I read an article yesterday about “how to be happy at work.” One of the points that caught my attention was that some people set very high and specific standards for what will make and keep them happy. If you’re a high-powered perfectionist or someone who prefers lots of challenges in your job (I have moments of both, but not all the time), you are restricting the number of times or overall amount of time you can be happy during the day.
Given that, perhaps it’s worth stepping back and thinking about why you do what you do. Are you overdoing it? Are you putting too much emphasis on your job? Are you focusing on the right things? This is more or less the thought process I went through after I read the article; then I took the author’s suggestion and came up with a list of things I could do during any given day to make sure I’m happy. This list is mine, your mileage could vary.
1. Learn something new.
2. Talk (not text, not email) with a close, personal friend or family member.
3. Listen to music.
4. Create something new…fiction, poem, essay, spreadsheet, whatever.
5. Do something good for yourself.
6. Do something fun for yourself.
7. Do something constructive in your living space—cleaning, organizing, adding/subtracting something
8. Think about or expose yourself to something profound.
10. Do something good for someone else.