33 Keys to Unbridled Childlike Happiness

Note: This is a guest post by Adam Sicinski of Study Matrix Art.

  • Have you ever observed a child laughing, playing and giggling with excitement?
  • Have you ever noticed that sparkle of enthusiasm that glistens within their eyes?
  • Do you remember a time back when you were innocent, happy and fulfilled?
  • Do you remember a state of unbridled childlike happiness?

In this day and age true unbridled childlike happiness seems elusive and somewhat unexpected. Our responsibilities, deadlines, chores, tasks, goals and problems have created an “objective” oriented society that places a higher level of importance on achievement rather than on the experience of happiness. Everyday we search for answers, for the answers that will help us find the true fulfillment we are seeking to bring into our lives. Yet because of our goal oriented habits, we simply fail to take the time to smell the roses, to enjoy life, and to revel in the finer pleasures that bring joy and happiness to a somewhat otherwise mundane existence. So how do we break out of this pattern? How do we overcome this robotic cycle that forces us to work and behave like Zombies all day long? Well, these answers are actually much more straightforward than one might ever imagine, and it all begins with our orientation.

To find true happiness and fulfillment in life one must become “process” oriented. This means living in the moment 24/7. This means taking the time to become aware of our immediate thoughts, behaviors, habits and actions. It means stepping into a slowed down version of the world we live in. Yes this actually means true, unbridled, childlike happiness, and it can be yours today without further delay.

This article and accompanying Study Matrix will remind you about the importance of the forgotten things in life. It will help you to understand the simple daily actions, steps and decisions you must make on a consistent basis that will bring forth incredible amounts of energy and happiness into your daily activities. We did not come into this world to simply exist and go about our mundane tasks and chores. Instead we have come here to live and experience the fullness of what life has to offer at every moment, every single day.

The following 33 Keys to Unbridled Childlike Happiness are presented here to remind us that there is more to life than meets the eye, that we can find fulfillment and happiness no matter what events or circumstances impede our progress, and that life is a process of small “fulfillment” oriented steps that can bring great joy and passion to any moment in time. These 33 keys are part of 5 fundamental aspects of life that deserve our wholehearted attention and care. Identify them, attend to them and fulfill their longings, and you will experience the joys and feelings of unbridled childlike happiness.

Happiness Mind Map

Download a free desktop wallpaper background of this Study Matrix by visiting the Study Matrix Art Website.

Cultivating a Happy Body

Cultivating a Happy Body

Our body is a vessel. It is the ship that sails us to our desired objectives and destinations. When the ship is properly maintained and cleaned, it sparkles with unbridled energy and radiance like a warm smile greeting us a good morning. In order to truly find long lasting and fulfilling happiness we must take care of our bodies. When our body feels good, it makes it easier to smile, to find happiness and joy in other areas of our lives. And this is exactly what this branch of the Study Matrix is about – cultivating a happy body.

  1. Smile Often – Turn your frown 🙁 upside down 🙂 A simple smile is such a wonderful thing that will immediately generate feelings of joy and happiness. Smiling often will stimulate wonderful feelings and sensations in your body helping you find more fulfillment throughout your day.
  2. Partake in Regular Exercise – Exercise encourages movement, deep breathing and releases built up stress. Partaking in regular, controlled exercise will generate wonderful invigorating feelings from deep within your body. This will lead to more happiness and joy in your life.
  3. Eat Healthy – Some foods can leave us sluggish and weak. Feeling rundown and low on energy will stir up unresourceful emotions which will lead to unpleasant and lackluster feelings. Focus on eating plenty of watery foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans, etc. Also drink plenty of room temperature fluids throughout your day. This will stabilize your energy and keep happiness at the forefront of your mind.
  4. Sleep Restfully – The quality of our sleep patterns will effectively determine the quality of the emotions we experience throughout the day. Make sure to develop a good sleeping routine that provides you enough rest for your body, spirit and mind.

