Happiness will always mean different things to different people. For some of us, it may be a number in a bank account. For others, it may be mental and physical well-being. Even yet, for others, it’s strong, close-knit relationships. It could be all of these combined and none of them at the same time.
Regardless of where your sense of happiness comes from, we can all agree that we want to feel as happy as we can, as often as we can. We also tend to be more resilient, pragmatic, and quite frankly much more pleasant to work with when we arrive at work with a happier mindset than the alternative. Therefore, being a more productive, engaged employee often starts at home.
I’m a huge fan of Gretchen Rubin and the first book I read from her was The Happiness Project. I tend to think in a more process-based way, and this book lent itself very well to my thinking. Today, I wanted to review some of my favorite takeaways that can help us all be happier at home to show up as our best selves at work.
Boost Energy - Vitality
Go to sleep earlier. Exercise. Organize Your Space. Tackle a Nagging Task. Act More Energetically.
I enjoyed this chapter because it already tapped into some of my own beliefs. But, more importantly, it lays the ground for happiness because it accomplishes self-care, and it lays the groundwork to be more energetic. It’s often difficult to remain happy when we are tired, groggy, and miserable the whole time.
Be Serious About Play - Leisure
Find more fun. Take time to be silly. Go off the beat and path. Start a collection.
I’m well aware that I take myself entirely too seriously. It doesn’t mean I’m not fun, but I can be fun-resistant, and my wife suffers for it :) The truth is we can all do with a bit more fun. And, in the face of a pandemic and tricky situations around financial security, we must find even small ways to enjoy what and more importantly who we have in our lives. Go watch a trashy show, play a board game, go for a walk. Whatever just have some fun.
Make Time for Friends - Friendship
Remember birthdays. Be generous. Show up. Don’t gossip. Make 3 new friends.
There is a graph somewhere out there about have fewer and fewer friends the older you get. It’s tricky to maintain friendships over time as you and your friends change and as our lives become more “stable.” However, friendships can be massive sources of Joy, Understanding, Community, and Well-Being. I cherish my friendships and this was a fantastic reminder to continue the investment in them because they provide so much.
Pay Attention - Mindfulness
Meditate on koans. Examine true rules. Stimulate the mind in new ways. Keep a food diary.
I’ve spoken before about the joys and wonders of meditation, so I’ll skip that for now. My greatest takeaway from this section is to stimulate the mind in new ways. Recently, I started watching a youtube series called Oversimplified. It’s a channel about major historical events presented in a funny, thoughtful, digestible manner. I honestly didn’t know how wild, interesting, and fascinating history was before this. I’ve found it stimulating and a great source of joy and happiness. Find yours!
Keep a Contented Heart - Attitude
Laugh out loud. Use good manners. Give positive reviews. Find an area of refuge.
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. All of the above. Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to be critical and negative creatures. Hindsight is 20/20, but pretending to have that perspective after the fact is all too easy. It’s been getting a bit of a bad wrap lately, but I genuinely feel like showing up as a nice person lends itself very well to show up as our best selves. So, laugh, be positive and find a way to, most of all, be nice to yourself.