Picture yourself waking up after a perfect sleep – the early morning sun sneaking a peek through the curtains. You smile, reach out and pick up your smartphone, and the online onslaught begins…
Or, you can reach out with a smile to your beloved beside you and draw them close in a hug, stroke their hair, or share the dream you had last night or the hope you have for the day to come.
We all want the good things in life and bliss sums up the whole package of success and achievement.
But to get there you must start living a life of bliss, or living in a blissful way. Instead of reaching for your smart device, start the day connecting with your family and loved ones, even your pets, then give yourself time to connect with yourself. Do some art, stretch, go for a jog, eat something healthy, then go to your phone. Our digital devices add so much to our lives but you have to be the master of them, not them of you.
Working Together. Some couples have the good fortune to share the same career, not necessarily working together or running the family business together, but for instance they are both in the food industry, share common joys and help each other in their individual pursuits. “It’s certainly a great boost to my career knowing that he understands the highs and lows of my ambitions, because he is right there living through the same challenges. We help each other to celebrate, and also learn from each other. I t ’s very fulfilling. We also know when to turn off the shop talk though!” Great advice from this chef and architect team, now successful restaurant owners.
Playing Together. From tennis to trail running, sharing in exhilarating fun with your significant other can help attain a new enjoyment of life together which you never believed possible. Before William and Sue met, they were individually running marathons and seeking out physical fitness by travelling to races all over the world. Now, training together, eating healthy, and having joint goals has seen them completing several Iron Man events together. “There is nothing more blissful than crossing that finish line and collapsing into each other’s arms. Knowing that we have each other’s backs spills over into every sphere of our relationship.”
Even if you don’t work OR work out together, find something that you both love. Beach walks, travel, art or dance classes with your partner create opportunities for conversation and laughter. Creating your shared history together forms a really close bond.
We all work for two reasons: Money to sustain us, and because setting and achieving goals are part of being human. We are wired to test our limits, seek out pleasure, and learn lessons along the way. Just watch any toddler going about their day.
As we grow, we constantly set ourselves new challenges. Same goes for our careers. Not many people are happy in one job, in one place, for very long. Once we reach a milestone, we start eyeing the horizon to pursue the next goal. This journey can be both agonizing and joyful as we stumble and hit our heads sometimes. Just like the toddler, it is part of learning and growth. The key to reaching a happy state is setting smaller achievable goals and revelling in every success.
Watching your star rise, is even more enjoyable than watching your bank account going from the red zone to a healthy black. It is important to remember that the actual path of growth – while we are in the battlefield before success comes – can also provide opportunities for bliss. The mountain climber experiences feelings of zoned out bliss and euphoria, even while her muscles are burning and sweat is dripping off her. This is the reason for the climb in the first place, otherwise she’d get to the top by some quick and easy method. Achieving the pinnacle of her ascent, discovering a whole new terrain and the view from the top, is what motivates her out of the bog at the foot of the climb.
Money does NOT buy happiness; most wealthy people will tell you this. So, they may not worry about mortgage bonds and doctor’s bills, but true richness is in the relationships they have with people. It’s true that financial security brings great comfort, but the lesson from the well-heeled is that money is not the finish line – it’s about a journey of life and that journey needs people and fulfilling relationships.
Take a closer look at the circles of friends and family of wealthy people you know, and count how many are just there for the joy ride, or the Instagram photo ops. Picture that same person after a crippling financial setback and then count the “friends”. More than likely, vanished; off seeking the next high-rolling go-getter.
The Golden rule: Don’t work to please others.
Instead, seek out career bliss by doing what feeds your soul.
Personal happiness is the result of loving who you are, where you are, and achieving the all-important work/life balance. Here are 20 ways to finding this balance.
- Read books. Get lost in fiction, and learn new skills through biographies and non-fiction.
- Create art. Any art. Sculpture, painting, origami.
- Take up photography. Print and frame your best shots.
- Exercise. Swim, run, walk the dog. Long known to combat stress and release those feel-good endorphins. I call them happy dolphins.
- Meditate. Calm your mind and open up those channels to problem-solving and creativity.
- Listen to music. Dance. Like no one is watching.
- Let go of old grudges and regrets. The extra baggage is not worth your effort to hold on to them.
- Massage therapy is an excellent way to completely relax the mind and body.
- Plant a herb or flower garden. Tending to mother nature which rewards you with her fruits or flowers is a wonderful way to learn delayed gratification.
- Take a road trip, alone, with your partner, or your family. Camping is great way to reconnect with nature.
- Redecorate a room or a corner in your house, specifically with the aim of creating a place to read, relax or re-group. Paint it in your favourite colour, hang pictures, light candles.
- Do something for others, without intending to benefit yourself. Donate to a charity or a family in need, help out at a fund-raiser. Acknowledge the volunteers who give up their time for a cause.
- Rescue an abused animal or stand up for a bullied child. You might not save them all, but your help will mean the world to even just one of them.
- Cultivate real friendships with people who share common interests. Even if you can initially find none, find out what makes other people happy and tap into that. You might be surprised by them.
- Treat strangers like old friends, and treat old friends like you have just met them. Maintain an interest in people, while understanding that everyone is fighting some inner battle. You might be the one that makes their day a little bit easier for them.
- Forgive. Your parents, your friends, your children. We all need forgiveness at some point. Accept that no-one is perfect, and neither are you.
- Change a bad habit. Replace it with something healthy.
- Teach someone a new skill.
- Compliment others. The amazing thing is that others will reciprocate, even though this should not your intention.
- Be the reason someone smiles today.
By Gill Lewis
© Confetti Chicks – November 2017