Happiness – how would you describe it? Emotive to its core, essential to every single person on this earth, and yet sometimes so elusive that you would think it never existed. In my essay “My Crime or Yours? A Wife’s Debate”, I was very honest about my current situation as a stay-at-home mom. My emotions, as I wrote the piece, were running high enough to practically send me into orbit. I am lost, to say the least, but this morning after listening (at my husband’s work convention) to one of the most inspiring, yet down-to-earth speakers I have ever heard, I finally felt the power grow within me to start making the difference in my life that I had wrote about.
Beth Thomas, the speaker, has just released a book called “Powered by Happy.” Essentially this book is about making employees happy at work in order to increase productivity and bottom-line profit. Happy campers make for happy bosses and even happier
CEOs. The simple correlation between these two is not so new in its concept, and you could easily say it is downright obvious, but the facts and statistics confirm that this is a real problem for corporate America. Now, I once was corporate, I once was in business, and I once was the one who wore the name identification badge without the word ‘spouse’ plastered all over it, but now my corporate world is at my home. So as I listened, I realized that the same principles should apply to our family lives. Happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids, and a fulfilling relationship with my husband is the key to my 'company's' success. My return on efforts is not financial profit -- it is my own personal happiness and satisfaction.
Beth Thomas herself reinforced this message during her talk, pointing out that working too many hours or too hard does not make you any more successful; in fact it can be detrimental. Funny, that is exactly how I described my life. The more I do around the house, the more hours I work to keep my family functioning has become a mountain so high to climb that I can never reach the summit. Running around like a headless chicken is not doing me or my nerves any good. I seem to always have a to-do list as long as my arm with no time to do any of it well and it makes me negative – it wears me out. My scales are tipped to one side and I need to regain balance.
So, it’s time for change, time for taking hold of the negative and kicking it out the door. Negative breeds negative, yet simple laughter can take over the world; it is contagious in all the right ways. Apparently there are Laughter Conferences that are held over all over America. People go and just laugh constantly for the time they are there. I am not sure that I will be attending one of those, but it does make you think. If people are selling laughter as a concept to improve your life, then surely we can interject more ourselves, and the best is it is free!
The message this morning was clear. In order to be happy you have to know what makes you happy. The first lesson in the book is to create your own definition of happiness. It is not as easy to do as you think, but I am going to do it. I am going to work through the book and see where it gets me.
Today is my first day on the road to being “Powered by Happy.” This afternoon I am going to sit down and allow myself time to think about my happiness. My list will probably be long, but that’s okay, because I have the drive to do it. I am taking back responsibility for my life and happiness. Who knows, maybe I will share my list with you in my next blog – we will see!