Step 39 – The Map of Happiness
Do you think that something like a map of happiness really exists…? I believe it does. I just watched an interview (on Impact Theory again; which is the YouTube channel I mentioned you a few times before https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8CD2QEYo6Q) with Vanessa Edwards, the scientist whose book “Captivate” is a bestseller right now (can’t wait to read it!). She is working on a new book about happiness and already said that we can easily expand our own. She says that the moments of real, big-scale happiness don’t happen that often in our lives, but what really matters are those small happy moments that happen to us on a daily basis that we don’t even notice (like drinking our favorite coffee or making breakfast for our loved ones). Those are the moments we should be celebrating and that we should also have more of in our lives.
How we can do that? It’s easier than I thought it’d be, and yet it never occurred to me to do it. Edwards simply advises us to write down what we do every day. To write down everything. Starting with our morning routine, breakfast, work, chores, hobbies – everything. And then, after you write it all down, she asks you to rank the stuff from 1 to 10. 1 means that the thing brings you the least amount of happiness; 10 is the happiest of course. Why does she ask you to do that? Because this list will help you to realize what really makes you happy and what gets you down. After you understand what puts a smile on your face, it will be easier for you to incorporate these things into your life. Isn’t that simple and brilliant at the same time…?
I said it never occurred to me, but now I realized that it actually did, a year ago. I remember I got dizzy, because of all the expectations I set out for myself – and one day I just went to Argo Tea, sat down for 2 hours and started thinking of what was missing from my life. I wrote down things that always made me happy and that I stopped doing for some reason. Going to the movies, reading magazines and exploring NY were three top things on that list. And after I wrote it all down, I promised myself to do exactly those things at least once a week. And now I’m doing them again – and that makes me really happy.
I will make the list Venessa advised us to do, just out of curiosity. I wanted to see what I should avoid doing and what should be on my weekly to-do list. Why? Because, as I said a few times already on Just Like NY, we all think “we still have time” and we put off the things that are important to us on a shelf, always waiting for the “right day” to arrive. Well, guess what: It arrived right now. How about living like it was our last week/month/year on this planet…? Just do it, before it gets too late.