If happiness is on the other side of success, your brain never gets there. ~Shawn Achor
Once again the MKMMA lesson of the week hit me over the head like a ton of bricks.
I’m talking about Happiness and “Moving the Goal Post.”
I’ve always set goals. And usually I achieved them. But rather than be happy about the achievement, and celebrating my success, I set the next goal.
And then I’d be happy…when I achieved that.
I know what you’re thinking…“Yeah, right!”
And I agree. Now I know that by continuously “moving the goal post” and setting new goals, without celebrating the achievements and successes, I was setting myself up to be UNhappy, and didn’t even know it.
Now, to be fair, I wasn’t exactly UNhappy. I just wasn’t truly happy.
Nothing was ever good enough. I was never satisfied. I always wanted “more” or “something different.”
I’m hearing Charlie Brown exclaiming “Good grief!” in my head right now…
Though I’ve heard it said many times that “You have to BE before you DO and HAVE.”
I guess the words went in one ear and out the other, or perhaps I didn’t know what I didn’t know…
And that is that happiness comes from within, and it MUST come first. You have to BE happy…FIRST.
I’ve become a MUCH happier person as a result of the MKMMA Experience. And to take my happiness to a new level I decided I would create a list of 100 Things That Make Me Happy. Not just things I’m grateful for…but things that make me happy.
The first 25 or so were easy…the next 25 were more difficult…and then it got harder. I would have to put the list down and do something else, which would ultimately lead me to an “a-ha” moment that sent me running for a pen and my list.
When I completed the list of 100 Things That Make Me Happy I was stunned. I stared at the list in disbelief.
There were things on the list that I had full control over, such as:
- Spending time with a friend
- Watching the Minions in the Despicable Me movies and wishing I had my own
- Watching a funny movie I’ve seen 100s of times
- Champagne (what’s NOT happy about champagne???)
What stunned me is that many of the things that made me happy are external, and beyond my control…but when they happen they make me happy:
- Enjoying a cup of Butter-Nut hot chocolate and having the hot chocolate trigger fond childhood memories. Of course, that requires being able to actually FIND the Butter-Nut hot chocolate! (And no…other hot chocolates just don’t trigger the memories…)
- A beautiful, colorful sunset…which requires a sunny day, the right clouds, and the right weather conditions.
- Making a sale. Hey! I’ll admit it…it’s fun to make money. Yet I’m only one party to the transaction…and it takes two (or more!) to tango!
- Hearing my fiancé hum while he cleans or does the dishes…it always makes me smile!
- Receiving a compliment. (Yes, I could demand someone give me a compliment, but that would defeat the purpose now, wouldn’t it?)
So the question becomes “What is the definition of being happy within, or being happy first?”
Do I need to have control over these things that make me happy? Or is the fact that I appreciate things, and the process of appreciation is the happiness within? Or both?
All I know, and all that matters, is that I’m happy.
Happiness is a CHOICE, and I CHOOSE happiness.
And speaking of Happy…
I gotta end this with the Minions. Because no matter WHAT mood I’m in, they always make me HAPPY!