Hunt For Happiness

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(By Fire Chief Matt Love) In a world of craziness, it can be difficult to focus on happiness at times.  However, sometimes we need to be reminded of the many positive and happy things taking place which bring happiness to us personally. During the third week in January, Hunt for Happiness Week encourages us to take a closer look at what we define as happiness and what it takes to achieve a satisfying level of this personal pleasure in our lives.

While it may not be possible to be happy 100 percent of the time, there are those of us who come close. Sometimes a little natural chemical balance helps. Other times, a good balance of luck and blessings keep the good karma flowing for other people. However, most of the time, it takes a little effort and an awareness of what true happiness looks like.

In 2019, the United Nations published a list of the happiest nations on Earth. In North America, Canada made the top ten list. The United States ranked 19th. Finland came in as the happiest country in the world for the third year running.

Many factors play a role in happiness, and 2019’s World Happiness Report points out the changing forces impacting happiness. Location isn’t necessarily one of them. However, once the basic necessities of life are met, our habits consistently erode our ability to create a happy world. Technology seems to be one of the most significant factors in the United States’ waning happiness despite unemployment and violent crime levels.

From an individual perspective, we do control our own happiness. During the week, consider what brings you lasting happiness. Consider exploring the areas of your life and discovering where the joy is.

  • Who are the people in your life that bring you happiness? Seeing them might bring you joy even in an altered environment.
  • When you walk into work, do you feel surrounded by supportive peers? At the end of the day, you may feel satisfied with a job well done.
  • Have you experienced a sense of peace when meditating or praying? A spiritual connection is often an essential part of overall happiness.
  • Taking care of your health and connecting to the outdoors improves your physical wellbeing. It allows us to be independent and be an asset to others.
  • Develop community connections and social activities that broaden your horizons.
  • Identify your favorite activities and pursue them more often.
  • Review your finances. While money doesn’t buy happiness, managing the money we do have well does help us to create security in our lives.

Although there have been many changes in our lives in the last year, we hope that no matter what life throws at us that we can all continue to find our happiness.

Matt Love has been the Fort Myers Beach Fire Chief since 2009. In 2019 he was selected by the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Lee County Florida as Fire Chief of the Year. He can be reached at the fire department at 239- 590-4200