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Find happiness in the little things

Karen Lee Editor Published on 30 September 2019

As we look upon another season of giving thanks, I want to challenge you to look beyond the obvious blessings in your life and relish in the little things that bring you happiness each day.

Too often, when people are asked what they are thankful for, you hear the same responses: spouse or significant other, children, health, career, home, etc. I am guilty of this myself, especially when needing to come up with something on the spot.



Don’t get me wrong; these are all tremendous pieces of life, and each one is a gift for which to be thankful. However, as Tim Ferriss points out in his book Tools of the Titans, it is easy to fall into the autopilot trap in doing this exercise.

As part of his morning routine, Ferriss lists three things he is grateful for while completing his five-minute journal.

He says repeating the same items day after day defeats the purpose. Ferriss suggests using the following four categories to help you expand your view:

  • An old relationship that really helped you, or that you valued highly

  • An opportunity you have today. Perhaps that’s just an opportunity to call one of your parents or an opportunity to go to work. It doesn’t have to be something large.

  • Something great that happened yesterday, whether you experienced or witnessed it

  • Something simple near you or within sight

“The gratitude points shouldn’t all be ‘my career’ and other abstract items. Temper those with something simple and concrete – a beautiful cloud outside the window, the coffee that you’re drinking, the pen that you’re using or whatever it might be,” he writes.

Yevet Tenney imparts similar thoughts in her column. She shares how she helped her troubled grandson change his attitude, perspective and, ultimately, his behaviour by choosing to think about the good things he has in life.


“If we look back on the blessings we have, we can literally change sorrow into contentment,” Tenney writes.

“Happiness is a choice,” she says. Even among difficult circumstances, you choose how you respond and face each day.”

Elaine Froese also talks about the power to choose in her article. Changing perspective and selecting how you spend your personal energy are ways to feel more empowered in your own life.

Like Ferriss, she takes time each morning to reflect and gain perspective for the day.

Taking time for self-care is addressed in an article shared with us from Farm Credit Canada. They are developing a number of wellness resources for farmers and, in this instance, are helping to banish the guilt that can come from not feeling like you are doing enough.

There’s no better time of year to identify all that you do and the many blessings that surround you. I encourage you to take time each day to recognize the things you are thankful for, and try to avoid listing the easy answers.


Look for the simple and concrete items that can bring out a sense of happiness. It is a way to take care of yourself, and it just might alter your perspective for the better.  

Karen Lee
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