Are you living the Great Dream?

So this week on Monday it was the International Day of Happiness so my theme this week was how to be happy and to make other people happy. The Great Dream stands for Giving, Relating, Exercise, Awareness, Trying out, Direction, Resilience, Acceptance and Meaning. This comes from Actions for Happiness (www.actionsforhappiness.org).
I think Great Dream is a great way to look at your lifestyle and see how much more you can get out of it. We are all so busy being busy and missing out on the here and now and time is passing – honestly it is. I can’t believe how quickly!
So are you giving, doing things for other people? How have you made other people happy? Tricky question really. I encouraged facebook followers to try to do something on Monday to make someone else happy. It made me rethink how much time I was giving to friends and family too and it’s time to get the diary more filled with social stuff other than just work.
Relating was all about connecting or reconnecting with other people. Again we take things for granted. Marriage the years pass and after the honey moon period, we can get a bit complacent and don’t always put enough energy into keeping relationships interesting. Friends – do we give enough time to them or only tend to speak to them when we need them? Could you make three new connections through chatting to someone in a shop or in the street or in the gym this week? We should broaden our connections and be more friendly. The world doesn’t have to be an unfriendly place.
Exercise – the easiest part for me in being happy through every week. The adrenalin of completing a workout of the day at Crossfit and the calm of teaching Pilates, such a great combination to help me look after my body. So how are you doing this for yourself? We all need to move around more, especially when you sit at the PC or in front of the TV for up to maybe an hour without moving – not good!
How aware are you of yourself? Are you doing things that make you happy? Honestly ask yourself that question. Do you notice how you feel when you workout? Do you notice how you feel when you do certain jobs over others? Are you giving your kids enough attention when they do actually talk to you? Notice and appreciate all that’s around you and you will definitely feel happier.
Trying out – What new thing did you try out this week? Nothing, me too. How dull are we! We need to keep learning, developing new skills. Our brains love this and so do our bodies. It also means we get to meet new people and create new relationships. Have you given up on education? Do you think you just can’t do anything new? It can be hard developing a new skill but it is really satisfying when you start to make progress – give it go.
Direction – I love this quote:-
‘A wise person knows which goals are ultimately fulfilling and which offer only the illusion of fulfilment’ – Robert Emmons
This is so true. We get caught up in what are other people’s goals or stereo typical goals that aren’t necessarily value led as in things you really belief you can do and that will bring you value. Be realistic, set small goals and enjoy the journey getting there and don’t be afraid to share your dreams.
How resilient are you? Do you bounce back easily? I think we can all be bothered by what other people think about us but in all honestly, whatever they may think, they will never have a complete picture or understanding why we do what we do, etc. so what they think about us is just their perspective isn’t it? I’ve learnt over time not to judge because we don’t know someone’s situation to why they may have acted the way they did and who are we anyway to make judgement! Be grateful for everything that goes on in your life and you will find you bounce back so much more easily.
Again another great quote:
‘Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances’ – Viktor Frankl
Also never be afraid to ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness but strength and gives you someone else’s perspective.
Emotions – dreaded word! For women, emotions get dramatically affected by those pesky hormones so always look after your nutrition and sleep as a great place to start if you do find your moods are all over the place.
I’m a glass is half full person. I’ve had lows as does everyone, but I really believe there is little point in dwelling on them and staying in that darker place. Okay I will always cry when I watch the London Marathon or anything that is remotely happy or sad, that’s me for you but I also want to feel as much as possible whilst there is breath in me. Also get more aware of when your emotions are out to get you – track your cycle, start to see the pattern so you can try to be more upbeat. Do things that make you happy when you feel low. Keep your kitchen cupboards stocked with healthy foods if you feel a downer coming so you don’t make it worse. Talk to people but once again we have to focus on the good stuff and leave the negative chat behind.
So we are nearly through the Great Dreams – how are you feeling? Last two things to look at in trying to help you get more out of living. Acceptance of you and other people. Stopping the negative inner critic and starting to appreciate all the great things that you have achieved. For example, the Crossfit games have been taking place and there have been elements of the workouts that I’m not ready to do and it has frustrated me, but it has also made me think right let’s work on these weaknesses and turn them into strengths. Just because you can’t do something now, doesn’t mean you can’t do it later, if you practice and persevere.
Don’t be afraid to ask people what they think your strengths are as sometimes you won’t realise just how strong you are. You can also let them know what you think of them too (in a pleasant way please).
So here we are at the ultimate question – what is the meaning of life! LOL I think here we need to go smaller picture initially to get understanding of our own importance. You might be a parent, a friend, a teacher, an officer worker, we all have purpose. We are not here doing nothing and having no point only if you decide what you do is pointless. A job is a job, it’s work, it might be boring but it means you earn an income so you can live so good on you, well done, be proud of that. You might have children, great, well done again. You have helped humanity grow if you want to feel really important.
We all have a role to play in our families, for our friends, at work, at play, for the environment, everything. Without a doubt no-one at all is pointless or should feel there is no meaning to what they do. If you really struggle to feel part of something, get involved with your community more or a group, volunteer – do something that brings you together with other people.
So we have all the tools to be happy. Keep these 10 keys to happiness in your mind. Look at them each week, each day if you have to and remind yourself that we have loads to be happy about just open your eyes and see clearly.
Have a great day!