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Recently someone asked me, “Would you say you are happier than you were 10 years ago?” The question took me off guard and because we didn’t have a lot of time, I replied yes, and gave a few short reasons as to why. But after thinking on the question, I wanted to formulate a more complete answer here.
First off, my definition of happiness has changed. 10 years ago, I thought happiness was something I could achieve and be done with. If only I had a spouse, a job I loved and money in the bank I would be happy. I realize now that living happier is a journey..and something I practice each day (some days better than others.)
I remember my therapist saying to me life is a wide range of emotions experienced deeply. I would say that now (unlike 10 years ago) I experience a wide range of emotions deeply. So I can experience the pain of my father’s ailing health, and the joy of seeing my dog playing in the yard all in the same afternoon. I have a greater appreciation of the depth and breadth of life.
I am less paralyzed by fear. I am still afraid. I still have doubts but I do it anyway. I take a lot more action and risks that I would have 10 years ago.
My Mongers don’t run the show as much as they use to. My mongers still show up. In fact, I would say I spent most of Monday listening to my monger but by Tuesday she was gone. 10 years ago my monger would have set up camp for much of the week.
My values ground me. Whenever I am stuck or doubting my decisions I look at my values and I know what I stand for and what is most important.
I am WAY more direct than I use to be. I speak my needs much more naturally and easily. 10 years ago I didn’t even know what a need was…let alone how to speak one.
Drama and energy sucks take up a lot less space than they use to. I regularly look at how full my glass is and try to avoid the people and activities that drain me.
I am more authentic. If I am having a bad day I can own that. If I am struggling I can say it. If I make a mistake I can admit I am wrong and apologize. I don’t feel the need to pretend everything is always ok. The concept of having a do over has become a HUGE part of my life and I am allowing myself the room to make mistakes more often.
Life has ups and downs. 24/7 Happiness is unattainable but I know we can Live Happier no matter what life gives us. We can fully show up, be present for our lives and Live Happier.
I would love to hear form you in the comments: Are you happier than you were 10 years ago? How do you live happier each day?