It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you want more happiness in your life, there's ample evidence to support this advice: stop looking for happiness!
Instead, seek out activities that create meaning for you. The more minutes you spend engaged on projects that seem significant and/or worthwhile, the more likely you are to experience life as satisfying and/or enjoyable.
- Paul Wesselmann
What do you think?
That quote is something I know to be true. BUT often forget to put it into practice. What about you?
There are all sorts of stats about people who are engaged in their work/day-job. They have a tendency to serve others more, and are generally happy people.
What does this have to do with me getting out of the job I hate?
Your day-job gives you anxiety? Or is super boring?
Well then - you gotta put a stake in the ground and try something new.
Yes, even while trying to figure out your day job situation - claim some time each week for trying something you think you may enjoy.
Even 10 minutes a day. 1x per week for 30 minutes. You get to decide.
It is interesting that this quote says "engaged on projects."
I love projects.
What I love about inherently about projects is they are a limited time thing. They aren't some nebulous, indefinite thing that you may get to later.
Now You Try Stuff
What project could you create?
You could start with "For 1 month..." "For the next 3 months..." And see where it goes.
Perhaps it is something you do 1x per week, or everyday.
You can join someone else's project, or create your own.
Someone Else's Project Examples:
- Serve at your local food bank. They tend to make it easy to sign up online.
- Attend a Toastmaster's meeting. They have pre-defined projects for communication and leadership. Those are typically 1 hour each week. The skills & relationships you build there could have an incredible impact.
- Brainstorm with a friend on "projects" you can regularly assist with.
Create your own examples:
- Keep a blog (my current project)
- Organize your stuff, from top to bottom (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up provides great guidance - I liked the audio version so I could listen while tidying/organizing).
- Paint, draw, color
- Take a dance class.
- Take pretty pictures for an Instagram account.
Tips for success, no matter what you try:
The entire point of this exercise is to try. To experience the feeling of engagement in work.
Doesn't work out? You thought you'd enjoy it more than you actually did? Meh.
Onto the next project!
Thank you for being here while I try stuff :)
Think of a project you want to try? Let me know below in the comments.
BE IMPERFECT 5/2/2017
Not sure about you, but where I grew up, being excellent at everything (a.k.a getting straight A's) was the ideal.
(BTW, according to Seth Godin's book, Linchpin, we have the industrial revolution to thank for that mentality.)
Let's say you were someone like me:
- Someone who didn't always get straight A's.
- Perhaps all A's and 1 solitary B.
You were given the report card. Then what did you focus on? All those A's?
Well, not sure about you, but in my case, it was the B that got all the attention.
The B meant = All energy going forward will be focused on bringing up this area of weakness.
Ask yourself (whether you are in school, or not):
"What areas am I willing to not be so good at to become excellent?"
"What are the areas of strength I want to master?"
Need some context? Read this quote:
"The superheroes you have in your mind (idols, icons, titans, billionaires, etc.) are nearly all walking flaws who've maximized 1 or 2 strengths.
Humans are imperfect creatures.
You don't "succeed" because you have no weaknesses; you succeed because you find your unique strengths and focus on developing habits around them. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. The heroes around us are no different. Everyone struggles. Take solace in that."
Today, think about what you want.
Not what someone else wants for you. But about what YOU want.
Do you want to look back in 10 years from now and be excellent in 1 or 2 areas?
If you want to be excellent, be ok with the B's. The imperfections.
Welcome them. They usually mean you are focused on being excellent in other areas.
One area of focus for me is writing.
Allow me to clarify. Not spelling. Not grammar. But the act of typing and sharing. For me, this is not easy. However, I'm willing to make sacrifices for excellence (again, not easy, or "normal.")
What is an area of focus for you?
Get specific! What do you want to focus on and what will you be ok with not getting right all the time?
Curious what you'd say... Feel free to chime in below in the comments & let me know your area(s) of focus.
REGRETS & CHANGE
There's this whole study of decision-making.
As you can see, the idea of decisions brings up a lot of questions. You probably already know this.
All those questions can be super overwhelming.
After studying decision-making for myself, however, I go back to 2 simple favorites:
#1 - This one really helps simplify things for me. In a study by Bronnie Ware, who worked in palliative care (similar to hospice), she complied the top 5 regrets of the dying.
What was the most common regret of all?
"I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."
Now that I have lived 30+ years of life, and have plenty of regrets. It is my goal to make decisions that minimize the number of regrets from here on out.
#2 - This one keeps me sane. Look, as time goes on, your tastes change. You have the ability to move on from decisions you've already made. You can change. Just because you once bought capris, or studied Finance in college, doesn't mean you need to hang onto those things forever.
"Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change." - Jim Rohn
Today, I decided to write what has been on my mind, in hopes that it adds value to your life.
What decision do you need to make today?