Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Get Your PRIORITIES Straight!

"Four Ways to Make Sure Your New Year Is, Indeed, Happy!"
1. CHOOSE To Be Happy
2. Get Your PRIORITIES Straight!
In yesterday's podcast and blog we discussed the idea that "Happiness is a CHOICE!" and that each one of us has the ability to be happy - regardless of our circumstances or the situation. It is something that we CHOOSE for our lives so make HAPPINESS your choice!
Now, let's turn to the second of the four points on how we can make sure we actually DO have a "Happy New Year" - Get Your Priorities Straight!
"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is one of the most famous phrases in the United States Declaration of Independence, and considered by some as one of the most well crafted, influential sentences in the history of the English language. These three aspects are listed among the "unalienable rights" of man.
What are YOU pursuing in the realm of "happiness"? Remember the lists that you made yesterday? What was on your list of "things that will make me happy"? How are you going to pursue all of those different "things"?
Have you ever tried to catch a chicken? That's hard enough but, have you ever tried (or watched someone try) to catch a chicken in a GROUP of chickens? Inevitably, here's what happens: the person sets out to catch one particular chicken but gets distracted when there is another chicken closer and then they start chasing THAT chicken! They keep switching from one chicken to another and usually have no success at catching ANY chicken!
Does that describe you in your "pursuit of happiness"? Are you "following/chasing/pursuing" one thing and then you get distracted by something else and go after it? Some people pursue some sort of narcotic (drug) seeking happiness and they can't find it there. Some others may pursue happiness by getting involved in many different sexual relationships (wow, has this been in the news a lot lately?) and they can't find it there. Some drown themselves in a bottle of alcohol thinking they'll discover happiness there only to find an empty bottle and, often, a destroyed life.
Sometimes, we see this exemplified by those that chase one "new and improved idea" on the Internet after another. The latest fad, the latest "greatest thing", the most recent "get rich quick scheme" - whatever it is, we see some constantly chasing and pursuing something that they HOPE will bring them happiness.
How does one think that will happen? What is it in ALL of these examples that is supposed to bring about happiness? Is it money? Is it simply the "high" from the drugs, sex and/or alcohol? Is it the idea that there is something better than what we have?
Maybe today you should make a list of "All the Reasons I Have To Be Happy Today!" and see what you write down.
My thought is that, likely, this will be a list of your priorities.
Regardless of what you accomplish - if you do it at the expense of what/who is important to you, you will find emptiness. We all know the stories of men and women that said they were sacrificing time with their families FOR the family only to find their family torn apart. Really think about this - how much sense does it really make to someone to be told, "I never spend any time with you because I love you and I'm doing this for you!" ????
Sure, there are times that there are small sacrifices to our families that come along and that can be "made up" later --- but pay careful attention to how often this starts to creep in to your life and be very, very careful with your priorities.
Need help with this? Compare the list from yesterday of "Things That Would Make Me Happy" to the list from today "All the Reasons I Have to Be Happy Today!" and see if they are different. Are there any similar or duplicate items on both lists? Here's the bottom line "gut-check" on this question: On EITHER list --- what if you could only have 5 total items from both list COMBINED? Not five from each list - five total. Everything else was to be taken away and you would be left with ONLY those five.
What would they be?
This will give you a pretty good idea of what your priorities are. Now...are you happy and/or satisfied with this list of five? If not - change your list and your way of thinking. If you are satisfied with that list - GREAT! Now gauge whatever you pursue with this list.
Make sure these are "aligned" or "in tune" with whatever you do and this will, indeed, help your new year to be "happy". Why? Because you have made CHOICES on what you have to have in your life! Everything else? It's "frosting" on top of the "cake"!
Think about it - DO THE LISTS to help you really see what is going on in your life and in your thoughts - be HONEST with yourself (there's no one else that you need to share your list with which means there is no one that you need to try to impress) and be HONEST with the results.
Hey, friend - it IS possible for each day, week, month and year to be HAPPY if we so choose!
And, along the way...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

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