Today is the International Day of Happiness, and I get it, you may not feel like celebrating, but you can still be happy.
Even amid everything uncertain and scary in our world, we can still be happy.
One way to find happiness is to focus on a growth mindset.
A growth mindset, in simple terms, means you are open-minded and interested in learning, as opposed to decided and attached to a particular solution.
It’s essential in times of ambiguity because it gives us confidence that no matter what comes our way, we can figure out what to do, how to respond, and improve the situation. It preserves our options.
Life is always risky, but we don’t always feel that way. Right now, we feel it overwhelmingly.
There are three ways to turn our focus away from fear and toward happiness.
The first is gratitude.
When you feel yourself sliding toward overwhelm, take a deep breath, and list things you appreciate about your life and the world until your heart rate slows, your shallow breaths become deep and consistent, and you feel calm and confident.
The second is planning.
Whether we can control an outcome, make something happen the way we want to, or take care of the details, it’s comforting to take steps forward.
Think about 2020 as a whole. Think about yourself that last week of the year, the lazy, sparkly days between Christmas and NYE. Now imagine yourself reflecting on this year. What accomplishments or highlights come to mind? Take steps toward those.
The third is learning.
Doing might be more your thing, and if that’s the case, take care of those lingering projects that you never seem to find the time for, but then dive into a digital course or a good book. Explore a subject that is calling to you, that feels like a bridge to your future. Focus on the lessons and the journey and give your brain a challenge and a spark.
I don’t want to add to the overwhelm by making you feel like you have to add productivity to your plate right now. I realize that not everyone has the same perspective as me.
For me, this time feels like “bonus time.” It’s scary and uncertain, no doubt about it. But it also feels like a discovered treasure trove of time. When do we ever find time?
I’m using my bonus time to indulge in my family, to be with my children, to enjoy my home and yard, to slow down and restore my soul, to reignite my passions, to write, and to get clear about my business.
That said, whatever you are feeling is right for you. If you do decide to take advantage of this slow time, to do the things you never get to, to reset your path or restore your soul, consider using gratitude, planning, and learning.
No matter what is happening in the world, we get to respond in a way that makes life better. We set the tone for ourselves, and often, our families. We can choose happiness, and we don’t have to do anything at all to get there; we can simply surrender to what is already good.
And, you don’t have to think of wanting more as ungratefulness, ambition, or work. Wanting more may mean that you deeply appreciate what you have, but you know you can have a more significant impact, you have more to give, and you want to be a force for good.
Think of it as growing into new shoes. You are still you, but faced with new realities, you want to rise to the occasion.
If that’s the journey you are on, I’m right there with you.
I wanted to leave you with three links that might help. The first is to my post on The science of Well Being. It’s the perfect time to read it. Take care of yourself and your family.
The second is to my Entrepreneur Starter Kit. The economy is shifting, and if you may be thinking that a different future might be in store for you, this is for you.
It’s tips, recommendations, referrals, and mindset hacks to help you build a successful business faster. It took me years to figure this stuff out, and I don’t hold back.
The third is to my post on Fear. When you feel vulnerable, sad, or need to get it out, I’d encourage you to release your worries in a free-form journaling exercise. When we confront our thoughts in this way, we can observe their meaning, see their truth and absurdity, and neutralize the emotions, and it often allows the fear to dissipate in a weird and wonderful way.
I hope this was helpful.