This is the second time my friend Sam has given me a happiness interview. The first time, she asked me what the heck I was thinking – and her responses to my interview questions made me ask myself the same question. Turns out Sam was in “a bit of a funk-o-la” at the time even though she looked on the outside like she was doing all the right things.
That was three months ago.
Last week, out of the blue, Sam sent me another set of responses to my original interview question. The difference was like night and day.
The moral of this story: even funk-o-la is temporary.
What does it mean to you to “be happy” or have a happy life?
For me, being happy is finding an inner peace with what is and making the choice to live life with intention.
Whether it’s a big choice like not going to an event that I know will drain me, or a small choice like unfollowing someone on Facebook who is throwing negative crap at my day, I consistently ask myself, “Will this feel good? Will this energize me? Will this bring me peace?” If the answer is no, well, then the answer is no.
Choosing to do more of what makes me smile, makes me laugh, lifts my heart and gives me energy makes my life happy.
What have been the best ACTIONS you’ve taken in pursuit of happiness?
#1 is making the choice to be happy, to pursue happiness.
For so long, despite ups and downs, bad moments and good, I declared myself to just “not be a happy person.” Even on a smiley day where everything went amazingly, I would still say “This was a great day but I’m not a happy person.”
Once I realized that continuing to hold onto that belief was only getting in my own way, and simply feeding my fear of being happy, I made the conscious choice to do what I could to be happy, including acknowledging moments where I was happy.
Which brings me to #2. I swear Britt didn’t pay me to say this but seriously, my gratitude practice has been one of the most significant actions I’ve taken in pursuing happiness.
The primary benefit of my gratitude practice is increased awareness. Even if I don’t include every last little thing each day, I am consistently checking in with myself. “Ah yes, this feels great. I love this. I want to remember this. I want to do this again.” Or “This kinda sucks. Let’s not repeat this thing.” Another benefit is just seeing the patterns overtime of what makes me happy.
My top 3 things currently are spending time with my adorable pups, eating wonderful food, and spending time with friends. With that information, I’m armed with the knowledge to choose to do more of those things in the future.
What “shoulds” have you let go of in order to pursue your happiness?
The only “should” I’ve had to let go of in order to pursue my happiness is “You should (call, write, visit, apologize, etc) because she’s your mother.” My mother isn’t happy and blames everyone she can besides herself for that. My mother has made it clear she is not interested in having a relationship with me. My mother is emotionally abusive. It took me 30 years to free myself from the obligation of going back into that minefield, but finally doing it probably ranks as #3 up there with best actions I’ve taken to be happy.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about happiness?
The best advice about happiness I’ve received is that it’s not a race to be won and then left in the dust.
Happiness is another facet of my overall health that requires daily attention and effort, and the occasional tune-up.
You can find out more about Sam and her copywriting services here.