It may have escaped your attention but today is International Day of Happiness and a chance for us to consider what makes us happy. That may sound like a really simple question: what makes you happy? It may be a walk in the park, spending time with family or loved ones, a good book, a glass of wine in good company. All those things may make you happy for a short time but I think long term happiness has to come from within.
It is something I think we wrestle with a lot when it comes to our work. Many people are doing jobs that don’t make them happy. They sit at night dreading the alarm which will signal another day in the office or workplace. Everyone is individual and the reasons why they are not enjoying work may be many and varied. For many the challenge of doing something else or leaving what they have known for a while may just be too much to consider.
This happiness day has made me look at my own life to see what makes me happy and am I making enough time for it in the day. I think the short answer is that I don’t always recognise what I need to help me. After all if we are happy then we are likely to have good mental health and to feel resilient and able to deal with what life brings.
I am lucky to still be doing a job that brings me huge personal rewards. I still feel that I have something to bring to the role and can be happy with what I have achieved. When I can’t feel that then I will know it is time to do something else. But that is only part of the story.
What I do outside of those hours of work is vital to my overall sense of wellbeing. It is this element that I often neglect or put down the list of priorities. These are the most important aspects of my life and without them everything else will start to collapse.
For me happiness comes from spending time with my little zoo of animals (as anyone who knows me will know), from time with my family and friends, and from finding ways to be creative. They are all simple things and yet in a busy, digital, connected world can be the last on my list. On international day of happiness I have decided that I need to reassess my priorities and make time for all the parts of my life. Happy international day of happiness everyone.