For some reason, I’ve been interested in happiness since I was a kid. When I was nineteen, I started studying it like a science and practicing it like I did with the rest of my passions, with the goal to master it more and more, until it would just become a natural and joyful part of my life.

That is how I would describe it now.

I was just curious.

And very tenacious, if I may say so.

As you might understand from the name of my site and blog, I still am passionate about the same topic.

It’s quite fun to focus on, I find. And rewarding, too.

But let’s get back to when I was nineteen, and the conscious study started.

A magazine had a special edition about- yup- happiness. And initially I thought it might be fun inspiration for my theatre performance I was creating at that time. I always love to mix a little news, scientific facts, fun mainstream stuff along with the rest of the story, so: I immersed myself in it…and was sold! I found it to be so interesting.

And one tiny little fact struck me especially, so much even that I decided then and there to experiment with it myself. That is: to test it, by doing what it said and then…see if it would work?

And, woow: It. Worked!

-Talkin’ compliments here, indeed.

Let me recap for yah: the simple little tip I learned, well, kinda long ago.

Research had showed that one of the biggest factors of happiness in a human being’s life, consists of receiving a compliment.

(Don’t you feel that’s … amazing? Such a simple thing!)

If you really want your compliment to have a positive effect, make sure it meets these three conditions:

  1. EXPRESS it. Out loud, and in person, or any other form (written, sung…), to whom it concerns. -Cause, it may seem obvious, but most of the time we assume we have expressed our appreciation, we think “he knows…we love him”, …”she knows…I feel grateful”… Only: we’ve never said it. Not to him or her in person. Don’t you feel wonderful when someone says “Thank you” or “I love you”? Well…
  2. State in words clearly WHAT it is exactly that THIS PERSON DID… Like this morning I spontaneously thanked the guys who are renovating the subway, for the fact that it looks so beautiful and fresh now.
  3. … THAT TRANSFORMED YOUR LIFE FOR THE BETTER. -And I told them how much I appreciated their work and skills, cause they have contributed to making my daily ride so much more enjoyable and happy. It can be that simple, indeed. But I did turn out to be the first one who has expressed my appreciation for the whole project (yet). Makes me extra happy for doing it.

-That’s all.

Seems simple, doesn’t it?

I’ll tell yah: it is.

OK, in the beginning it took me some courage. And if I’m honest, I still need a little of that, every single time.

-Introverts are inclined to write, or writers are inclined to the introverted side, so I’ve heard.-

But I like the effect this giving of compliments has: on the receiver as well as on myself. It’s such a joy to share and thus multiply your love, your appreciation.

Why wouldn’t you?

It’s free!

Isn’t it wonderful? We all have this endless reservoir, so to speak, within us, and there’s always more.

You also only become better and better in it, I find, the more you do it.

It’s fun.

And though you give, I feel you receive as well. It’s almost impossible to not feel better when giving someone a sincere compliment.

True, it has has happened that someone seemed a little startled when I thanked them. And that’s OK, too. It took me a few years to learn to receive compliments in a graceful way. That’s a whole different art. And maybe nice for another blog- more about that later.

I also trained myself to check in on a regular basis if there’s some appreciation left glowing and bubbling within me for the more important people in my life: close or far, related or not, people I’ve met through the internet or books and who’ve really inspired me, neighbors, collegues, maybe teachers from my past who helped me become the best version of me…

To scan for appreciation and then express it in words to honor them and the way they have contributed to my happiness.

-That, too can make me very happy.

I wish the same for you and all you meet…

Happy Trails To You!

So: #happiness #compliments #appreciation

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