March Happiness Project: Aim Higher

This is one in a series of monthly articles from Gretchen Rubin’s book:   The Happiness Project.

March’s  Happiness Project is Aim Higher.  Whether you are self-employed, work for someone, or are a volunteer to an organization, striving to aim higher will result in increasing your happiness.

Happiness is a critical factor for work, and work is a critical factor for happiness.  In one of those life-isn’t-fair results, it turns March Happiness Project: Aim Higherout that the happy out perform the less happy. … Happy people … tend to be more cooperative, less self-centered, and more willing to help others … and then, because they’ve helped others, others tend to help them.

Gretchen picked some areas where she desired to aim higher.  I am paraphrasing them here:

  • Start a new project.  In Gretchen’s case, she decided to launch a blog to further her writing career.  Her research revealed that challenges and novelty are key elements of happiness.
  • Enjoy the fun of failure.  Dealing with failure is part of life.  If something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly until you learn to do it well!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you know things that you don’t know.  Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness!
  • Work smarter.  In other words, boost your efficiency.  Many of us feel that lack of time makes us inefficient.  But Gretchen figured out that she worked better when she had less time!
  • Enjoy the present.  The belief that when you arrive at a certain destination, you’ll be happy is a fallacy!  Learn to take pleasure in the growth you experience in the gradual progress towards your goals.

So which areas resonate with you, calling you to act on aiming higher?

Being self-employed for many years, each of these areas challenges me.  But what makes me happiest is probably when I receive inspiration to start a new project.  I commonly pray daily for guidance in my business.  Often, the first thing when I wake up in the morning, new creative ideas come to mind.  Some of these projects are successful and some, well, … let’s just say I learn to enjoy the fun of failure!

Of course, working smarter is always a challenge as I don’t always know what is the best way to work smart until it is obvious I have not done so!  And enjoying the present moment is a life-long goal.  Sometimes, I can do that, whereas, occasionally I catch myself thinking that after I get ABC, I’ll be happy.

How about you?  What are you going to do this month to aim higher?

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