When Blog Posts Collide, Happiness Might Result

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::

Enter Blog Post #2:
two arrows: wants & baselines

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.)

15 thoughts on “When Blog Posts Collide, Happiness Might Result

  1. I like that –listing 100 things I want. I have to admit, right now I am very contented in the way my life is going. Still, I think it might be a good exercise. And then I’ll need to check out the baseline blog. Now that one sounds like a little more work. But it might actually help me to accomplish a couple of my wants (I’m thinking of a couple right now that just seem daunting.)

    • If nothing else, I’ve been more mindful today of the few wants I picked out of the list. And I’ve also had ideas for other wants that just popped in out of nowhere. Do-able things. So it’s been a useful exercise so far.

  2. What a fun and interesting exercise, i’m often so caught up in the “I needs” of the moment that I don’t really think about what I “want”. Mostly just what is the task at hand, what are my responsibilities and how do I fit it all in. I would be curious to see where my mind wanders if i really sat down and let it tell me what it wants…

    • That’s it exactly, Robyn. Just taking the time to be quiet and let my mind roam was energizing in its own way. Which is good, considering how much work I have ahead of me if I want to turn these wants into haves or almost haves. :)

  3. Here’s a different perspective on a list like that…..I could easily create such a list, but unfortunately, there’s another person in my household that has to be considered and many of the things on MY list are either not possible at all or will at least require compromise. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but sometimes I envy my single friends who have the freedom to do what they want on their schedule. HOWEVER, please know that I understand it works both ways. Even though I am retired, I have someone still bringing in an income which frees me to do things my single friends might not have as options right now. Having said all that, I’m still making a list and way up there, is a “Cammy” day. When can we make that happen??

    • Be careful what you wish for, Sharon. It looks like I’ll be traveling to MD later this month, and I’m hoping I can book some Sharon-time on the way up or back. I’ll let you know when I know my itinerary.

      I understand what you’re saying about having another *interested party* involved. Even as a solo person, I still have obligations to be considered. My goal is to figure out how to have what I want AND meet those obligations. Or get close to what I want without anybody having a hissy fit. :)

  4. What an interesting exercise….thank you for sharing it with us. Run that mile – just to say that you can/did.

    • I didn’t make the mile, Roxie, but I did run 3 1-minute “sprints”. (They were sprints inside my head.)

  5. I am like Sharon that some lot of my wants don’t necessarily jive with John’s list, as compatible as we are. I can make a few small things happen on that list now, like cleaning the window by my chair that drives me nuts with how dirty it is. John and I have some bigger things on the horizon that we both have to move towards with compromise on both sides.

    • I’m so selfish. I’d probably have items like, “Convince John to see X my way” on my list. :) (Does this explain why I’m not married?)

  6. Thanks Cammy, this may be a very good exercise for me. Just reading it I can come up with some “I wants” but beyond that, well I do need to put some thought. I am going to try this later this evening when I can have some quiet time. I will definitely will pass on this exercise to some of my TOPS friends.

    Many hugs

  7. Really interesting Cammy!! I loved this one – to learn only as much as I need to know. That hit me this morn! :)

    You mean I can’t just have win the lotto & all the other 99 would fall into place! 😉

    Not sure my mind can take this right now – just need to clean up financial mess right now…

  8. You are SO my kind of girl, Cammy! I love your first line… “happiness as default setting” lovely turn of phrase.
    I feel that way too.
    And I’m in the process of looking at the same things in my life. What do I really want to do, be, accomplish, etc.. I hadn’t seen the first post, though I’d seen Crabby’s.
    I’ll get caught up.
    And, I wish you could live somewhere for 6 months that was close enough to where I live!

  9. I do think it’s helpful to think about what you really want…Sometimes we think we know, get bogged down in trying to reach the goal, and we don’t realize that maybe we’ve changed our mind about what we wanted in the first place. Reflection is good, just to keep us headed in the direction that will make us happy.

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