Cultivating Happy Actions

Cultivating Happy Actions

Our actions determine our results in life. When we take ill-fated actions, we experience the consequences of those decisions through stress, anxiety and despair. On the other hand, when we take actions that are sprinkled with happiness dust :), our outcomes are immediately transformed and we experience the consequences of a fulfilling and extraordinary existence. This branch of the Study Matrix breaks down some simple actions you can take on a daily basis that will bring a greater sense of joy and fulfillment to your daily undertakings.

  1. Experiment with Living – A mundane boring life can only lead to sluggish feelings that will weigh heavily on your body and mind. Choose instead to experiment a little, to partake in new activities and to fully enjoy great experiences that will leave your life with no regrets and plenty of unforgettable memories.
  2. Set Goals – When we have nothing to aim for, we struggle to find the motivation to get through our days. Decide today to set new goals and objectives that will move you into disciplined thought and action. The more inspiring the goals, the greater amount of joy, happiness and fulfillment you will find within your life.
  3. Prioritize – Our daily tasks and chores can easily overwhelm us if we are unable to manage them effectively. The solution rests in developing the habit of prioritizing all your tasks and activities into easily manageable and workable chunks. The more proficient you become at prioritizing your life, the more effective you will be, the more time you will have on hand, and the greater sense of happiness and fulfillment you will experience within your life.
  4. Seek New Learnings – When we fail to learn, grow and reach our full potential in any area of our life, we tend to experience an emptiness within the pit of our stomachs that breeds many unresourceful and dissatisfied emotions. If you suffer from this condition, simply take time to learn something new. Learn a new skill, develop a new talent, enhance your knowledge in a certain niche area of your life, or simply ask someone to teach you something that you have very little knowledge about. When you learn you will grow, and as you grow you will experience the joys of living to your fullest potential. The outcome always results in a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in life.
  5. Simplify Your Life – We struggle to get by in life because we simply take on board too many responsibilities, collect too much clutter and involve ourselves in mundane tasks and activities that deflate the spirit and weaken the mind. Tomorrow, step into your life as a new person, and begin to simplify every aspect of your reality. Get rid of the junk, cut down on the responsibilities and simplify everything that is useless and clutters your mind with too many thoughts and unnecessary emotions. Simplifying your life in this manner will be like stepping out of a prison after many years of mental and physical torture. This can only breed great joy, excitement and happiness into your life.
  6. Celebrate Your Achievements – Life is there to be enjoyed to its fullest. If you successfully reach your goals and objectives, than take a timeout to celebrate your accomplishments with your family, friends and loved ones. Celebrations will help inspire, motivate and move you towards even greater goals and objectives, bringing great joy and fulfillment into your life.
  7. Slow the Pace Down – Sometimes our busyness gets the better of us. We feel fulfilled and somewhat happy because we are moving at such a fast past, yet there is still that emptiness that lingers within the pit of our stomachs that is longing for something more. “More” comes when you stop and slowdown, change your pace and take time to smell the roses, tell someone you love them, and revel in the finer pleasures of life that bring you the greatest joy and happiness.
  8. Act through Your Passions – Your passions are the things that raise your energy, that bring you great satisfaction, and help you experience your world to its fullest. Regularly partake in your favorite hobbies, watch your kids play sports, and simply take charge of your life by creatively bringing your passions into your daily activities, thoughts and actions.

Cultivating a Happy Self

Cultivating a Happy Self

Our external happiness is primarily dependent on the internal happiness we feel within ourselves at any one moment in time. Our happiness always radiates out from within. Hence if we have little happiness to give, than we will likewise struggle to receive that which is given to us by others. This branch of the Study Matrix focuses on some simple strategies you can immediately bring forth into your life that will enhance and accentuate the happiness you feel within yourself.

