Finding your happiness.
Ah happiness! So good when you have it, so elusive when everyone else has it! Yet different for us all.
But what is happiness?
Happiness can come from a number of places, but we can break it down into small things, medium things and big things. Just to make it nice and easy 🙂
The small things that bring us joy.
Recently while I was sorting through boxes of “stuff”, I came across some old homework that I would have done when I was around ten years old. Old enough to write neat little sentences and draw a picture, but not much older than that. We had to write ONE HUNDRED things that made us happy. That’s a lot, right? Think you could do that right now? And then after that, we picked our favourite 25 things, and then narrowed it down again to our favourite ten.
Talk about an exercise in mindfulness! So, what did my ten-year-old self enjoy? I smiled as I read through the list –
- Reading a book outside
- Skiing with my family
- Watching scary movies with popcorn
- Letting my hair dry in the sun
I smiled because they were so simple. And I smiled because nothing much has changed. I still like to curl up in a sunny spot with a book, soaking up the sun and being whisked away to another world. I still love family vacations and although I’ve mellowed a little with age and would probably reach for a rom com over a scary movie, I still love a good bowl of popcorn and a night in!
These are the small things. And when we get busy, and we’re juggling work, family, travel, moving house, buying house, renovating house!.. we can forget to stop and breath. And enjoy. If you find yourself here, grab a pen and a piece of paper and write a list of your favourite things.
The medium things that bring us satisfaction.
These are the moments when we achieve something that we’ve worked hard for. When we’ve set our sights on something and dug deep to achieve it, and it often means spending time out of our comfort zone to get there. Satisfaction (not to be confused with the instant gratification we’re all becoming a bit used to), makes us feel content, proud and really, truly happy on the inside.
Last year I decided it was time to pursue this whole side hustle, flexible income kind of thing and although it took me the whole year of juggling part-time work, parenting, studying, learning new software and becoming an amateur graphic designer in order to launch my first business (you can read about it here), man did I feel good when I got there. For a person with a habit of procrastinating, straying off course and never quite finishing anything, it really did bring me immense happiness to achieve my goal.
So, it’s important to keep setting goals for ourselves, and to bask in the glory when we get there!
And finally, the big things that give our lives meaning.
Whichever way you look at it, we usually feel that life has meaning when two things are happening. When we feel valued, by those around us. And when we feel we are of value to others.
We find this sort of happiness when we are expressing, creating and relating. I talk about these in much more detail in my Lost your Mojo? Three easy ways to find your spark again post.
But for now, we just need to recognise that we are all absolutely, without a doubt, positively, valued individuals and have our own special set of gifts to offer.
Happiness comes in the smallest moments, and the greatest achievements. It comes when we are mindful and when we we get out of our mind and into something creative. It comes when when we reach out and connect with each other and when we look within and listen to our own voice. Learning to listen to our own voice is how we live a happy, authentic life with joy, satisfaction and meaning.