Days of Happiness: Day Seven

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Days of Happiness: Day Seven

The 30 days of Happy Thoughts series is inspired by the International Day of Happiness (March 20th, 2017).

 

Today’s Motivational Video

 

Today’s Happy Thought



 

National Nutrition Month® Tidbits

March is also National Nutrition Month®! Eating healthy is important to your happiness too!

Check out this week’s game here.

Check out this week’s NNM video here.

 

Day of Happiness Celebrations: Q&A


 

Happiness means different things to different people, what does Happiness mean to you?

Happiness to me means being able to spend my time doing what I’d like instead of life revolving around a 9-5 (or in my case, 8:30-7) work schedule.   Getting this time back is going to be a central focus of mine throughout 2017.

Do you believe happiness is an emotion or more of a state of mind?

I believe the two are not mutually exclusive in the same way that motivation and discipline together create a loop.  Happiness is a positive mindset that releases endorphins which, in turn, continues to make us happy.  There’s a reason they say to smile when you’re sad, just doing that triggers the release of those feel-good chemicals and actually leads to happiness.

Do you consider being happy important to you?  Why?

Of course.  This might be a strange response—I think just as important as being happy is going through times of sadness.  Puts emotions into perspective and allows us to better feel and understand our joy, elation, delight by acknowledging its absence.

What do you consider a fundamental barrier to Happiness in your life?

The daily grind.  At present I’m pretty unhappy with my work-life balance.  Part of what I’ve wanted to do this year is improve that balance, I think I’ve actually backtracked on it.

How important is wealth and money to your own happiness?

To me it represents safety or, literally, financial security, which makes me happy.  I grew up with very little in a family that struggled with credit card debt and never had assets.  There are times I wish it wasn’t as much of a consuming thought as it is, especially when I’ve found that making more money hasn’t made me a happier person overall.  A lot of studies have linked wealth to general satisfaction in life, but this is more so because of higher social status.

How important is health and wellness to happiness?

Health and wellness go hand-in-hand with fitness, all of which are extremely important to my personal happiness.  Exercise, even in small bits, releases endorphins and improves mood.  There’s a noticeable difference in mornings that I work out versus those that I skip the gym, or any physical activity.  It also energizes you, which helps you focus and carry about your day more efficiently…  More stuff done, happier.

What has been the happiest moment in your life?

Several years ago I went backpacking around Europe with a few close friends.  The three-month trip culminated with a hike to a cliff overlooking a Norwegian fjord, known as Trolltunga.  What was most amazing about this experience was that I’d seen pictures of this landscape for years—it was actually the desktop background on my computer back when I had Windows 98—seeing it in person was truly otherworldly!  Scandinavia’s a very majestic place.

 

Do you have any specific goals or resolutions for 2017?  If so, would your share your top two that directly relate to your own Pursuit of Happiness?

I mentioned earlier that I’d like to work on my work-life balance which, at this point, is practically 90% work and 10% worrying about work when I’m not at work.  In the coming months I’ll take some time off to balance myself out.

The second is more tangible—buy a house.  I’ve been looking into rental properties for a while and haven’t been able to pull the trigger; this one should be taken care of in the next 3 months or so.

 

Do you consider giving to others or charity work an important part of your own Pursuit and why?

At risk of coming across as too earnest, I believe charity is an important concept in my own pursuit of happiness.  However, instead of giving money to an organization I prefer to spend my own time volunteering with causes that I care about.  The action of simply giving has never been my thing per se; I prefer maintain trails with the Appalachian Mountain Club or participating at a local animal shelter.

What 2 things have you learned in your own pursuit that you would like to share with others?

Make time for yourself:  My second-most ideal work schedule would include a gap week every 6 weeks (the most ideal would be no work at all).  Overworking yourself isn’t just bad for your productivity (seriously, CEOs and managers), it’s bad for your health.  In finance, I frequently put in 60+ hours a week, not exactly by choice, and notice that my longer weeks tend not just to become less productive but also turn me into a zombie on the little time that I have off.

Take the plunge: Leaps of faith are important.  Don’t spend too much time thinking about a decision and never acting on it…  That’s paralysis by analysis.  Sometimes it can be frightening to make a move outside of your comfort zone but that’s where life happens.

 

If you could recommend only three websites/books/articles to anyone reading this, what would they be, and why?

  • Paul Theroux: Why I Hate Vacation – It’s from a 2010 Men’s Health magazine and it’s not well-written, but it has good substance.  This article changed the way I look at travel and has inspired every trip I’ve taken.
  • Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work – This is actually a TED talk, its 12-minutes.  Geared towards the workplace but applicable anywhere.  Watch it, you’ll be glad you did.
  • Tim Ferriss: The 4-Hour Workweek – Pops up frequently in “life hack” circles to the point that it’s almost become a cliché. Don’t read it as a productivity bible; take some of the points he applies to business and use them in your daily activity to better utilize your time.

 

What is your blog/website address and theme (if you want to share) for 2017?

I am the creator and author of www.conqueringcredit.com, a blog dedicated to educating readers to become more financially literate.  After working in finance for several years with clients from high net worth individuals to struggling small business owners, I’ve come to realize that a small minority of Americans understand even the basics of personal finance.  More often than not, the least educated are the ones giving the advice!


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3 thoughts on “Days of Happiness: Day Seven”

  1. Great interview! I hope you are able to get a better balance with work. I found keeping a time log was helpful for making me more aware of how I was spending my time for both work and non-work tasks. It also helped me start paying more attention to the ebbs and flows of my energy and productivity. And we visited Norway two years ago and I also loved it!

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