Category Archives: Zennin’ Mind

Achieving that pesky happiness goal

The past few days I have been contemplating why people (myself in particular) do things that they KNOW will make them LESS HAPPY.

Gaining weight and waking up with a mind-numbing hangover certainly do not improve the quality of our lives so why do we eat at McDonald’s and consume alcohol?

Aren’t humans supposed to be smarter than this?

I ask this question because my actions lately have had me contemplating just how much I sincerely want to be happy.

I have recently FULLY (or so I thought) committed myself to health and happiness so it seemed odd to meet that I would suddenly resort to old, unhealthy patterns.

I had to dig DEEP below the surface to discover my reasoning behind this but think I may have figured some of it out.

Our old patterns, as self destructive as they may be, are incredibly comfortable. They are familiar, safe, and provide us with security. Sure, in the long run our habits are damaging to our health, happiness, and well being but I’ll be damned if they don’t feel like a warm, fuzzy teddy bear in the moment!

I have a list of activities I want to incorporate into my life and goals I want to achieve. And guess what? Just about everything on that list is scary and unfamiliar and makes me want to crawl under my covers.

But my alternative list, the list of things that I am familiar with and that elicit minimal anxiety, are no longer positively serving my life and my purpose.

So the way I see it, we have two choices: either continue on this safe, smooth road that leaves us feeling unchallenged or worse, regretful and unhappy OR create a new path which may feel bumpy and uncertain at first, but will undoubtedly ADD happiness to our lives.

No matter how scary new things in life may be, I always try to remind myself that they are getting me one step closer to reaching my biggest goal in life: happiness.

You would be surprised how much it helps to actually write out a list of the things in your life that are causing you pain and unhappiness along with a list of things that you want to create or incorporate more of into your life. Focusing your time and energy on that second list will allow for less attention to be aimed at that nasty first one.

Contrary to how it often feels, our lives are created by OURSELVES. When we start to hate what it looks like, it is time to question the artist behind it.

(If this doesn’t display pure happiness I’m not sure what does..)
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The Starting Point

The hardest part of starting anything is just that: STARTING! I have a hard time starting a work out regime, a health food plan, and now, a blog.

But the first step to making ANYTHING happen is well, actually taking that first step.

I struggle with self-discipline. I haven’t quite pinpointed why but I have an inkling it involves that wonderful four-letter f word: FEAR.

If I was as awesome at self motivating myself as I am at shooting myself in the foot, I would be queen of the universe by now.

It is depressing to think of all the things that go unaccomplished and unstarted (today, that is a word) because don’t believe it will succeed. And you know what? There is always a chance it will fail.

But what scares me SO MUCH more than failure is being an old woman with grey hair reflecting on my life and wishing I had failures. Atleast failures make for a great story. Have you ever heard someone tell an entertaining story where they did NOTHING? Not my idea of a fun cocktail party.

So if I have to choose between being 80 and telling stories of sitting on my rump watching Seinfeld episodes in my youth (does 26 still qualify as ‘youth?’) or putting forth effort that, regardless of success, made me more interesting than the former, well I think the choice is clear.

Attempting to create something new and different and outside our comfort zones is TERRIFYING. But looking back on my life someday with regret and defeat frightens me even more. I always remember that 50 years from now, I will never look back on the memories of keeping it safe. Memories of efforts, attempts, and even failures, are far more exciting.