- Don’t define your life by what you do: Make sure school, work, activities, etc. are not “your life” but just something in your life. Love all that you are involved in and then look to see how it’s helping you grow as an individual instead of feeling like school/work/etc. owns you. Be involved in a variety of things, take time to smell the roses, and just try to see your life differently.
- Look at yourself and laugh: Over the summer I had the opportunity to travel. One night I was sitting in my room in a nice hotel in the beautiful city of Hanoi, Vietnam. I was so hot and could not figure out how to work the thermostat; I just wanted to cool off and get some sleep. I started crying to myself, feeling miserable. Then I pictured how funny I looked sitting there in that really nice hotel in Vietnam, crying because I couldn’t turn the temperature down a few degrees. The thought of it made me start to laugh a little. Part of me was annoyed and wanted to stay miserable, but it lightened the load considerably. Now whenever I start tearing up and look in the mirror, I think how ridiculous I look and start half-laughing. There’s just something comically awkward about seeing yourself in the mirror when you’re miserable. So next time you want to be miserable, maybe just look at yourself in the mirror and laugh a little.
- Enjoy nature: I’ve had several days where my whole day was unbelievably brighter after walking around the south and west ends of campus. Have you seen the beautiful views we have at those parts of campus?
- SLEEP! Last year I didn’t get any sleep. This year I made it a goal to get more sleep, so every night I get at least seven hours. I can testify that it has made a huge difference in my life. I didn’t think I could do it, but once I made it a BIG priority in life, it somehow happens (usually!).
- Stop multitasking: When I start really paying attention in a class, to my homework, or especially to the people around me, life seems much more meaningful.
- Prayer and scripture study: Don’t just do it, but make it the genuine center of your day.
- Pray for opportunities to serve others: Try to look for those opportunities with love. This was a challenge from Elder Ballard last conference and it’s amazing how much it changes my attitude!
- Remember that you are a child of God: No matter how many times you feel like you’ve failed, keep trying because God loves you and you are probably growing much more than you think. Have faith in yourself!
I love learning about happiness. I think it is especially important to grow in happiness as a teacher so we can be an example of joy to the students we teach. In a world filled with problems, hope and happiness can be two of the most influential things we give our students.