I don't remember being a kid who hated sitting still, I think I was actually pretty patient. But as a mom, and a professional, I can say patience is a virtue I don't have. I'm a get things done kind of girl, a make moves kind of girl a hey go faster kind of girl.
None of that really jives with the Leo Tolstoy quote to just "be".
Our modern life doesn't really lend itself to being still. We are a rushed, jam-packed, get moving, type of people and that actually can take away what natural happiness we have.
When I decided to start the happiness challenge I knew that at least part of how happy we are is directly related to a choice we make. My main goal of running this 30 Day Challenge to help us make a conscious decision to be happier and create a new habit of having a more positive outlook. The first step to make that happen is to make a commitment to this challenge and to happiness, and since you opened this email so you're well on your way.
So the task today is a simple one. What if today you simply told yourself that you're happy? Look in the mirror if you need to. Say it in the shower, in the car, while you're waiting for your copies to print, whenever. You might feel a little silly or even think it's a waste of time, but do you remember that song from a few years back, Because I'm Happy? You couldn't go anywhere without hearing it, and even when you were sick of it, it still sort of made you, well, happy. As I type this, it's playing in the background and I can't help but bop to the beat. Something about saying that words gives you life.
Spend some time today to reflect on what makes you happy and also what doesn’t make you happy. Dig deep. For example, if curling up on the couch with a good book makes you happy, think about why that is. Is it because it gives you a chance to escape and forget about your own life for a while? If so, try to pin-point what you’re hiding from when you dive into a book and what you can do about that. If getting up at 6am to go to work makes you unhappy, and changing to a later schedule isn’t an option, think about the positive things about getting up early. You get to see the sun rise, you get to come home at a decent hour and have time to relax with your kids or spouse before bedtime. Something as simple as implementing a relaxing bed-time routine and going to bed a little earlier may make it much easier to get up at 6am and improve your whole outlook on workday mornings.
We’ll dig a little deeper into what makes us happy and how we can go about cultivating more happiness in future posts. For now, find your own personal definition of happiness and come up with at least 10 different things or people that make you happy. Then commit to using the coming days to work on becoming happier. You won’t regret it.