  1. Pamper Yourself – It is so very easy for us to become stressed, anxious and overwhelmed as we go about our everyday ritualistic activities. During these periods we tend to forget about ourselves, our needs and our obligations to the ongoing wellbeing of our mind, spirit and body. The solution is to take time on weekly basis for some “Me Time”. Take a warm bath, get a relaxing massage, visit a spa, go to the gym, or simply take a walk in nature and spend some time with just your thoughts. These breaks will allow you to recharge your batteries and will help you to find the happiness and fulfillment you might be missing in your life.
  2. Find Humor and Laughter – Laughter will not only relieve your stress and the built-up tension within your body, it can also heal the soul and bring forth a vast amount of creative energy that will enhance and improve your day. Take timeouts throughout your days to laugh, to giggle like a school kid, to tell a funny joke to a friend, watch a sitcom on TV, or to simply make fun of yourself at the most awkward of moments. The more fun you have with this, the greater sense of joy and fulfillment you will experience in your life.
  3. Seek Inspiration – We struggle at times throughout the year because we lack the inspiration to move us forward. Inspiration is a state of mind that we must learn to cultivate as often as possible. It will help move us in thought and action, bringing a greater sense of joy and satisfaction into our lives. You can find inspiration in nature, by reading a book, by watching an inspirational movie, or simply through listening to your favorite piece of music. It does not matter how you go about finding your inspiration, as long as you work towards it each and everyday.
  4. Learn to Accept Your Circumstances – Our circumstances are what they are. Sometimes we have full control over them, while at other times we simply cannot influence them no matter what we do. As you go about your daily undertakings, it is important that you do not allow them to dictate the emotions that you experience within the moment. The one thing that you can control at all times is your pattern of thought. And it is your thought process (how you perceive a circumstance) that will determine how and what you feel at the end of the day. In fact there is no good or bad, it is rather how we perceive it to be. Start today by taking charge of your thought process, and bringing forth only happy feelings of joy and fulfillment into your life.
  5. Choose to be Happy – This is an easy one. Simply choose that you will be happy every moment of your day no matter what happens. Wake up in the morning and decide that you will be happy for the remainder of this day. If you are experiencing some difficult setbacks, than decide to be happy just for the next hour, and see what happens. Happiness is at all times your choice to make.
  6. Become Aware of Your Thoughts – True happiness begins in the mind. Pay attention to your everyday thoughts and the self-talk you allow to dominate your thinking habits. These thoughts will trigger instant feelings and emotions that will take over your entire body and mind. By becoming aware of these thoughts, you are essentially taking charge of the emotions you allow to dominate your decisions and actions at any moment in time. Choose your thoughts wisely and happiness will “think” its way through into your life.

Cultivating Happy Interactions

Cultivating Happy Interactions

Sometimes happiness just seems too elusive and hard to achieve. It seems that no matter what we do, we just can’t seem to find that fulfillment and joy we have been searching for all our lives. In instances such as these, it is important to direct your energy outwards and touch the hearts of other people. We are naturally social beings, who seek support, encouragement and warmth from other like-minded individuals. The moment you begin directing your energy to make others happy, you will likewise tap into the reservoirs of the personal joy that rests deep within your heart. This branch of the Study Matrix focuses on finding joy and happiness through the process of building strong emotional relationships with others.

