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100 Little Things You Can Do to Be Happier (A little Bit At a Time)

Posted on Thursday March 09, 2017 at 09:52AM

It occurred to me this morning that in order to be willing to give to your community, one first has to feel that they have something to give, and that happens when your own needs are met. I believe that we are responsible for filling our own cups, to put the things in place that make a difference to ourselves.

When asked, many people claim family is important. If importance is measured by the time spent though, I think most of us would find we prioritize poorly, spending far more time doing things we do not value nearly as much. We value our relationships, but spend little time taking care of them. We value our quality of life, but spend so little time taking care of our health. We value where we live, but leave the grass to grow, the housework undone. We value our communities but spend little time supporting them. Why do we use such weird logic?

So, as a further commitment to my own happiness, I'm making a long list in little segments until I reach a hundred. Please comment with more things...collaboration is so welcome.

1. Volunteer.
Doing for others feels good. Carlyle must have 30 organized volunteer groups that would welcome new members. I'm sure your town does too. If they do not have an organization that fits what you like to do, create one. If groups aren't your thing, if long term commitments aren't your thing, then volunteer at events. Ask around, and I'm sure you will find someone who can use your happy face!

2. Donate.
We have so much stuff I feel like I'm drowning in it sometimes. Every closet seems stuffed to the rafters. It is hard to believe I left home with a small hockey bag, and a greyhound bus ticket. I am willing to bet that bag is even around here somewhere. I am sorting it for a garage sale I've been planning since last year, and making donation boxes as I go. Carlyle has two great thrift sales a year, and there is a thrift store downtown, so no more excuses. Out goes the extras. Out.

If you can, consider donating cash. I don't care personally if you donate at home or abroad, if you sponsor a starving child overseas or if you feed one here. I am a big fan of giving, and I think who you give it to, and how much is entirely your call.

3. Do something nice for someone, and don't tell them it was you.
I have mixed feelings about all those videos that fill up my feed every morning that celebrate all the good things people do for others. On one hand, it is sure nice to see good things, on the other, it sure feels like a lot of bragging and attention seeking. Maybe I am overthinking it. I personally love the idea of someone who doesn't know me, opening up an envelope and finding some cash in it and having nobody they need to thank or acknowledge, because the card came in a blank envelope with no return address. I hope the person felt loved, and supported. I hope they enjoyed a little happiness. I know for me, it was the gift that kept on giving, and maybe someday I'll do it again. Or you could do it. If lots of people did something anonymously, even small things, what a beautiful day we would create.

4. Quit yer bitchin'.
Man, I get tired of all the complaining. I do it too. Maybe I should get a rubber band and put it on my wrist and snap the hell out of it every time something negative falls out of my mouth. So much of what I complain about is a direct result of my own actions that I really have no room to complain. Not enough money? Well, maybe sweetheart, you should put the phone down and do some work. Getting fatter? Well, when you start counting the calories you put in your face, you shouldn't really be surprised. Weather? I can literally work from anywhere, so why am I here, if I would rather be there? I make my choices and I own my consequences. Time to own it, love it and stop complaining about it. Why do we spend so much time looking at the downsides? I have a great house, a great mister and a great work life...so many do not. So many would lovingly cut off a limb to have the life so many of us take for granted. Time to stop it. Right now.

5. Do something nice for your health.
I texted a buddy this morning to once again, help me with my eating habits. Sometimes just being accountable does the job, so I'm back to trying yet again to eat well, and to get my chubby arse on the treadmill at least 5 times a week. I turned down an invite for lunch because when I eat at a restaurant, I almost always overeat, and because I already planned my lunch, and I'm going to have to track that. I don't know why I resist it when I feel better at the lower end of the scale. Still, I have strong associations with food that having nothing to do with nutrition, and I need to get over it. Today is as good a day as any.


Author: Solomon Matthewson Consulting

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