While I’ll probably not be ever able to pinpoint the exact origins, it’s ok, because that’s not really relevant. For whatever reason though, I assumed that happiness can only flourish in the light of financial security. So just like plants need light, I am not denying that we all need to have our basic needs met. I fully get that. But unfortunately, I ended up so focused on securing a brighter sun that I became oblivious to the drought it created. In fact, probably the best way to bottom line this view is through a goodbye e-mail I received from a coworker who spent 43 years at my company that stated: “Retirement marks the end of working for someone else and the beginning of living for yourself!” That would so have been me, had I kept going at the same full force misdirected pace 🙂
My thinking was that the harder I worked, the more I would enjoy my retirement. That’s as deep as my happiness 401k plan went. What I didn’t consider is assuming that I actually DID live to my retirement, I’d essentially be giving away a vast majority of my life to make someone else’s dream possible. And oh by the way, if I’m not happy now, what makes me think that at the of age sixty something that unfelt-to-date-euphoric feeling would suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks following my last day of work!
Here’s what actually works much better for me and surprisingly enough I’ll be able to logically prove it!
You know that feeling when you accomplished something huge. Go back to that feeling, regardless of how long it was. Didn’t you feel like no one could do you any wrong? If somebody cut you off on the road, you’d smile right back at them. If somebody asked you a favor, you’d be more than happy to give them your shirt while you’re at it. It didn’t matter, at that point in time you feel like you won and you wanted the rest of the world to feel your enormous joy!
Here it goes then: what would your life look like if you applied that very same “I’ve already won” mentality ALL the time. Deep down in your heart you know it will work out; it always has. The very same things that seemed like life enders, with time of course, ended up being the biggest gifts in disguise. Plenty of disastrous dots have connected to paint a more beautiful version of yourself present-day; Why not take it as a fact that they will do so again in the future!
Not fully convinced yet. Well how about this: Don’t you find yourself naturally gravitating towards people who give off authentic enthusiasm? Doesn’t that typically tend to more than make up for a lot of their shortcomings? Aren’t those the type of people that tend to bring out the best in others?
I don’t know about you, but I used to be jealous of them, because I thought I could never do it myself. I thought that this is something you were born with when in fact it’s a matter of making a choice. Not just a single choice, but making that choice every day and every time you fall short, because you know that underneath it all is the type of person you were really meant to be … waiting for a permission to start coming out more often.
Not to mention, has worrying ever helped anything?
So where is your enthusiasm level? How can you increase it?
Practical Tip: next time you see someone, make it a point to make eye contact and smiling before saying Hi … see where that leads to;)
“The very same things that seemed like life enders, with time of course, ended up being the biggest gifts in disguise.” Love that.
Great post, Marek- thanks for sharing! Have been reading your blog recently and have to say that a lot of things you’re talking about resonate with me. Cheers again.