The First Step to Happiness

If it were 100% up to you, how would you fill your days?

How would you fill one day?

How would you spend your time?

What makes you happy? Feel joy? Love? Pride?

It should be obvious… but do you know?

Do you remember?

If there’s one question worth answering, it’s this:

What would my perfect day look/feel like?

If you don’t know the answer, you might never know if you’re on the right track, or when you stray from it. And by the way, your life IS 100% up to you, so it’s worth it to get clear on how you want to live it.

You could look through old photo albums, or call old friends. Dig up great memories, rediscover the reason for their magic and seek to recreate it.

If you’re coming up short, maybe it’s time to try something new, or reignite an old passion despite scars, resistances and fears.

Having experienced some pretty intense anxiety lately as well as some time in the hospital, I’ve had to strip away everything toxic and really pay attention to what nourishes me. The “perfect day” question is difficult for me to answer, but it’s so important and gives me such great direction and clarity. It also reminds me that I can be too hard on myself, because if I can’t answer a simple question like this, there must be a legitimate gap in my understanding. I’m still discovering who I am and what makes me happy, so how can I expect myself to know everything if I just… don’t?

Most of us have accumulated a lot of crappy beliefs and effectively confused ourselves, even on the topic of ourselves… and that’s okay. We’re figuring it out. But simply not knowing yet is different from knowing but not acting on that knowledge.

This is what I do know.

– Going to the gym, doing yoga and giving my best shot at meditation is deeply healing and nourishing.

– I love singing and becoming a better musician.

– Cooking for people & hosting get-togethers makes me feel in control and on my game.

– I’ll think of more later…

If I spend my time doing more of this, there’s no way I can’t get happier. A lot of people love to tell you to take action despite the urge to procrastinate, but I’m really not a fan of doing things without inspiration. I love dreaming and imagination and swelling up with excitement and feeling the inevitability of my energy spilling over into some love endeavour. BUT… Personally, I’ve found that I have some weird inhibiting thoughts around certain activities I KNOW make me happy, and it’d be more difficult to sit around and change those thoughts than to just take action. I do, despite myself, get a certain amount of satisfaction from following a routine, and I do feel pride when I do what I say I’ll do–and I think that’s where I need to start. It’s not easy to show up for yoga every day, but I know it’s what I need. What do you need? And when you’ve got that down, what do you want? (But “want” and “need” are really the same thing, in my opinion.)

I’ve also found that I can’t skip over ANY of this when it comes to building my business. If I build something I don’t love, I’ll be unfulfilled and it will fail miserably, no question.

Other juicy questions:

:: Who have you always wanted to be? Who do you love to be?

:: Who would you regret NOT being? What would you regret NOT doing?

:: What are you ridiculously good at?

:: What do you find yourself daydreaming about? How does it make you feel? Can you create even a mini version of it in real life, right now?

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “The First Step to Happiness

  1. I disagree, as in my opinion, there is a difference between ‘need’ and ‘want’. As in that ‘need’ signifies a desperation, whilst ‘want’ notifies a demand.

    • bbbberries

      Hi Mavarine,

      Well, what I meant is that I see “wants” as really just extensions of “needs” in the end, and that it simplifies things a lot to treat them similarly. Because skipping a massage or a night out or a knitting class (or any other frivolous thing that we wouldn’t classify as necessary) eventually takes a real toll on us, emotionally and even physically. This has been my experience. Also, when I view “needs” as “wants”, I shift my perspective and subtly take back my control, such as when I reframe my “need” for shelter or healthy food as a “want” to be dry and to feel good about my body. It puts me in touch with the “why.”

  2. Excellent questions. I really like this passage: “I love dreaming and imagination and swelling up with excitement…”. I feel the same way and avoid forcing myself.

    My perfect day would start with a good coffee and breakfast shared with my boyfriend. Not rushed. Then 3 or 4 hours writing, a physical activity (yoga or jogging) followed by another good, healthy meal. Then a little nap, a bit of work/writing (2-3 hours). Then meeting one or several friends for coffee/ drinks. Dinner with my boyfriend and relaxing activities in the evening. It’s interesting to think about it…

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