The Contours of Happiness & Time

By LeAnna J. Carey | Jan 12, 2012

The Contours of Happiness & Time

After reading Tony Schwartz's last blog in Harvard Business Review on his positive experience of going off line for a set time I gave some thought to the different contours of happiness.  To some, happiness is having a meaningful job, doing good, or perhaps not being sad.  My 2012 question is, what actions must we take to be happy within our own lives?  For starters, think about what makes you unhappy.  What impacts my personal happiness is a sense of being spread too thin and watching my creativity and productivity evaporate.    

I took my question to the Twitterverse and asked what actions my trusted pals intended to take to be happy this year.  Here is a quick scan of some of the answers:

  • Respire Profundo and enjoy the moments
  • Less worry, focus/take action
  • Simplifying schedule, exercising, saying YES only when I truly mean it
  • Trust God. Professionally? - stay open, continue learning/shifting
  • My actions start with "what do I want?" & really listening to my answer.

My question must have struck a cord, because a few of the forward thinkers want to check in with one another during the year to match up the happiness progress to the actions.  If we take a look at these answers, it would appear that "how" to be intentional with the time we have would connect the answers in three ways:

  • Expectation.  Ask yourself what your expectations are for yourself.  Or better yet, as  Elli St. George Godfrey said: ask, what do I want? Focus on becoming familiar with not only your strengths and talents, but your desires.  It's time to get in sync and resist rolling into this year the same as the last.  
  • Invest.  We all have the same 24 hours, the difference is how we use that time.  Just as Tony Schwartz mentioned in his blog, he realized how much time he was spending online -  and began to feel that "The lure of email and the Internet had come to feel compulsive, irresistible, and increasingly uncomfortable."  Where you spend your time should make sense, after all, we cannot get it back.  Invest your time carefully; it was Emerson that said, thinking is the hardest task in the world.  Have you set aside time to think?  
  • Action.  If last year is any indication of 2012 - where information, ideas, new market innovations moved at such a fast clip that feeling overwhelmed became the new normal.  Chances are you not only lost some mojo, but some happiness as well. Identify and focus on actions that will lead to and maintain happiness.  For some, that may mean going to sleep without their iPad next to them.

When racing to beat that deadline or keep up with the speed of the market try not to toss out happiness as if were insignificant.  We have the ability to design how we spend our time, what we choose to focus on, and who we engage with - sounds like happiness to me!      

A special thanks to@SMSJOE 098@bikespoke  @3keyscoach @Tribe2point0 @Natasha_D_G @danielnewmanUV @ambercleveland for such generous responses.  Can you guess who answered, win, win, win?  It can only be one person....

Insomniacs Suffer Depression, Heart Woes After Years of Little Sleep

By LeAnna J. Carey | Jan 24, 2012

Excellent post by ABC news: Insomniacs Suffer Depression, Heart Woes After Years of Little Sleep:  "Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, according to an article published Thursday in the journal Lancet. But it often goes unrecognized and untreated. Doctors say it's an alarming trend because of increasing evidence that untreated insomnia causes other health problems and can lead people to rely on sleep aids that don't work."

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