Do you want more happiness in your life? Do you want to find greater meaning and wholeness? Most people would say yes to these questions even if they are relatively content.

Most of the time, we think of happiness as serendipitous. We have “good” days and “bad” ones. Our lucky days bring happiness, but we never know when we’ll be lucky or not. Some people seem to be perpetually unlucky, and happiness eludes them. Others seem to always luck out and they enjoy great success. What formulas rule these fates? No one knows.

Nonetheless, this article contains instructions for accessing happiness whenever you wish. That’s an audacious claim, but please read on. Because even though our overall fate may be beyond our control, we can influence the moments of our lives, one-by-one. And there’s actually a way to do this that will ensure greater happiness.

Will this method turn around a manic depressive or give new life to someone heartbroken or homeless or hateful? If applied with passionate intention, the answer is yes. And it will certainly boost anyone’s sense of peace and contentment.

The secret to the method for locating happiness at will is the understanding that anything will flourish if we put our attention to it. That which we focus on will grow.

This is so simple that very few people can fully grasp it. “Oh yeah,” we think, “I know
all about that.” And then we go on being distracted and scattered and not applying this thing that we know.

But if we seriously take to heart the reality that our attention is the thing that shapes our days, it’s a different outlook entirely. Suddenly, it becomes apparent that worry, for instance, is far too negative to be helpful. You see that anxiety over what the boss will say may be causing you to screw up in your work. Or concerns about finances are keeping you from being creative. You begin to understand that worrying actually is self-perpetuating; you’d be much better off turning your attention to something more positive.

Where we focus attention, we will see results. But what does it mean to focus attention? Happiness is elusive because we don’t have much practice in this kind of focus. The world is too big and confusing; there’s too much to learn. Generally, we are taught how to consume and produce, but not how to be still.

So how can you get better at focusing? What can you do to sharpen your attention? Such techniques as removing all distractions, going on retreat, or meditating are common solutions.

In addition, there’s a natural skill we all possess that could be called superhuman when it comes to using it to access happiness. That natural skill is our ability to use our hands to express.

1. If you have experience in drawing, you know that the process of capturing the likeness of something is a way to fall in love with that thing. You come to know it in such intimate detail that it is endeared to you. A relationship is created.

2. If you make music, you know the rapture of sound as it reverberates both inside and outside your ears. You know the profound solace of listening with all your heart.

3. And if you write, you can use a daily journaling habit to create your personal on-demand haven of peace and comfort. You can include in your practice all the objects and subjects of your experience, both real and imagined, writing them through to find where they lead, what they mean, and how they are valuable to you. Your attention through journaling will lead to healing, creativity, and electrifying new perceptions.

Try using one of these tools every day for a week or so. The process is about focusing on the medium, and expressing with your hands. You will soon begin to see the growth, the potential, the compassion, the reasons why and the ways to let go. The steady fix of your attention, flowing through your hands in the drawing or the music or the journal, is your own sure route to bliss.

Author's Bio: 

Mari L. McCarthy is The Journaling Therapy Specialist, founder of Create Write Now (, the Personal Growth Journaling Place. Mari offers counseling and encouragement to journal writers through her many online journaling resources, as well as private consultations. Mari’s teachings and workbooks center around journaling for self-discovery, self-growth, and self-healing. 12 Days of Morning Pages is her latest ebook / emailed course, providing a gentle entrance to a life-changing practice.