Learn to Say "No" - Say Yes to What Makes You Happy
What Makes a Person Happy?
There is a lot of talk about the pursuit of happiness. “Magic lists” about how to be happy are popping up everywhere, but what makes one person happy may not work for others.
Happiness is a very personal thing.
Happiness is not having more money or more stuff, you can be very happy with very little material possession if you are able to appreciate and enjoy what you have.
My philosophy on finding happiness can be summarized in this simple rule:
Surround yourself with things you love, and enjoy them.
There are many ways to succeed in finding happiness, and what works for one person may be totally ineffective for another. Each person needs to find his or her own way.
How to Use Your Time Better
To understand what needs to change to make you happier you can ask yourself some questions to help you decide what you activities you need to cut, reschedule or terminate.
- Am I doing what makes me happy?
- What is important to me this time in my life?
- Where would I like to spend more of my time?
- Are there areas that need my attention, like my health, a relationship, work, finances?
- Do I have a secret dream that keeps getting put on the side burner, that I ‘d like to devote more time to? Like writing a book, or learning a foreign language?
- What can handle less attention? -What needs more attention?
Happiness Comes from Within
Joy is nowhere else to be found.
Nothing and no one that can provide happiness to you, other than yourself. Happiness comes from within.
Once you reach a personal balance, you realize that most things are good to have, but not necessary. Money, cars, fame, good looks don't make you feel truly happy. They can make you feel euphoric and cheerful for a short time, but it will fade out.
Sometimes people that we admire and think “they have it all” suffer from depression and feel deeply unhappy. Why?
The true essence of happiness comes from inside you and you are the only maker or source of your own well-being.
Doing things to look good, to please others, can provide immediate reward but in the long run it can get quite frustrating and it makes you feel in a trap, a tunnel in which there is no freedom to follow your personal instincts and be fully yourself.
How to Define Your Priorities and Find Your Balance
How you spend your time reveals your life’s priorities. But are those priorities the true things that you would like to spend your life doing? Or do you spend most of your time doing things that you have to do, and you sacrifice the things that you would really enjoy?
The first thing you need to do is define what are the things that are most enjoyable to you.
1. Write a list of the things that are most important to you, your first choices of how to spend your time if you had no obligations beside your own will.
2. Then you write the list of activities that truly take your time day by day.
3. Review the list of things that take up most of your time. Are your priorities what you expected? are they what you want them to be?
Most of us actually spend their time on totally different things from their ideal list. Often we can only dedicate little bits of time to the most important things, like family, fun, exercise, art, etc. because we have too much on our agenda.
The unbalance between how we spend our time, and what we would really love to do, creates stress and anxiety in our lives.
If this week was my last week on Earth, would I be happy with how I’m spending my time?
Learning to Say No
We all have a choice about how to use our time, even if sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, and we feel “stuck” with a busy agenda and no time to take care of yourself.
The only way to make more time for the things we love and enjoy is to say no, schedule less, or cancel appointments.
Changing the way we use our time can be difficult, it means changing the way we interact with others, how we respond to requests, and how we help colleagues, family, and friends. Time is a gift that most of us take for granted.
To change the way we commit our time, we need to learn how to say no.
Some decisions may be hard and you may be concerned with the reactions of others, but the quality of your life will be upgraded immediately.
1) For a quick and dramatic improvement in the quality of your life, make a big choice, like resigning as chair of an important committee or stop coaching sports three times a week.
2) Look for ways to include your true priorities in everyday tasks. With proper planning and creative thinking you can include things like listening to music, having fun, being creative, taking walks, in your daily and working schedule.
If we don’t make our emotional and physical health important, we are headed for burn out and would be unable to care for ourselves and our family.
Saying No to Others Without Feeling Guilty
Many times we say yes to things that are not a priority to us simply because we feel obligated.
I had to struggle for years with the idea of scheduling things that are only for me, and take me away from my children and my family.
I used to love yoga, but I stopped going to yoga classes because of feelings of guilt about not being a good mother or wife when taking time for myself. I know, it can sound non-sense, but that’s the way I felt.
I never restarted going to yoga, but now I take time to paint and write, which is also wonderful for my sanity, and I feel better because I can do it at home. Even if I don’t actively spend time with my family, I’m physically there and available upon request.
My better moods after I started spending more time on things I love, has been noticed by both my husband and my children, and they were very welcoming of my newly found cheerfulness.
Also I think it is a great example for the children to see that I have reoriented my life around things that are important to me and make me happy.
Why Do We Say Yes When We’d Rather Say No?
We Say Yes for FEAR OF:
- Disappointing others
- Having to deal with their reactions
- Creating conflict
- Regretting it later
- Not being liked
- Lose job
- Lose relationship
Ways to Live Happier - The List
Below is a list of things you can do to live a happier life.
The focus of the list is to eliminate what drains your energy, you make more space for the things that energize you, those that are truly important.
Every item on the list aims to eliminate energy drains and replace them with things that fuel you.
Find the things that stimulate and strengthen you, increase the time you dedicate to those activities, it will help you achieve your potential.
Saying Yes to Yourself
Things to Do to Feel Happier
Spend time with good friends that make you laugh.
Listen to your favorite music regularly.
Create a beautiful environment around you: get rid of clutter and stuff you don’t longer need. Keep your home neat, clean, and well organized. Keep fresh flowers in your home and office
Always take lunch breaks.
Save money consistently, and enjoy being generous and easily share your wealth. Pay your credit card off every month.
Be spontaneous in what your think, your ideas, and what you do.
Laugh, keep your sense of humor alive, laugh at the weird things that happen instead of being annoyed. Be silly.
Be creative, try new things instead of sticking to safe paths.
Appreciate the little things in life, be grateful for simple life-experiences.
Have some good friends, you just need a few, with which you establish a deep satisfying relationship.
Make some time for yourself.
Tolerate life’s uncertainty and accept change. Learn to work with a problem, finding a solution, instead of fighting it.
Be an independent thinker, let your personality and your taste define who you are. Listen to your own feelings instead of the voice of tradition, authority or the majority. Be prepared to be unpopular if your views do not coincide with those of the majority.
Feeling Alone in a Crowd
Have you ever experienced feeling alone in a crowd? When you see everyone around you interacting, talking, smiling, laughing, but no one talks to you. You almost feel invisible, a fly on the wall observing the scene, but not part of the action. It can be very challenging feeling happy while a world of people that look happy clearly ignores you.
How can you feel happy when surrounded by a neglecting crowd?
A way to succeed is if you feel comfortable with yourself.
Feeling fulfilled with your lifestyle and the relationships and things that you have, are necessary steps to feel happy. If they don’t talk to you it is their loss.
Use Your Time Wisely
Time is a very precious resource and how we use it defines who we are and how happy we can be.
Let's use our time wisely and live happier. : )
© 2012 Robie Benve