  1. Forgive Others – Holding onto ill-feelings towards others will only poison your mind and suffocate your soul. This will lead to many unresourceful emotions that will sabotage the happiness you desire to experience within your life. Take time today to forgive others for their indiscretions. If you find it difficult to forgive them openly, than write them a letter or simply close your eyes and genuinely tell them how you feel from the bottom of your heart. Only once this forgiveness has been released into the Universe, will you once again be free of the shackles that bind your emotions to the ground.
  2. Connect with Others – Loneliness can be an incredibly debilitating experience that can lead to many dirty and self-sabotaging unresourceful emotions of sadness, anger, sorrow and depression. Our emotions are like two sides of a mask. You cannot experience one type of emotion and its polar opposite at the same time. Decide today to switch that mask around and connect with other people through email, via telephone or in person. Tell them about your life, ask them questions about their experiences, goals and ambitions. It doesn’t matter how you connect, as long as you take the time to reach out to someone and ground yourself within their presence.
  3. Associate with Happy People – Happy people are those who will raise your energy through the roof the moment they walk into a room. Happy people are those who will inspire and motivate you when you are feeling down. Yes, happy people can indeed even cure your emotional self-sabotaging ways with a simple smile and giggle. Find these people within your community, school or group and work your way into their circle of friends.
  4. Volunteer Your Time and Energy – Believe it or not, there are actually people in this world who are much more disadvantaged than you. In fact, they are very unhappy and dissatisfied with their lives, and they are looking for inspiring individuals like yourself to bring some joy and fulfillment into their daily existence. Take time each week or month to volunteer your time to a charitable cause. Make an effort to bring joy and happiness into these people’s lives as best you can. You may actually be rather surprised how much warmth, satisfaction and fulfillment this can bring into your life. Sometimes through helping others find happiness, we end up finding it within ourselves.
  5. Partake in Random Acts of Kindness – Keep an ear out and pay attention to the events in other people’s lives. The moment you see an opportunity open up, decide to help them out in someway through a random act of kindness. Simply do something for them that they cannot do for themselves. The key here is to take no credit for your random acts of kindness. You will find greater fulfillment and satisfaction knowing that you helped someone because of the goodness of your heart – without obligating them to return the favor.
  6. Be Happy for Others – Sometimes we see wonderful things sprouting in other people’s lives and we somewhat feel happy for them, and yet at other times we feel small, inadequate and kind of jealous that we are not experiencing these same emotions. By consciously deciding to be happy for other people no matter what is currently transpiring within your experience, you will be sending positive vibrations into the Universe that will one day boomerang back into your life.

Cultivating a Happy Mindset

Cultivating a Happy Mindset

Our mind is a strange and mysterious thing. At one moment it can lead us into the pitfalls of despair, while during another moment, it can help us scale the heights of the highest emotional mountain peeks. It has been said that we become what we think about most of the time. Hence, if our mind struggles to deal with the problems that life brings our way on a daily basis, than it will experience the negative drawbacks, consequences and emotions of such thoughts manifesting within our physical reality. This branch of the Study Matrix focuses on the process of cultivating a mindset that will attract greater joy and happiness into your life.

  1. Have Faith in a Higher Power – Faith is a wonderful thing, as it helps us to persist through the most difficult of times and against the greatest of odds. Decide today to empower your faith by grounding yourself to God or the Universe through prayer, relaxation and meditation. Have faith that you will be happy no matter what obstacles stand in your way. And have faith that because of your happiness things will always turn out great at the end of your day.
  2. Detach Yourself from Circumstances – Circumstances are what they are. In fact circumstances are what we make them out to be at any moment in time. Decide to detach yourself mentally and emotionally from the circumstances in your life. Through detachment you will clarify your thinking and take control of what seemed so senselessly out of control moments ago. By breaking free of your emotional lock upon the circumstances of your life, you are opening up your spirit to the experience of greater happiness and fulfillment.
  3. Be Grateful for What You Have – Many of us long for objects, people and circumstances that are currently out of our reach. We long for these things because we don’t yet have them in our lives. This longing brings with it desperation, dissatisfaction and despair. Within this type of emotional “soil mixture”, happiness cannot grow. The solution rests in the spirit of gratitude. Start today by taking time to say “thanks” for the wonderful things in your life. Be grateful for your health, body, your friends, family, your current possessions, safety, life, etc. The more gratitude you find in your life, the happier you will become, and the more opportunities for further gratitude will arise as you go about your day.
  4. Expect to be Happy – Actually create a sense of expectation that you will always be happy with yourself, with your body, with your activities and with your life. You are in control of the expectations you send forth into the Universe. So take charge and expect to bring happiness into your life without any further hesitation or delay.
  5. Believe In Yourself – Believe in yourself, your abilities, your talents, your capacity to learn and manage your daily tasks, activities and responsibilities. It is only when you have a full sense of confidence within yourself about every aspect of your life, that you will find the joy and happiness you have been searching for all along.
  6. Alter Your Perspectives About Problems – Everything you see, hear, smell, touch and taste is just an opinion you made about the events and circumstances in your life. If things don’t appear to be going well… that is only your opinion. If you seem to have failed… that is only your opinion. If life seems to be going against you… that is only your opinion. Everything is an opinion and perspective that you have decided to accept. If your opinions are not bringing you the joy and happiness you seek to experience in your life, than simply decide today to change your perspective about these events and circumstances. If this is difficult to do, than ask someone else for their opinion, read a book that provides you with an alternative view of the situation, or simply decide that there are no problems in this world, only opportunities to grow and improve myself. Ask yourself, “What is the hidden opportunity here that I am not seeing?”
  7. Focus on Solutions – There are no problems in this world, there are only solutions that appear as problems in order to test our resolve and character. When you focus on problems you automatically begin to feel anxious, out of control, and overwhelmed with the uncertainties that lie ahead. On the other hand, when you focus on searching for solutions, you effectively raise your levels of energy, excitement, anticipation and happiness that a solution will surely be found. Therefore decide today to begin thinking in “solutions” rather than in “problems”.

