Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Get Closer to Happiness with Five Questions

I once dated a man on and off for over five years. He treated me well, but we just weren't right for each other. For reasons I won't get into, I needed consistency in my life and he provided that for me. He never supported me financially, and looking back on it, emotionally we probably caused each other more harm than good. Still, I was afraid to end it.

It was an absolute miserable experience. One day, I woke up and the words bubbled in my throat. I turned to him and woke him out of his sleep. "I can't do this anymore," I said. After many tears and a lot of pain, I had the gall to do what was right for both of us. I never looked back.

Day in and day out people spend their lives heading to jobs they hate, dating people they barely tolerate, earning degrees they don't want or just plain going through the motions. Life really IS short! It's not just something people say.

If you're not living your best life, it's time to ask yourself some tough but necessary questions.

Pause and Reflect... 

Do I know and understand my needs? Chances are that you have been too distracted by all the things making you unhappy to think about what it is you really want. Some women feel guilty when they prioritize their needs. GET OVER IT. IMMEDIATELY! You are important enough to think about! If you don't prioritize yourself, why should anyone else? 

Make it Happen: 
Think about your ideal life, job, career, boyfriend--whatever aspect of your life you feel could use improvement. Next write down what it looks like. How is it different from your current life? If you had that ideal, how would it make you feel? How do you feel now without it? What are your absolute must-haves.

Be really honest about what is non-negotiable. This exercise is about freeing yourself to think about the most important person in your life--YOU!

Am I in the wrong career? People spend a third or more of their time at work; if you have a demanding career it may be more like half. That is an awful lot of time to spend doing something that isn't right for you. I get it, the thought of an interview makes you break out in hives. Maybe you feel pressure from family to be financially stable. At the end of the day, YOU are the one at work hour after hour. YOU are the one who questions your life each morning as you prepare to start your day. Your career decisions are about YOU, no one else.  

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life." -Steve Jobs

Make it Happen:
Career exploration does not have to end in high school or college, you always have options. But, landing that new job will take some work. To help you get started, check out sites like Also try to go to a few conferences or events in your area of interest to take advantage of the networking opportunities.

Do I depend on my relationships (romantic or otherwise) to be happy? When your happiness depends on others, you risk an emotional roller coaster. Looking for an outside source of happiness means that your joy is at risk each time that source is removed. Instead, you should strive to find a sense of self and happiness within and then share it with others.

Make it Happen:
Spend time alone--A LOT of time alone. The idea is to get comfortable in your own skin and allow yourself the necessary time to figure out what it is you want, need, and can't live without. Go to a movie, dinner or even a vacation on your own. If being alone is the most you have to fear, face it head on.

Sounds like more than you can handle? Start small, treat yourself to a cup of coffee at a cute shop. Savor the experience, sip slowly, and embrace the much needed alone time.

Do I follow the same advice I would give my best friend? We can be our own worst enemy. We allow ourselves to get away with things that we would call our friends out on (like calling that loser for the 10th time just to listen to his voicemail). Why would you do something you would never encourage your loved ones to do?

Make it Happen:
If you wouldn't tell someone you love dearly to do it, you probably shouldn't either. Keep that in mind the next time you're in a tough spot.  
Do I celebrate what I DO have? Well, do you? You don't...

Make it Happen:
Celebrate what you've worked hard to achieve. Celebrate all the things that make you happy. Celebrate the one life you have to's all we get. You are worth every cheer, diploma, hug, kiss, hand shake and pat on the back sent your way. Don't rob the people who love you (or yourself) of the opportunity to praise your accomplishments.

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
― Abraham Lincoln


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...