Welcome back to our discussion of the 10 Keys to a fulfilling life. Here is the list again:
- Be true to yourself
- Live with passion
- Make yourself happy
- Help others
- Cry & laugh
- Take risks
- Make mistakes
How fitting is it that as we work our way down the list of the 10 keys to a fulfilling life that the key “Make Yourself Happy,” should land on a Monday. We think it is very fitting. There are three days of the “work week” that seem to draw our attention so much we dub them other names. For instance: Friday is TGIF, Wednesday is “hump day,” and Monday…well Monday is so dreaded that we haven’t bothered giving it a cute name. Instead we tend to give it a lot of negative energy. It is a shame that we have such negative passion concerning Monday, which should be discussed but in another post. Meanwhile one shame that applies to us today is that Mondays do not make us happy. Fridays makes us happy but Mondays do not. I know many of you are thinking “…well duh, it is the first day of the work week why would we be happy?” I can see your point, I can, but how do we expect to have a fulfilled live if one day out of the week we are wretchedly miserable?
Oh wait are you now saying that Mondays are not that bad?
Well you would not know it by the way we talk and complain about Mondays. (Don’t believe us check out this article). So what do you think, do we make our Monday’s worse than they really are by the way we talk about them? Umm, yeah we do. Let’s be honest, are your Monday workloads really that much different than any other day of the week? If so then alright I will cut you some slack, but seriously, is the emotional dread we assign to Monday really worth not having a fulfilled life? Would it really hurt us to change our perceptions of Mondays? No, in fact it would help us a great deal to change our perceptions in many areas of our lives. But the point really is that in order to live a fulfilled life Monday’s have to make us happy as well as a lot of other things.
We need to make ourselves happy no matter what day of the week we are in. We need to make ourselves happy whether we are at work or at play. We need to make ourselves happy to feel fulfillment.
Tune In 2 What Makes You Happy
Let’s look at our choice to use the word “make” for a minute. We do not mean that you have to force yourself into happiness. (Would that even be possible?) However, we do have control over our happiness, through our perceptions and our actions. This is why we say “make yourself happy.” Also we cannot tell you what to do to find that happiness necessarily. For example some of you might find extreme sports exhilarating, fun, and fulfilling; trust us, others reading this post will not. The point is that only you know what makes you happy. Others might be able to do things that make you happy but your happiness is really up to you. So you need to Tune In 2 your happiness.
A starting point is to think about activities that you have done, been involved in, or supported that made you happy. We are not talking about things that make you money necessarily but do not rule them out either. For example, if you love taking photos and you have even sold a few (or not) and you felt pleasure from those moments and even recalling those memories made you feel good. Then would it not be safe to say that taking photos makes you happy? What other things bring you pleasure (legal activities only please.)
Now that you have a list of 2 – 20 activities that make you happy, look and them and determine how many times you are able to incorporate them into your life each year, month, week, and day. Ask yourself how you can participate in these activities more often. Concentrate on the most powerful/pleasurable activities. Now make yourself a promise that you will make a conscious effort to integrate these activities into your schedules more often. For example, if it is something you really enjoy but you only do it once a year, make an effort to do it once a month.
A personal example for Delaina is that she has always enjoyed writing, whether it was poems or other mediums. Although she received a lot of pleasure from writing she would not do it very often because she thought it was selfish to take this time for herself.
We all do this to some degree. We clutter up our days with “to do lists” that prevent us from doing things that really bring us pleasure. Then at the end of the day we are tired but not necessarily fulfilled.
As it is, Delaina has recently realized that writing was too important to keep pushing off. Now she is writing a lot more for this blog and other venues and she is feeling much more fulfilled.
You will too, as you start to include your favorite activities into your day. We are sure of it, and then you too can enjoy a fulfilled life.
Tune In 2 your happiness,