Avoid Unhappiness

Avoid Unhappiness

By following all the principles listed above, you will be well on your way towards experiencing true unbridled childlike happiness on a daily basis. However, sometimes it’s not so much what you do that matters. It’s rather what you refrain from partaking in that has the biggest impact on your thoughts and emotions at the end of the day. Some people will work extremely hard to do the right thing in order to experience the joy and fulfillment of unbridled childlike happiness. Yet, with an sudden ill-fated decision, without a moments notice they immediately sabotage their “emotional high” by doing something silly and self-destructive. This branch of the Study Matrix focuses on two key self-sabotaging decision oriented factors that will ruin your chances of experiencing true unbridled childlike happiness. It is important that you do not underestimate these two factors, as they can ruin a perfectly happy moment without warning or prior notice. Become aware of them, learn to understand them, and slowly take charge of the circumstances in your life that bring these two factors into being.

  1. Avoid Negative News – In this day of instant communication and information, it is easy to see how we can simply get caught up in a web of negativity that we cannot control. We watch people death on TV, we read about the wars raging around the world, and we feel sick, distressed and somewhat fatigued by these events. We must come to a realization that these events are very much out of our control. Getting ourselves emotionally distraught, does nobody any good. It’s important that we are not ignorant of the world around us, however it is also equally important that these events do not sabotage our resourceful emotional states. At all times we must stay in control of our emotions, while being positive, happy and moving forward. It is only through the act of making decisions and taking actions within this positive state that we can make a difference to this world.
  2. Avoid Pessimistic People – Imagine this scenario. You have had the most wonderful, inspiring and motivating day you have ever experienced in your life. You’re so excited about everything that you just can’t wait to tell you best friend all the wonderful details. That evening you catch up with them at the pub and begin telling all these wonderful tales… when all of a sudden BLAM! They wipe you out with their pessimistic negativity. They tell you how these feelings will never last, how the world will always be against you, how bad luck always hides around the corner, and so forth. 10 minutes ago you were feeling on top of the world, however all of a sudden your BEST FRIEND has completely transformed your perspective about the best day of your life and turned it on its head. What you thought was your most wonderful day ever, has now potentially become your worst nightmare, and it’s all because of the perspective that you have decided to accept within your reality. There goes your energy, spirit and motivation, and it only took 10 minutes. This is a very common scenario that has robbed many creative, motivated and inspired people of their dreams. If you have friends, colleagues or family members who bring you down in this way, maybe it’s time to spend a little less time with them and more time with those who could potentially inspire you to greatness.

Attaining unbridled childlike happiness is more of a journey rather than an end goal or destination. It is something that may seem elusive at first, yet through closer inspection we realize that it is indeed something that is very much within our reach at all times. We must however learn to take control of the daily decisions and actions that will help us attain the emotional heights of a young innocent child looking at the world in wonder and awe. In fact, unbridled childlike happiness is nothing more than a process of living every moment of our lives to its fullest potential with a spirit of acceptance and gratitude. It is believing in oneself, and wholeheartedly understanding that it is not what we experience that makes us happy, it is rather how we perceive what we experience that counts. Cultivate these guiding principles, grow and harvest them in the recesses of your mind, and you will achieve a state of unbridled childlike happiness beyond your wildest expectations 🙂

Adam Sicinski is a qualified Life Coach. His Study Matrix Art blog is built upon the foundations of self-improvement, life coaching and accelerated learning principles. Each of his blog posts focus on specific Life Enhancement topics presented within accompanying Mind Maps, available as free desktop wallpaper downloads from the Study Matrix Store.

