Y'all will be happy to know that today's word is "happiness" :-). The above picture is from a program I did last summer - we were talking about ways to feel refreshed and renewed about your work. A clown nose always helps, right??
I've been seeing articles recently about how happiness is a choice - something I've always told my workshop participants (and a few others, LOL!). I once saw a little notepad in a gift shop that said, "Whoever said money can't buy happiness is shopping in the wrong place!" While it made me smile, it also made me think about how many times we DO think money will buy happiness. Or maybe we think being with the right person - or having the right degree - or living in the right neighborhood - or having the right job...will bring happiness. All too often, if that's what we think, we will soon be sorely disappointed.
Happiness comes from within, of course. It must. If we depend on others for our happiness, it's really too much pressure to put on anyone. If we depend on money or things, the "shine" usually wears off pretty quickly, doesn't it?
This morning, I read an article about a couple who built their dream "cabin." It ended up being 10,929 square feet (!!!) on hundreds of acres. Nice cabin :-). But throughout the article, they kept protesting that it wasn't about the size (but the size kept coming into the conversation), it was about the quality. Hmmm, I think you can have quality in a little less than 10,929 square feet. At one point they admitted that, just like they did in their smaller home, they still "live" in basically 3 rooms - the kitchen, great room, and bedroom. Wow. Kind of says a lot about what brings happiness, doesn't it? I picked up another magazine just a few minutes later and read about a couple who lived in 128 square feet. WHOA! Talk about extremes!
Maybe what I'm saying is that often, a "happy medium" (get it? "happy" medium??) is all we need. My home is not 128 sq. ft. tiny and it's nowhere near huge. That makes me happy. It's big enough to operate my business from and still hold a husband, a BIG dog, and a little cat - and we're all happy. But I know I would feel absolutely claustrophobic in 128 square feet (not to mention having to go to the gym to shower - yikes). And I would be strained to the limit trying to care for 10,929 square feet - of course, I'd probably be paying someone to do all that "care"...but just thinking about trying to manage all the logistics makes me tired!
And what I've slowly come to understand is making me happier these days is my decision to simplify. I say "slowly" because dropping everything to "clean house" would not make me happy. I need to do something so significant at my own pace. I like the idea of de-cluttering, but throwing away just to lighten the load isn't the answer for me. I need to give it some thought. What brings me pleasure? What do I need to do my work well? How much storage do we really need - and why?? How much is too much of anything?
The question becomes then...what makes you happy? REALLY happy? Isn't it great to know there are no right or wrong answers to that question? It's all about you. The secret is that you need to know yourself well enough to come up with an answer. Do you?
Let me know what makes you happy!