HOME>> HABIT #7 Practice happiness...by living with purpose
We can all live with purpose because there is so much to live for. There are things we can pursue, discover, or accomplish that fill our lives with meaning and purpose. We can have vision for our lives, dream dreams, and fulfill our callings. There is always something for us to do. Pursuing interests, developing skills, setting goals, and prioritizing our time all help us to grow and give us something to anticipate. We can make each day count and live with purpose.
Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness.
It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose. ~Helen Keller
In this activity, we can practice happiness by setting goals for ourselves. Before we set out to accomplish anything at all, we must begin with a clear picture in our minds of already having achieved our goal. We wouldn’t even imagine trying to glue broken pieces of pottery back together without any idea of what it’s supposed to look like. So, why should we go through life without a clear purpose? Once we begin to visualize something, we can begin to figure out how to make it happen.
Following are steps to consider in setting goals:
A Clear Purpose
The first step is to have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. Consider the lifestyle you want to live, your motives, and your priorities. Recall what others have confirmed as your gifts and talents. Think about what you are passionate about. Create a clear picture in your mind and see yourself having reached your goal. Imagine what you would be doing and what life would be like for you. Think about what it means to you to fulfill your goals.
The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. ~Allan K. Chalmers
In this activity, we can practice happiness by clarifying our values. Our values direct our behavior and the way we evaluate the world. Our values determine who we are, how we spend our time, what’s important to us, our likes and dislikes, our attitudes, and so forth. We make decisions based on our values every day. Sometimes our values conflict with each other. For example, spending time with our family may conflict with our work schedule which demands extensive hours. Clarifying our values helps us to understand which values are most important to us and the priorities we give to them. This will help us to make decisions that are consistent to our values and that we are happy with.
Review the list of values provided below. Add anything to the list that best describes what is important to you. You will find that some values are very important to you while others are somewhat important or not important at all. Underline the values that are somewhat important, and circle the values that are very important to you. Review the values you circled and note your 3 most important values. Now ask yourself the following questions:
Why are these values important to me?
How do my values affect the decisions I make?
What, if any, conflicting values do I have? How do I deal with them?
How do my values affect the way I balance work, rest, and play?
How do I spend my time each day? Is it consistent with my priorities?
Does my lifestyle reflect my values? If not, what would I want to change?
Fun and excitement
Happiness in not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
It is the paradox of life that the way to miss pleasure is to seek it first. The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at something outside self.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Growth itself contains the germ of happiness.
~Pearl S. Buck
A Persistent Attitude
Goals oftentimes challenge us and require that we step out of our comfort zones. They also present us with obstacles that can seem undefeatable. This is when fear, discouragement, and lack of confidence can make us waver and lose our fortitude. This happens to everyone, and it doesn’t mean we have to quit and give up. We can decide to persist in the face of difficulty and rise up in courage. Having courage doesn’t mean we are not afraid. It just means we do it anyway. We believe we can, and we keep trying.
The human spirit needs to accomplish, to achieve, to triumph to be happy. ~Ben Stein
Think about what you love to do. Something that excites you, makes you feel alive, peeks your interest whenever it is mentioned, keeps you captivated and curious. Doing what you love is rewarding and fulfilling. It enriches your life in many ways, helping you to appreciate the good things in life. For some people, it’s a hobby, volunteer work, career, or family time. When was the last time you did something you love to do?
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. ~Bebhanub Disraeli
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~Mark Twain
Once you have a clear purpose, it is time to take action in setting goals and in achieving them. The best way to begin is to make your goals measurable, and organize your objectives by writing them down. Before any building is ever built, a blueprint is drawn. Without it there would be no plan or direction in what do, how to do it, or what materials to use. In the same way, life goals need a clear course of action.
Think of the first steps you must take to achieve your goals. Now write down at least 3 short-term goals and 3 long-term goals. Some short-term goals can be daily or weekly. Record deadlines for each goal, and be sure to check them off when they are reached. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and help you stay motivated. Each new goal you set will give you hope and anticipation for its fulfillment. And with each step you take, you will grow and accomplish new things.
Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals
S = Specific [answer the questions - Who? What? Where? When? How?]
General goal = Lose Weight
Specific goal = My goal is to join Jake's Fitness Center next week on Monday, February 18th and begin working out 3 days a week [Mon, Tues, Sat].
M = Measurable [How much? How many?]
Example- My goal is to lose 10 lbs (2 lbs a week).
A= Achievable [you can attain most any goal you set if you plan wisely, persist and stay motivated]
R = Realistic [answer the questions - Can I accomplish this? Do I have the ability and skills needed?]
T = Timely [set time frames for each goal]
Example- My goal is to lose a total of 10 lbs starting March 1st for 5 weeks ending April 5th.