I met my friend Sue for coffee early in April. I was horrified to learn that she hasn’t been following this Happiness blog. The Big GASP, right? Hard to believe that there are actually people out there who don’t read my brilliant blatherings!
Sue kindly let me bend her ear about this Project, how I decided back in January that I wanted to spend more time feeling happier, and how this blogging caper is mostly a technique to keep myself focussed, "...and to keep a record of what happens," I said.
“So what has happened?" she asked. She took another sip of her latte. "Have you actually learned anything about how to be happier?”
“I’ve learned that happiness is mostly an inside game, and …”
“An Inside Game??" she interrupted. "Wha’d’ya mean?”
“I mean that How We Feel is a result of our beliefs and attitudes and expectations.
"A lot of people assume that How They Feel is just something that happens to them, the result of circumstances outside their control. But really, happiness - or any other feeling - arises from what we do on the inside, in our minds and hearts."
Sue gave me one of her skeptical looks. “Well, maybe. But it seems to me that the outside game is pretty danged important too! If I wanted to be happier, I’d start by identifying the things that make me happy. Like sitting here with this yummy (although ridiculously expensive) coffee, and tossing ideas around with my clever old friend.”
"There is that." How could I do other than agree? I too was enjoying our conversation, and yes, I was happy with my cuppa, too. Clever woman, that Sue.
We talked of other things, but before we left the cafe, she gave me the an interesting bit of advice:
“Collect a list of things that make you happy, E, and start including them in your daily life. Guaranteed that will make you happier, more of the time.”
“But don’t start it until after you get home from Hawaii! It has to be a Happiness at Home list, so you can duplicate them when you want to feel happy again.”
Here you go, Sue my friend. You were right about making the list. Just reading it over makes me smile.
PS: It's the first of May today, and there's a new page open on my kitchen table, labelled WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY - in MAY. The list I'll make over the coming month will likely be a bit different from the one above. One thing I do know for sure is this: The outer game of creating this list has added many happy moments to my month. You were right, Sue. Thanks for the suggestion!