I’m naturally a pretty happy person. I would say about a 7.5 or 8 on a 10 point scale.
But recently, I’ve started to observe what takes me to a 10. I have a couple of reasons for wanting this heightened self awareness.
One is that I want to make the best choices possible with how I use my free time. Knowing what makes me really happy helps me have a better decision-making rubric. Also, I find that as my work life has more and more responsibility, it’s more and more essential that my time outside of work is refreshing and rejuvenating. This puts me in a restored state for the next day and boosts my motivation to be effective and efficient.
I’ve found that there are three different sets of circumstances that have the opportunity to put me at my peak happiness:
- Groups: Groups of people where there is really good energy (upbeat, positive, open, and friendly), there is some sort of physical movement involved (sport, dance, hike, worship), and there is either upbeat music or we’re outside and it’s warm and sunny.
- One-on-One: Certain people are my joy bringers. I love their energy and perk up just being around them. Their ability to boost my mood is especially high if we meet in person and I haven’t seen them in awhile.
- Alone: There are certain settings when I’m alone that can fill me with so much gratitude and overflowing joy. One of those is when I’m in a natural setting like a forest preserve and in a reflective state where I can just ponder my thoughts and be totally present in the moment. The other is when I’m dancing around my room to good music. Dancing is just so much fun for me!
In my observations, I’ve discovered that these settings don’t guarantee that I absolutely will get to a 10, but they do open up the possibility. So as I plan my days and my weeks, I try to make sure to integrate them in regularly.
How about you? Do you know what puts you at a 10?
If so, put in at least a couple of one-hour blocks of time in your schedule each week to invest in experiencing joy. If not, spend time in this coming week examining how different activities impact your mood and then try to dissect the elements that make them so great for you. When you’re aware of what makes you really happy you can intentionally heighten the quality of your life experience.
About Real Life E®
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through coaching and training programs.
McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Harvard Business Review recently published her second book How to Invest Your Time Like Money. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Lifehacker, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and the 99U blog on productivity for creative professionals and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.