Sometime last week I did my usual surfing of the internet in which one website lead to another, which lead to another. On one website, this one by Leo Babauta, I read about Zen habits, philosophies, and what-have-you. After you visit that website, and then successfully return to this one, you will see Leo (I’m going with his first name, since it’s pretty awesome) entirely made this blog minimalist. Which got me thinking, what really make you, or me as this is my blog, happy?
Think about it for a moment. Done. How many things do you do that really make you happy? I can think of a number of items that I like to do that really, truly, make me happy. Everything else is just there. Running makes me happy. You’ve probably noticed some of those happy posts already on this website. Photography also make me happy. That’s a here-and-again happy that I’ll obsess about for a few months and then stop entirely. Lastly, traveling makes me happy. I get to take pretty pictures, thus combining two happies. (Parties with friends is up there, but that is not sustainable for obvious reasons.)
What makes you happy? Is it time spent with loved ones? At church? Plotting the conquest of your next endeavor? More than likely you only have a few activities, traits, or rituals that truly make you happy. Although I’ve like to have a shitton of nice things one day, I would only use a few because you only have so much time to do everything. (Ever hear of the billionaire who has the yacht he never uses? Shit’s expensive to sit at dock.)
What do you really need that makes you happy? Okay, you undoubtedly have a cell phone (which I still call “cell phones”) that probably is smart. Do you have it for work or personal use? If you have it for personal, how much of what you do with it really makes you happy? Or is it a time-filler? Does watching TV or movies make you happy, or again a time filler? I bet you can find a handful of rituals you do everyday that you have no idea why you do them.
What if you, week by week, take away one of those activities and replace it with something positive in your life that makes you happy? I’m not arguing for minimalism (Leo has many posts about the subject, however), but to remove the “clutter” from your life that doesn’t necessarily make you happy. It doesn’t necessarily have to be material or an activity, but what you think and “worry” about. In the grand scheme of everything, more than likely the little drama you have today will be nothing a hour, a day, or especially a week from now. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
One of my goals for this year (well, aims, as it’s not exactly quantifiable) is simplify things. I want to take a look at my life and what it is that really makes me happy and do more of that. Life’s too short to be unhappy. Perhaps that means minimize it a little, or add to it if you think you’re missing something. In the meantime, do something in the next hour that makes you happy.