This article is part of July 2008 theme: Happiness


  1. Wow! This is a great article. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

    One reason I have always wanted to be happy like a kid – Most kids are naturally happy. There has to be a reason for them to be sad. And most adults, are naturally sad or dull. There has to be a reason for them to be happy.

  2. Um. I seriously doubt any kid could digest all that (though it’s beautifully written and all sensibly laid out). The lovely part about the happiness of children is that they don’t really think about it that much. They just experience it. They pretty much know what they like and try to do more of that. Simple! Of course, as adults, we can’t rely on others to give the rest of the things in life we need. So, what I find works best is taking care of the Big 3 (not 33!): Work, Love, and Play.

    Find (1) a career, (2) a relationship, and (3) fun activities you really like; then, make sure you make time each day to enjoy each of these 3 critical components of happiness. The result will be you will naturally laugh and smile a lot, and your creativity will grow, too. Happiness is infectious! It spreads not only to others but also to every part of you. When you feel good in one area of your life, you naturally want to improve other lagging areas (e.g. physical fitness improves your work and work improves your physical fitness). At least, that’s how I finally learned to bring consistent happiness into my life.

    But, again, very well written and very fun flow chart! ; )

  3. Wow. This is truly a profound post. Thanks so much for all the inspiration. Hope you have a fun holiday weekend…

  4. Avani,
    That’s a nice observation! I want to be naturally happy then. Looks like that’s how I have childlike happiness.

    I love the way you described happiness 🙂 Your 3 components of happiness resonate with me. I also agree that happiness is infectious.

    I agree, it’s a profound post from Adam. I especially love the mind map.

  5. That will take me a lot to digest! Incredible post. I’ll download it and have a detailed look offline where I don’t have to pay for minutes! I’m on minute to minute over cell connection here in Thailand. I love how you worked the mind map into the post – awesome idea. I use a mind-map for planning out nearly everything related to what I’m doing online. Book writing. Web site building. Goals. But not yet for happiness. They’re wonderful because they show in a nice format how things link together. They also help me brainstorm.

    I like the “AVOID” section the most. I can identify with those things a lot… I’m able to isolate myself against most negatives here pretty easily. I strongly recommend everyone move to Thailand at some point in their lives! – Again, great post!

  6. Wow! It seems that Adam covered every aspect of happiness possible.

    Since I work to maintain my happiness and inner joy this article resonated with me on many levels. I was especially glad to see that you touched on the importance of avoiding pessimistic people who bring you down.

    A friend of mine who is a social psychologist once told me that if spending time with someone makes you feel bad, then you’ve just been emotionally abused by that person.

    I am a firm believer that we must not give people the power to make us feel bad, but acquaintances who insist on being negative require just too much of our psychic energy. They are to be avoided or fired.

  7. my comments:

    1) Smile Often : sorry! i have buck teeth, my parents told me my smile was ugly when i was a kid and then i clammed up. cannot open now. i’m 50!

    3) Eat Healthy : partying for survival… to keep my high-pay post…eat healthy? when I am surrounded by junk foody colleagues? I can lower my ambitions. but…my wife and kids won’t allow me to take up ‘sanyas’.

    9) Simplify Your Life : seems possible now since attrition looms large…i now have an excuse why my son cannot pursue a professional course! no money…no ambition. automatically life is simplified!

    12) Slow the Pace Down…and who will tell my Boss I stopped to smell the roses instead of working day and night to meet the target?

    32) Avoid Negative News: very true! stopped watching tv/reading newspapers since last one year. people (colleagues) call me ignorant but my high bp/stress is totally under control now. i find solace in reading my old story books : ” book of brownies’ by enid blyton is just superb!

    33) Avoid Pessimistic People …another whammy! I try but I am surrounded by them everywhere. still, i plug my ears with Senheiser ear phones as far as possible…He!He!

  8. Amazing post! Great advices!

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