Last month we met Penny, who was busy applying 3 keys to happiness to her work situation:
- Doing every task to the best of her ability
- Putting equal effort into each task
- Paying full attention to just one thing at a time
Let’s continue her story to see how Penny’s approach to the Pursuit of Happiness is playing out in the rest of her life.
Discovering that she was gaining so much enjoyment from applying Happiness Habits at work, Penny decided to explore the subject further.
She started to ask her friends “What are the things that make you happy?” She got some interesting replies and discovered that people she knew fell into 2 distinct groups. This differences between them were so marked that she nicknamed them “The Happy Campers” and the “Moaning Minnies”.
The “Moaning Minnies” were personified by Joe, who simply didn’t know what made him happy. He was able to say what made unhappy at great length however: his work, his relationship, his boss and his family were all giving him grief of one type or another. And his health wasn’t too great either. At 35 he seemed to have settled down to endure his working week, and lived for weekends, which seemed to be filled with large amounts of alcohol, pizzas and DVDs. None of these things seem to make him genuinely happy however, and she concluded that basically they were ways to avoid facing and doing something about his fundamental boredom and unhappiness.
The “Happy Campers” were represented by Susie. When Susie was asked what made her happy, she immediately listed 10 things, ranging from time tending her garden, through going for a walk with her family, to having coffee with friends.
(In case my male readers are feeling unfairly represented, the “Moaning Minnies” also included Gina and several other women, and there were a significant number of men amongst the “Happy Campers”.)
Susie was excited by Penny’s question and asked what had prompted it. When Penny explained how she was building happiness at work, and was wanting to understand happiness better, she was really enthused and suggested they meet up regularly to swap notes and learn from each other.
She explained that she made her “Happiness List” several years ago, and deliberately had included things ranging in price from free up to a price limit of $10, and things that ranged in time from 2 or 3 minutes up to half a day or longer. She knew that if she had included a good number of things that were easily affordable and took only a few minutes, that her goal of giving herself one or 2 of these “happiness treats” each day was easier to achieve.
Penny went home and created her own list of “happiness treats” to give herself each day. She followed Susie’s advice and included some activities she could do on her own, some with other people, and a range of prices and lengths of time.
She tells me that having started thinking in this way, she is regularly adding to her list, and these little rewards she gives herself, bring some sparkle into even the most routine or difficult day.
Are you feeling inspired? Here are some guidelines to get you started on your own list:
- Choose a range of activities – some to do on your own, others with favourite people.
- Include a range of times, from really short e.g. 2 to 3 minutes up to 2-3 hours.
- Include a range of prices from free to $20.
- Write it up, and put it somewhere where you will see it easily.
Keep your list updated and give yourself one or 2 treats every day. I guarantee it will lift your spirits and improve your focus and energy for the rest of your day.
You can find a list of my top 10 Happiness Treats on Facebook – Pop on over and tell us yours!
Until next time