There seems to be a surge of personal “happiness projects” and various books on the subject of measuring perceived happiness. Wow … think about that for a moment. We’ve become so academic about something that is as natural to our existence as breathing that it almost seems separate from ourselves. Even the thought of making it a project, or something that I need to consciously plan out and aspire to seems a little ridiculous in itself. I wonder if the Dalai Lama has a happiness project, or does it just naturally exude from his existence? I would probably lean toward the ladder of those possibilities.
So if you were to take this measuring stick and lean it up against your own life, how would you measure up? How happy are you? Really, how happy are you right now as you take in this next breath?
On that scale, and based on where I sit this very moment I’d give myself a clear ten out of ten. Life in this very moment as I write this snuggled on the couch beside beau, listening to Diana Krall, and typing away, I’m happy. Ask me that tomorrow morning on my Monday AM commute to my job I can’t stand, and I’ll probably tell you the same thing, as long as I’m conscious in the present moment and not dreading the work day to come (the future), or reliving the fact that I’m no longer cozy in bed (the past).
I’ve come a long way in terms of my happiness level since I started my Skeptic Yogi project, and I’ll leave you with a few of my lessons learned regarding happiness …
- Take care of yourself—self care is a personal reminder to yourself that you are your first priority, so eat a cabbage, go for a run, and get to bed early. Not rocket science, but I assure you it will make you happy.
- Where ever possible, let go of expectations—that doesn’t mean quit setting goals or to toss your dreams out the window, but be aware of expectations you place on other people to act in ways that affect your happiness. People will inevitably disappoint you simply because they have their own agenda in life, and no one is here to live out yours.
- Live within the boundaries of your own conscious—we can always take short cuts, or do small wrongs that we won’t get caught for, but that decays our personal sense of happiness. Likewise, if you do good things, you’ll feel better about yourself which elevates happiness. Again, not rocket science, but it works.