If I were to ask you if you had found your inner happiness what would you say? Do you really know what makes you truly happy? Now, think carefully about this question. Don’t give me a surface level answer, really think about it and give a detailed answer.
For some of you, your answer will be quick and easily obtained because you have already discovered your inner happiness. For others, this will really make you stop and think about your life. Are you just going through life doing what you are “supposed” to do? Are you living your life for someone else or through someone else’s eyes? Or are you just going through life with your eyes closed?
Let’s Define Inner Happiness
Well, today is the day that you are going to work at finding your inner happiness and line up your buckets. I don’t expect yours to look like mine, although they just might.
Now the first thing you need to do is go to your inner sanctum
(that’s your mind people…relax because some of you thought I was talking about the quiet clean place in your home and began to panic because you don’t have one) ok ok…back to the sanctum.
I want you to think about those times in your life when you were happy…truly happy. This can span various years or just a few parts, but find the joyous part of your life…what were you doing?
For example, I remember sitting in the mall one Christmas making up stories with my dad about people that walk by. I was so curious about people and what they were doing. We would pretend we were having a conversation for them from across the mall. That would make me laugh at the crazy stories we would come up with.
I also enjoyed being creative and making things…I could just be that way for hours at a time. So I want you to just think about things in your life that really cause a positive reaction. Take as much time as you need but at least twenty minutes.
Inner Happiness is Independent
Alright, now that you have really thought about that question, look at your list. Mark out or edit the things that are dependent on someone else’s happiness. We are focused on you, so the responses like making my family happy can’t be on the list. I’m really looking for you to pull out things that are independent of anyone else’s happiness.
So instead of making my family happy, you might say ensuring my family is fed homecooked meals. This may bring you joy and is for your family but isn’t reliant on them. Ultimately, break whatever the item down into the parts that really bring you joy and/or into parts that you can control and that aren’t dependent on that person or persons doing something.
For example, One of mine is that i enjoy helping people. This is independent of anyone else because I can help someone without them being happy or acknowledging the help. It brings me joy to feed the homeless whether they thank me or not. I feel humbled seeing the inner joy the program participants have knowing how far they have come to get off the street and watching their growth.
See this doesn’t require anything from anyone else but me. So, take your list and make sure they are independent things.
Identifying Common Themes of Happiness
Alright…we have our list, now what I want you to do is to first really look at it and see if you see some common themes. Marinate on that for a minute and then take time to reflect on that joy. Identify what you can do to perpetuate that joy. How can you ensure you have opportunities to feel that joy. Do this for each item on the list.
Identifying Your Future Happiness Goals
We are almost done, do you have any goals you would like to accomplish that would bring you joy? Come on…we all should have goals…so think of some personal, non-work related goals. Ha I know for some the non-work caveat just threw you for a loop, but you can do it. You should know the drill now, once you are finished making your list be sure to identify ways you can accomplish or start to work towards those goals.
Reviewing Your Happiness Meter
Now look at your lists…congratulations you have some well defined buckets…yes, you guessed it…you just created your happiness buckets and you also defined your happiness-meter. What??? Well, you have just defined what truly makes you happy, void of anyone else. You have also set some goals to accomplish things that would make you happy void of anyone else…aaaaaand you have determined the necessary steps to take to maintain or reach that happiness level…see it wasn’t too bad was it?
Your happiness buckets and meters will continue to change and evolve as you do. Don’t think you have to stick in this defined happiness zone. Re-evaluate your happiness levels and zones on a quarterly or yearly basis. I tend to review mine on a yearly basis so I can have a gauge for my goals…but do what works for you.