What makes you happy?
A stroll along the water? A book you just can’t put down?
In honor of the International Day of Happiness on March 20, let’s take a few minutes to think about how to live happily ever after. Guess what? It doesn’t have to involve a fairytale wedding with a charming prince (although we can arrange one), or a lucky lotto ticket that makes you rich.
There’s actually a simple formula that anybody can use, according to “The Happiness Equation,” a groundbreaking book written by New York Times bestselling author Neil Pasricha. And it just takes 20 minutes per day!
Just make time each and every day to do one of these three things:
- Go for a brisk nature walk
- Read 20 pages of fiction
- Write in a journal about experiences that made you happy
That’s it! After spending more than a decade talking to hundreds of psychologists and some of the world’s most successful business people, that’s the formula Pasricha prescribes for a happy life.
It’s not about working harder and being more successful. Or earning more money. It’s not about getting all your ducks in a row for a comfortable retirement.
We spend a lot of time in this life working. Work can be very satisfying, but research shows it’s not what makes us happy. Ironically, many of the things that make us happiest, we just don’t spend a lot of time doing!
We should spend more time taking walks. More time listening to music. More time exercising or just playing.
More time preparing food and eating. More time shopping. More time reading, relaxing, and meditating. More time making love.
We just have to make time for those things!
It’s no coincidence that going on vacation is when we often find the time to do the things that really, truly make us happy. Not the kind of vacation that’s jam-packed with scheduled activities that require a wake-up call. Instead, the kind of vacation where it’s okay to slow down, inhale, and make time for reading 20 minutes of fiction, going on a nature walk, or journaling your thoughts.
The kind of vacation that Mackinac Island offers.
Where else can you see historic rock formations on a hike through America’s second national park?
Where else can you sit on the porch of a historic hotel, favorite beverage in hand, and lose yourself in a book as warm breezes from the Straits of Mackinac caress your soul?
Where else does the pace of life slow down so much that you have time to do the things you love – and time after that to write about your day?
Nearly two hundred years ago, British writer Harriet Martineau paid a happy visit to Mackinac Island. She wrote about charming morning walks with “wildflowers all around and scattered knolls and opening vistas tempting curiosity in every direction.”
When her time on Mackinac Island came to a close, she called it the “wildest and tenderest piece of beauty that I have yet seen on God’s earth.” Incredibly, Mackinac Island is much the same today as it was then!
Indeed, there is only one Mackinac Island. Where else can you find true happiness this year?