Happiness is pretty much my default setting. I have moments of turmoil and angst, but it doesn’t take me long (usually) to find a silver lining. I’m just plain fortunate that way, and I’m grateful.
In the midst of the happy, I sometimes wonder if, to paraphrase Steven Covey, I’m climbing a ladder leaned against the right wall. Am I pursuing the right-for-me things? And what exactly are those things?
Last week, I had the sweet little collision of two blog posts that might help me find the answers. Or at least find the path they’re on.
Blog Post #1: In What Do You Really Want? And How to Get It!,Ashton Aiden offered an interesting and super-simple exercise in defining your version of happiness. At the top of a sheet of paper, write “I want…” and then list the first hundred things that come to mind.
Obviously, a few things pop right out, but then as the mind wanders (and wonders), the layers start falling away. Some things might be silly or seem far-reaching, but in recording the thought, you might just be planting a seed of possibility. Or maybe you’re just peeling away another layer to uncover a truer desire.
This exercise had Cammy written all over it. First, it’s a list, and I ♥ lists! Second, it involves self-reflection and mind exploration, and I heart those just as much. So yesterday I set aside some time to commence listing. It took about an hour, and since so much of it is highly personal, I won’t be sharing all of the list, but a few interesting (don’t you dare say weird!) things did pop out on my I Want… list:
– to live somewhere else for six months
– to remember to sit up straight
– to learn only as much as I need to know
– to get mani-pedis more often
– to pitch a show to HGTV
– to run a mile
Whoa! Where’d that last one come from? I’m not a runner and have no desire to be one! Do I?
As you can see, my thoughts were all over the place, and when I was finished with my list (#100- to work harder and more consistently for the things I want), I realized that the reflection was just beginning. What did I do with all these…things? They weren’t really tasks, although after weeding through the folly, some of them are truly things I want and will require actions to achieve, but where do I start? ::overwhelm creeps in::
As I sat there with my list of 100 wants, I remembered Crabby McSlacker’s post, Do You Bother with Baselines?, in which she discusses, duh, baselines, and how they might help or hinder or somewhere in the middle. In addition to lists and self-reflection, I’m a big believer in baselines. In that post’s comments, I shared my experience of starting with a zero baseline in exercise. Couldn’t do a damn thing. Today, while I might not be setting the fitness world afire, I can do all sorts of things I couldn’t do before. Push-ups! Wall sits! BOSU dummbell swings! I couldn’t do them at all, then I could do a few, and now I can do…more.
So I took a few of the wants from my list and today I’m measuring where I am now with them. (I’m currently 24 minutes behind on “#27- to stick to my schedule) I’m not sure where this exercise will go from here, but in the end I’ll know 1) what I want, and 2) how far I am from having it.
And then I might need to invoke #49 – to learn only as much as I need to know. Or I’ll keep going. It will be interesting to see where this takes me. If nothing else, I got to spend time making a list and that alone makes me happy.
Have you ever clearly defined your wants? Do you think it’s an exercise that will benefit you?
Do you have “a funky food cart” I could borrow? (No clue where #78 came from, but there it is.)