinking about. One day at a time you can help yourself find a new perspective.
“He that does good to another does good also to himself.”
Giving and helping others feels good. When you make someone else happy, doesn’t it make you happy? Plus, if you’re one that believes in karma, you know that what you give, you get back. So really, charity, volunteering, or even just holding a door for someone, is a win-win!
“It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it.”
Studies show that laughing produces endorphins, the brain chemicals that have a feel-good effect. Who doesn’t want to feel good? I think we could all use a little less stress these days. If we could learn to laugh our way through that five-hour meeting, that coworker that refuses to get anything done on time, or how the kids seem to think it’s a great idea to use the wall as an easel, we’d all feel a little bit better.
Find a way to de-stress so you can find that happy place easier. For me, it’s yoga. Maybe you’re a runner, a painter, or a chef. Make time for the things that make you happy and give you balance. And, laugh!