Continuing with my "Being Happy" series, something that always puts a big grin on my face...
Who doesn't love a bucket list!
I've placed an X by all the things I've done - some are sad though, but, each experience whether good or bad, exciting or terrifying, shapes you as a human being and defines your life:
Gone on a blind date
Skipped school X
Watched someone die X
Watched a pet die X
Seen the Grand Canyon in person
Flown in a plane X
Served on a jury
Been lost X
Travelled to the opposite side of the country X
Been to Europe X
Swam in the Ocean X
Gone south for the winter
Gone on a cruise
Cried yourself to sleep X
Played cops and robbers X
Recently coloured with crayons/pencils X
Sung karaoke, a solo or duet in church X
Paid for a meal with coins only X
Made a prank phone call X
Laughed until some beverage came out of your nose X
Caught a snowflake on your tongue X
Lost a child
Had a pet X
Been skinny-dipping X
Been boating X
Been downhill skiing
Been water skiing
Been camping in a trailer/RV X
Been camping in a tent X
Driven a motorcycle
Been bungee-jumping (ripcord jumping)
Gone to a drive-in movie
Done something that could have killed you X
Done something that you will regret for the rest of your life
Rode an elephant or camel X
Eaten just cookies, chips, ice cream or cake for dinner X
Been on TV X
Stolen any traffic signs X
Been in a car accident X
Been in hospital in the past 24 months
Gotten a (speeding) or any type of ticket in the past 12 months
Gotten a piercing X
Driven a four door vehicle X
Fell in love X
Fell out of love X
Paid for a strangers meal X
Driven over 100 mph X
Written a published book/story (poem) X
Been scuba diving
Gotten a tattoo
How about you?
Present your best self
Give fewer gifts and make more memories
Shift your focus to what you really cherish
Refined living on an everyday income
Living life on your own terms
I'm so keen to get to certain points in my life that over the last few years I've sacrificed the journey. Rubin talks about Tal Ben-Shahar's "arrival fallacy" from his book "Happier". This is the belief that when you arrive at your destination - buy the new house, have the baby, marry - you'll be instantly happy and everything will fall into place. However, rarely is this the case because all of those things bring additional stresses, worries, plans and concerns. Rubin says, "The challenge, therefore, is to take pleasure in the 'atmosphere of growth', in the gradual progress made toward a goal, in the present."
From personal experience, I really understood this recently having secured a job in the travel industry after taking a four-year break. I've had two months since knowing I got the job to revel in the satisfaction and look forward to the challenges ahead, whilst wrapping up some of my most pressing projects before I start commuting. Prior to that, whilst I was working hard to find a job, I still made sure (for the majority of the time) to enjoy those free days for personal pursuits, which I might not have much time for in the future. I also made sure to learn from every failed interview and I was able to get a long overdue look inside some of the industries biggest and most respected companies.
Believe. Play. Smile. These are the themes of my Being Happy series.
I've learned over the years that even the best, well laid plans rarely go to plan. And the harder I want something to work out, the less likely that it does, according to how I've pictured it should. So I've learned to be adaptable and to go with the flow more. However, I'm still learning to enjoy this process, especially when I'm on the home straight and hurdle after hurdle keeps cropping up - and I wonder will I ever get there.
On the flip side of this, when I've been on the "hedonic treadmill" in the past (taken from The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin), I've found my adaptability performs at its peak because I've no time to dwell on the positives or negatives. The new change to my circumstances becomes the norm. Rubin suggests that although this may help us to cope if / when our situation worsens, it means when circumstances improve, we quickly "become hardened to new comforts or privileges." We take the comforts for granted and the privileges no longer appear like an achievement. As with everything, adaptability in our lives is a balancing act. She then goes on to talk about an "atmosphere of growth", which I'm going to discuss in my next post.
A smile is the lighting system of the face, the cooling system of the head and the heating system of the heart.
Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those cards you hold well.
Decide what you want
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.