Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Revelations about happiness

Just two days into the happiness project and already I've learned so many things. One is that being able to focus on the task at hand greatly increases my enjoyment, whether I'm cleaning house or taking a walk. It's not the activity or where I am, it's how much I'm able to be present that counts most. Even daydreaming about fun stuff while doing something else decreases my happiness. No wonder I meditate! Also, no wonder I love my work so much. When doing massage, I can't get distracted, I must be totally focused on my client. Very cool to know its the ability to focus as much as the work itself that is rewarding.

I'm wondering about my experience with NaNoWriMo, how obsessed I was, how totally focused I was on the writing. Was I happy? Because I've also learned that after sitting in front of the laptop, I am in general very physically uncomfortable. During November I was in front of the computer a lot. I don't remember feeling physically stiff but i must surely have been! It's interesting to think about.

Two of my happiest mundane activities are shopping for food and cooking, both of which I did yesterday. If that's the only thing I got out of my marriage, well then, ok!

Do these conditions apply to everyone? I wonder because I know folks who can focus for hours on their work, but have no clue how to relax. I always thought that was a problem, but maybe I'm wrong about that. Hmmmm.

Have a happy day today, yes? I say yes. Shalom.


Jinksy said...

I agree, having a point of focus is what makes it easier to live in the 'now', and so lets the rest take care of itself...

ellen abbott said...

does happy equal fulfilled? Just wondering. When I am totally focused on something, a drawing or a model, I don't think of myself as being happy, actually I don't think of myself much at all. It's obviously a place I like to be but it's not a happy feeling like I felt on my 60th birthday when my close friends all came out to the country house for my party. there's happy and content and fulfilled and so many other good states of being. well, regardless of all the material things I don't have and the daily struggle to make enough money I think I have a good life and am generally happy or content with my life.

Jo said...

To me, being completely "in the moment" is the place where I find true doesn't matter if I'm cleaning out the fridge or marveling at the specks of green in my grandson's brown eyes.

We lose so much by trying to move backward or forward in time. I say stay put excactly where you are at this moment, and there you will find peace/fulfillment/happiness.

Cyndy said...

I often seem to have to pass through a "why am I doing this?" filter before I get "in the moment" with the activity, especially if it's something I don't particularly want to do.

Being totally focused makes it SO much easier to be happy with any activity - and once that happens I usually don't want to stop until I'm completely finished with whatever it is. I guess that's the OCD version of happiness, hahaha!

Reya Mellicker said...

One of the questions frequently asked in the survey is, "Do you HAVE to do what you're doing?"

They also say, "Do you WANT to do what you're doing?"

Ellen, I, too live pretty low on the food chain, lower than you, I think, yet my life in general is very happy or fulfilled or satisfying - or all three.

It's the moment to moment experiences I hadn't paid much attention to. In the way this survey is helping me a lot!

Elizabeth said...

Mindfullness, my dear!
Do you know that I have utterly zero recollection of writing any of my books because I was so absorbed?
So one ends up with the recollection of fragments of odd stuff.
So concentration is key
focus and more so.
Just starting a book about Montaigne.......
anyway, some people have more reason for joy than others
and life is indeed, very hard for some people.

Peace and joy, dear Reya

tut-tut said...

Laurel's Kitchen has some great things to say about being in the moment, esp. when the moment's activity seems mundane.

Steve Reed said...

I think anytime we can focus on something besides ourselves -- whether a task or a hobby or a job -- it makes us happier. We need to get out of our own heads. (And I say that as a person who lives in his head a lot!)