Time to Assess
Every few years it’s good to assess the way your life is going. And, to ask these questions:
1) does what I’m doing fit who I am now?
2) is what I’m doing making me happy?
3) if I died tomorrow have I fulfilled who I am?
4) am I a better person because of the choices I’m making?
5) have I benefited the world in some way with my life?
What fits for us changes over time. The answers in our twenties are very different from our answers in our fifties and beyond. Those answers are important. And asking them is the key to our happiness. Here’s a quote from Heath Leger, a sad harbinger:
“Everyone you meet asks if you have a career, are married or own a house as if life was some kind of grocery list. But no one ever asks if you are happy.”
So, let me ask you, “Are you happy?” If not, what would you change or do so you could be happy? It is in our power to do so.
What stymies me sometimes is watching everyone being busier and busier and never questioning it. As if working harder, and ignoring the demands of your body and your psyche and soul was the way to a successful life.
Do you ever question whether the life you’re leading is the life you want? Or, does it just seem to be yours by default? We have the power to change our life if we don’t like it. We don’t have to put up with things that hurt us and deplete us or make us unhappy.
If you don’t know what to do about it, start with admitting to yourself what is true. In fact, always tell yourself the truth as you know it. Just doing that starts the process of constructive change. You don’t even have to know how to make the change. You just do what you can get ahold of right now, such as stop doing something that is making you feel terrible, whatever that is.
Another question that needs to be asked is, “How can I simplify my life?” “What can I let go of that is unnecessary, if I’m honest?”
There is a reason so many people commit suicide. There is a reason that happiness is not on most people’s list of important things. There is a reason that so many people are addicted to opioids as treatment for depression. The way we are living is not working for the majority of us. Even those who are billionaires fall into this category, by the way. They clearly do not have the corner on happiness or else they would not be consumed with greed. There will never be enough for them no matter how much they have. That is not a good place to be. Did you know that the happiest people were found in a small village in China and in Bhutan. By the measures we use to assess our culture, these people were poor. But by a deeper standard they were rich indeed, in happiness, in love, in community, in a sense of worthiness.
When I wrote about the loss of hope and how we need to find it in a different way, someone commented, that we are living in a great time – the stock market is at an all time high and the economy is strong. If that is your measure of a good life, maybe there’s something missing.
I realize my point of view isn’t for everyone. But before we lose many more people to suicide maybe we should look at our cultures’ values.
By the way, this is not a gloomy view. It’s a view of personal empowerment and the ability we have to change to living in such a way that the question, “Are you happy?” is the most important question we can ask someone and that we and they are able to answer, “Yes.”
Here’s to you living a life that brings you happiness
Dianne J. Shaver, Business Coach for entrepreneurs with heart