Everyone wants to experience happiness in their lives. As if a point on a map, we metaphorically pack our bags and set off on our own journey to reach that destination. Along the way, we can get sidetracked, distracted and oftentimes thrown way off course in our own pursuit of happiness.
With all of life’s complexities and uncertainties, it is impossible to swim in happiness every second of our waking lives. Yet, even in knowing this, we can let ourselves feel overwhelmed, inadequate, and in our constant pursuit of happiness as a destination, we lose sight of the fact that it is actually a state of mind. It's a process not a destination.
Here are three things to consider as you explore the theme of happiness in your own life:
1) Research shows that the people who experience more fulfillment in their lives are the ones who develop a strong understanding that they need to let go of the urgency to feel happy all the time.
These people accept the ups and downs that naturally come with life. They do not push negative feelings away or attempt to numb them, but instead, they learn to appreciate them as part who they are.
To what extent do you allow yourself to sit with negative emotions and understand that these feelings are a natural part of life?
2) Developing deeper curiosity about ourselves and others can open our mind to possibilities. Research has shown that by better understanding the narratives of others, we see different life perspectives.
By expanding our curiosity and learning about others, we have a different lens through which to view our own lives. And with this learning can come even more curiosity about our own lives and what may be possible.
To what extent do you choose to deliberately pay attention to the narratives of other people in your life?
How often do you ask questions to better understand others and their own perspectives and experiences?
3) Neuroscience research has also shown that the act of creating a daily clear goals list is a huge step forward in developing more motivation in our life.
With more motivation comes more fulfillment.
To take it even further, writing down our daily clear goals list (for the next day) before we go to bed not only helps us sleep better, it puts us in a position to not waste any time the following morning deciding what we need to tackle first in our day. As the list is already made, we can jump into action right away.
To what extent do you have very clear, intentional daily goals in your life?
How do you record these goals to create more of a sense of accountability in your life?
Some food for thought as you think about your own life and what happiness and fulfillment means to you based on your own unique context. We all have the ability to design certain conditions in our life that can support the development of our own happiness and fulfillment.
Thanks for reading.
KAUST Faculty, Pedagogical Coach. Presenter & Workshop Leader.IB Educator. #RunYourLife podcast host.