17 Jul 3 Important Happiness Lessons
Nataly Kogan writes about the happiness lessons she learned…in the Huffington Post
Stop chasing the BIG HAPPY
When my family fled Russia in 1989, I had a rough time. After a few months in refugee camps in Austria and Italy, we finally made our way here and then spent a year living in the projects, on welfare, in Ypsilanti (outside Detroit). When I finally got on my feet I decided that to make up for the hardship I was going to chase the American dream, which for me meant being HAPPY. And the way I thought you got there was by achieving a LOT and making a lot of money. So for the next 20 years I did just that — a series of impressive jobs, starting companies, publishing books, getting the fancy stroller and the fancy car, you name it. By the time I was in my early 30s, I really appreciated my life and had learned a lot but I was not happy. Mostly, I was really exhausted.
My father is a scientist, so I turned to science on happiness and had a "holy crap" moment: I was doing it all wrong. While chasing some unachievable state of the BIG HAPPY I had ignored so many of the small happy moments that were part of my everyday — the sound of my daughter's footsteps as I put my key in the door and she ran to meet me, grabbing our favorite Spanish Latte with my husband on a morning walk, hearing a friend tell me I made her smile. I became a lot happier when I started focusing on these small moments, elevating them out of the routine, pausing to actually be grateful for having them in my life. (No wonder research shows that people who write down a few things they are grateful for every day report feeling more optimistic and less stressed.)
Create experience out of routine
I juggle running a start-up with being a mom to a very active 9-year-old, so I get what it's like to be really busy. Forget busy, what I mean is totally overwhelmed. But one of the most important things I've realized is that taking a few extra minutes to make an experience out of something that is otherwise just part of the routine is one of the best way to feel — and help my family feel — happier…
…keep reading the remainder of this interesting article HERE