When you fill up on good stuff that you love to do, you have more patience and energy to handle the ups and downs of life with a positive perspective. Happy habits are those that protect and increase your energy.
I have been taking my own advice and doing lots of fun stuff that makes me happy. While it has been great, this blog is one of my favorite activities and I am so glad to be back here with you.
In case you need permission or a reminder, consider this your official notice. If you can’t remember the last time you went scuba diving, knitted booties for dog, made an ice sculpture or whatever it is that lights you up, it is time to do it…NOW.
Life is so precious; we know this in our hearts, and yet we often get caught up in the day to day and forget to carve out time for the things we love doing. Whether your excuse is lack of time or money, I ask you to take a minute to remind yourself of what really matters. When you look back at your life, your fondest memories will be of time spent with people you love doing the things that make you happy.
What’s your passion? Or if that word is too loaded, what do you have a lot of fun doing? What kinds of activities make you look up at the clock in surprise because you utterly lost track of time? Those are the things I am talking about. Figure out how to make those experiences as frequent as possible and your happy muscles will get stronger and your stress levels will go down and you will have more patience and positivity in your approach toward yourself, those you love and everyone else.
From that perspective, you can stop seeing time spent enjoying yourself as selfish (if you are prone to guilt, like me) and start seeing it as your responsibility to those around you as well as to yourself. So really, it would be selfish NOT to spend time enjoying the things that make you happy, and you wouldn’t want to be selfish, would you? You’re welcome.
In thinking about the happy habits series, I have been having a great time reading up on happiness. My latest read (and when I say read, I really mean the Audible audiobook I listen to in the car during my commute…) is a fabulous book by two brilliantly brainy researchers, Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton entitled, “Happy Money”. Among other interesting findings, Liz and Mike (as I like to call them) found that people often spend the majority of their money on items that give them the least amount of joy like a more expensive house or car. In their studies, they found that money spent on experiences and money spent freeing up time by outsourcing dreaded tasks (like housework and gutter cleaning) made people significantly happier than the fleeting joy of buying material goods. As long as you have a perfectly reasonable standard of living, any extra money you come up with might ultimately be best spent on an amazing vacation to Fiji with loved ones or a Tight Rope Walking class rather than a new TV or the latest toaster. This might seem counterintuitive or impractical, but happiness IS valuable. Thanks for the reminder and the perspective, Liz and Mike!
What do you love to do? What are some of your favorite ways to spend time? Tell me, tell me, I can’t wait to hear.