Personal Experiences

What defines happiness?

There are so many things that matter to each of us.

There is such a variety of combinations, different rankings of different criteria that makes us smile everyday.

Whether your motivation is money, power or to simply get by… we can all appreciate a small gesture that can put a smile on our face.

After a hard days work today, when my boss was just finishing up i quickly ducked out and bought icecreams for us, the smile on his face made him forget the stressful day and we had a great conversation completely non work related, which made me smile. Something that defines happiness for me is creating relationships with people we see everyday, whether its your room mates, class mates, colleagues, friends of friends, neighbours, why spend your life surrounded by strangers? A simple conversation with another can ignite a beautiful friendship. I’m very lucky in that my boss is also one of my closest friends, despite our age gap, despite the generation barrier, despite so many religious, cultural and other differences we find common ground – we both care about the world at large, we both believe in doing things for one another, we have a friendship based on common abnormalities, because we are both very eccentric – but somehow it works.

Another amazing thing happened today, my bosses son who I often babysit for got invited to be one of the children that walks out with the soccer team – he loves soccer so much and I was in tears when i told him on the phone that he had this amazing opportunity to meet his favourite team and he said back to me that he was too nervous, and he really didn’t want to do it. Luckily, my boss picked him up and brought him to the shop to speak to me and I managed to calm him down and convince him he would be fine. He is such a brilliant young boy – it saddens me so much that he doesn’t know it. I know the feeling of confidence holding you back, and I don’t want him to avoid amazing opportunities like I have because of a self-created ‘happy place’. Something that defines happiness for me is encouraging others to be the best they can be. I’ve heard the saying “everything you want is just outside of your comfort zone”, such a bittersweet statement, but once we believe in ourselves and allow ourselves to try new things, to become truly happy the bitter disappears and that statement is nothing but sweet sweet bliss to my ears.

What defines happiness for you?

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First attempt

So, this is blogging.

It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s free and it’s right at our fingertips. This is more than just awesome, why doesn’t everyone blog?

That’s a question I know the answer to, some of us are yet to find our passion, our purpose, our reason to get out of bed in the morning. So, how come I am blogging? Simple, today I found my passion.

They say, ‘find what you love and let it destroy you’, but can I suggest an alternative? How about, find what you love and let it consume you, share it with as many people as you can, create a movement, because our time on earth is but a blink in the scheme of things, we are finite, but we can leave things behind, our ideas, our hard work, our passion, our love and hopefully if we can connect with enough people, what we leave behind has the potential to be infinite, more than that even, it has the potential to grow and become more than we could have ever imagined.

 

Anyway, my passion, here’s where it started. I work in hospitality, behind a bar, a place where it is so easy to become impatient and you can find yourself unable to tolerate those on the side of the bar you would much rather be on. Instead, when I work on the bar, I try to imagine myself in their position, despite new laws and media hype, most people can drink responsibly and most people just want to have fun, just because you are working and sober – doesn’t mean your night can’t be amazing too.

One night, I simply humoured two men, we joked around, it was a quiet night, they asked me to surprise them with food, and apparently they received “the best pizza ever”. A simple joke, a simple moment of appreciation and a simple moment where we could all just laugh about nothing. Sounds stupid, maybe even insignificant, right? Wrong. My kindness to these men is not rare, i’m kind to all customers, but what made this particular instance rare, was that my kindness was appreciated in a way I had never experienced before. I was handed a kindness card, for those of you that don’t know, these are cards made by World Kindness Australia, and have been passed around the world by people who simply are kind, and appreciate kindness. Once you receive the card, you register the location, tell the positive story and await for another perfect moment to appreciate someone else’s kindness – and then this card and its stories can be tracked as it travels around the globe, making peoples days or in my case, changing peoples lives.

Finally, here is my passion. Kindness. Something simple, but often overlooked.

Here I am, with not a clue about blogging (and probably not a clue about writing), attempting to raise awareness for World Kindness Australia and for what they stand for, which can be reduced to the following:

  • respect rather than intolerance;

Intolerance of anything that is not the norm in modern day society has reached great heights, we should respect the differences present in one another, this doesn’t mean we have to like everyone, sometimes people do things that should not be tolerated, but more often than not we have a choice. I hope to inspire people to respect differences, it’s what makes life interesting, the world needs diversity, everyone has a different purpose, everyone has a different story, no two people are the same. Upon rediscovering this, i realised that its perhaps the most amazing thing imaginable, with such a huge population, we are each our own and we are each irreplaceable.

  • inclusion rather than exclusion;

What I love about World Kindness Australia the most is that it has the power to help not just one minority, but all minorities and all majorities. Kindness is something that affects everyone. As above, recognise a difference in someone, respect it and choose to include rather than exclude. It’s the 21st century and although some of us may not see it, racism still exists, the disabled are often excluded (especially during school), people are judged by their appearance, and it’s become so easy to exclude, that often we don’t even realise we are doing it.

  • hospitality rather than hostility;

Ah, the most simple of all. Be hospitable, instead of hostile. Acknowledge the bus driver as you get on the bus, say thank you as you get off. Smile as you pass someone on the footpath, you don’t know what that smile might mean to them. Do something purely to help another person, even better if its a stranger and its totally random, expect nothing in return. The best part about that is, although you do it without the expectation of any personal gain, you actually gain a great sense of satisfaction, a situation where everyone wins, I know… Totally crazy.

  • gratitude rather than attitude.

Last but not least, World Kindness Australia promotes the appreciation of kindness, as well as the notion to be kind. I work three jobs, and there is one job I wouldn’t trade for any other, the pays not great, but my boss is grateful for every single thing I do. So often we are scrutinised by our family, our colleagues, our bosses, our friends, even society as a whole as soon as we make a mistake. Wouldn’t it be nice if everything we do right was acknowledged equally, or even more so, than the few mistakes we may make? After all, we are only human, mistakes are inevitable, a human right per se, going above and beyond, or achieving something great is not a human right, it’s a choice, and a simple notion of gratitude can go a long way.

 

Gratitude is what brought me here, a simple kindness card, a moment of appreciation, something so little has the potential to help create something huge. That’s my aim. To not only raise awareness for World Kindness Australia, but to raise awareness of human decency, to spread positivity and to share things that make me smile… in the hope that even one person will read my posts and check out www.worldkindnessaustralia.org or be inspired to do something nice, to be honest i’d be happy if this post just made one person smile.