Habits Make Deposits Into Our Happiness
Happiness takes time, just like any significant progress takes time. Happiness is a combination of the progress we’ve made and the progress we’re making towards goals. Even if we’re not there yet, we’re happier with the progress than without. It’s time to start making deposits into our Happiness and stop robbing our own Happiness. Here is how to use habits to make deposits into Happiness instead of unhappiness.
Happiness is long-term work
You can become temporarily happy by simply deciding to be happy. Optimism works, but let’s not lie to ourselves with affirmations of things that aren’t true. Let’s start and stop some habits to make those affirmations true.
I don’t think that even winning the lottery can make you happy overnight. It could help! If a depressed person wins the lottery, he’ll just be a rich, depressed person.
Mahatma Gandi’s Formula for Happiness
You’ve seen the memes about choices becoming habits, habits become our character, and our character becomes our destiny. Good habits will lead you to happiness, including having a healthy mind, body or savings account. Bad habits will lead you to all levels of ruin, including having a cluttered mind, dependence on medications or lots of debt.
We all know where we’d like this journey to take us, but do we do what we know we need to do to go where we want to go?
Your future is forged by your habits.
You are the sum of your actions.
Well, here’s what Gandi said:
Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive, because your words become your behavior
Keep your behavior positive, because your behavior become your habits.
Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.
Whoa. That’s heavy. Let’s not overreact, though. Let’s break that down.
We haven’t reached our destiny yet. Let’s jump in there somewhere so we can steer this ship to a better destiny.
Your future is forged by your habits
I was proud of that one, so I made it a headline and made it easily tweetable.
It’s kinda the same thing others said, I just used “forged” with “future” for the alliteration.
Okay, back to the post.
Keep Your Thoughts Positive
Positive thoughts are a good start. You can let them–or make them–be positive or negative. Let’s just assume we’ve decided to go with positive. Let’s skip to behavior and habits. That’s the pivotal point in what Gandhi said.
I’ve seen this quote interpreted as actions instead of behavior. We know the destiny we want, even if we just want better bad times.
Let’s get to the action part! Let’s pick the actions that will become the habits that will eventually lead us to our destiny. We’ve got two broad categories: good habits and bad habits.
So first, let’s…
Pick an account
Pick a Happiness Account or two where you’d like to see improvement. Let’s not do everything at once.
Let’s keep it simple. Let’s start with one. Maybe two. We’re looking at the long-term here, so we’ve got time.
Does rushing make you happy? Me neither.
Pick the area in which you’d like to see improvement first.
Did you just say improvement?
Yes! Pick an area that will make you happier. I think nutrition is a great place to start because good health makes us feel better, and feeling better makes us feel happier. More energy will mean more progress and less grumpiness.
Don’t be a grumpy rump.
Don’t be a moody booty.
Keep it simple
Let’s pause for a station identification.
As you read this, you might find it insulting because it seems so simple. You may not even want to read it because it seems painfully obvious.
Before you judge the simplicity of the content, ask yourself if you’re doing it. I’m starting super simple because these are simple things we know we are supposed to do…
If it’s so simple, why don’t we do it? Because a later post.
Start making Deposits with good habits
I’ll go into details for each Happiness Account in later posts because we already know what to do.
We just don’t do those things.
Pick easy, convenient actions that will make deposits into that Happiness Account. Maybe it’s a monetary direct deposit into a savings account. Maybe it’s eating more vegetables. Maybe it’s beer or coffee with the gang.
It is perfectly acceptable to start with the obvious.
While we’re at it, let’s also…
Stop making withdrawals with bad habits
I’ll go into details for each Happiness Account in later posts because we already know what to not do.
We just keep doing those things.
Pick a habit that will be easier to quit, or at least throttle back. Maybe you cancel a subscription so something that you pay for every month and don’t use. Maybe it’s chips or soda. Maybe it’s turning off the tv for a couple hours.
More Good, Less Bad
It really is as simple as that.
Pick a couple good habits to add, start or do more. Pick a couple bad habits to remove, stop, or do less.
Write them down and put it on your mirror or fridge. I dare you to just write it right on your mirror. They make markers for mirrors.
Make those deposits and feel them start adding up.
What account will you pick? What deposits will you start making and what habits will you stop making?