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Daily Happiness

I plan to share some things that make me happy in different ways from time to time in this ongoing series about daily happiness. I won’t be sharing about happiness on a daily level. I call it daily happiness, because I want it to be about things or people I have around me in my daily life for which I am grateful.

I think we often get caught up in the possibilities of what else we might do. Vacations, for example, become an escape from our daily lives where we are dissatisfied. I think this goes at happiness the wrong way. If things are so bad in ones daily life, then vacation is only a break from a life that needs rearranging. That’s not to say that at times, we go through difficult periods and have to work through them. However, even in those cases, one tends to know things should be different and makes changes when opportunity presents itself. That brings me to what I’ve read about our choices and happiness.

I learned the book The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz that having choices can be burdensome as well as freeing. Essentially, there is such as thing as too many choices. Part of this comes from not appreciating the choices we make. If what we choose doesn’t live up to our expectations, we might wonder about what we could have gotten from another choice. This can be helpful for learning, but it diminishes our happiness when we fret over these things too much.

Happiness may be an intentional experience we only achieve when we take responsibility for it. A friend got me the book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and it shared a lot of shared insights about happiness I’ve felt on an intuitive level. The author recounts tackling things like paying more attention, setting bigger goals for achievement, scheduling time for friends and play, managing sleep and energy better as well as contemplating the philosophical or metaphysical. She shared triumphs and difficulties in all areas, but the main thing was that happiness was something she deliberately pursued and made sure she felt from time to time.

One of my coworkers who helps lead a bi-monthly meeting ends our meetings by having every attendee mention what is making them happy. It is a simple exercise, but since we meet so infrequently, it is easy to look back at what has contributed to happiness since we last talked. Sometimes, I can look back and think of several things. Other times, I have one thing that stands out prominently. I think this kind of exercise helps us achieve gratitude and satisfaction with our lives as a result.

I look forward to sharing with you some of the things that are making me happy from time to time. I hope you take the time to look at your own life, find the things that make you happy, address the things that interfere with your happiness and do what you can to feel good about life.

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