I found this great blog through StumbleUpon: Demanding Joy.  It’s all about consciously trying to be happy, and ways and reflections on attempting to achieve this.

The author has a list-writing exercise: 50 Lists to Write to Lift Your Spirits. These are all great ideas. I’ve chosen #44.

#44 Things you want to teach your children

1. Resilience.
2. Patience.
3. The value of a dollar. (That made me feel quite old and crotchety).
4. How to work hard.
5. Not to be afraid of making a mistake.
6. To have a dream, and to make a plan to get to that dream.
7. To have a spirit of serving others without waiting to be asked. Volunteerism. I also mean, to offer to help out a person who needs a hand, a word of encouragement, or a smile.
8. To do your best, even when your half-best is all that others expect or require.
9. To find humor in everyday things (see Resilience. I think people who laugh are more resilient).
10. To be active in real life, with real people.
11. Good manners. Saying please, thank you, thinking of the convenience of others (i.e. putting your shopping cart away).

That’s all I could think of for the moment. Maybe I’ll think of more later.

I don’t think I learned any of these until well into adulthood, so I’m trying to give my kids a head start. My husband and his family are good examples of most of these, and where I learned these traits. They’re the kind of people who jump out of their cars to help push stalled cars out of the lane, or drive into another states to help a sick friend.