LOVE, LIMIT, LAUGH
We are all seeking happiness in life. Call it what you want – balance, fulfillment, success, achievement, joy. At the end of the day, we are all on the search for happiness. So how do we find it?
I was listening to a family psychologist, Dr. Justin Coulson on a GoalCoast video and he was talking about 3 Principles for Happier families. It was a great perspective on happiness. He was speaking from the perspective of parents and children. I want to give the perspective for life in general.
Love yourself and your life. Love who you are as a person. Appreciate your strengths, use them to add value to others. Pamper yourself – that could be as simple as a walk on the beach or eating an ice-cream cone. But indulge yourself in something that gives you pleasure. We make excuses – no time, no money. But we need to make the time, and it doesn’t have to cost anything. Sometimes it’s simply taking a nap. You’ll be way more productive if you just give yourself 30 minutes if you are tired. I’ve even taken a power nap at lunch on occasion – better known as a “sanity break”. But it is so important to love yourself and know what you need to feel loved.
Love what you do, and if you don’t – get a new perspective or find an alternative. We spend most of our lives on our career, it is so important that we should be doing what we love. It is possible. Statistics show that approximately 30% of people are happy in their jobs. This statistic is scary and sad. I was a part of the 70%, not being fulfilled in my job. Fortunately, I realized that this was not a healthy place to be and took the steps to design my life and start living my dream. It is possible.
Spend time with friends and family. Our time here on this earth is short. Spend it with those you love and care for.
Set some boundaries in your life. This may sound a bit odd, but just as Dr. Coulson impressed that we need to place limits in our children’s lives, we need to put limits in our lives as well. We can’t work a 60-hour week on a continuous basis, we can’t be “always on”, we can’t be all things for all people and be nothing for ourselves. The limits or boundaries that we set up for ourselves are for our own self-preservation. It is how we get time for family and friends and do what we enjoy in life. It is how we find time and money to study a course that will take us down the career path we want. It is how we are able to pick up a new hobby or learn to cook a new dish that we have been dying to try. Most of my clients when they start coaching either have no boundaries at all or some boundaries that are not working for them. They are usually frustrated and at the end of their rope. Boundaries make space for happiness. We need to evaluate to see what is working, tweak what isn’t, and implement boundaries where they are needed.
There is a saying, “laughter is the best medicine”, and I believe that to be true. Better yet when we can laugh at ourselves. We are in this always ‘busy, deadline focused, work-to-pay the bills’ culture. And while I am a firm believer in excellence in the workplace and life, we need to let our hair down and laugh a little, or a lot! In my corporate role, whenever I needed to hire a new member for my team, there was one characteristic that I looked for – a good sense of humor, and some sarcasm. In this particular role, the tasks and responsibilities were very challenging and while I ensured that qualifications, attitude, and competence were at the top of the list, I believed that those who could find the humor in situations had a much better chance of surviving and thriving.
So, get on the phone with a good friend, and just laugh! Make a joke and then another and laugh some more. I’ve thankfully inherited my father’s humor and some friends tell me I should do stand-up comedy – maybe one day. But for now, I say – love your life, create limits that allow you to live your best life, and laugh every day!
Executive Coach and Personal Development Trainer.