Happiness Plan

24 Mar

As you might have seen from my posts, I have been on a search. Through personal development and soul searching, I created a rough thing I called my “Happiness Plan”. Let me start from the beginning.

Chain of Events

-Amy gets first “real” job, and is unhappy.
-Amy quits job to move to the mountains with her long term boyfriend and unpopular dog.
-Amy is “full time” for a company she helped start, but quickly loses all of her savings and voice.
-Amy breaks up with her business partner, with nothing but a part time job at a natural and organic food store making sandwiches. And her wonderfully supportive life partner and snowy backdrop.
-Amy has an existential breakdown wondering why she seems to be fleeing from money.
-Amy remembers she is a fighter, and freedom was always the ultimate goal. Every harsh decision she makes is for her ultimate happiness and Ayn Rand remains prominent when she wrote, “The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me.”

Now, for this happiness plan.
In order to create a legitimate and trackable search for a meaningful career, I drafted up certain things, which we will get to. Then, as if the Universe heard my plea and saw all my hard work and determination, a job at the food store I was making sandwiches and burritos at opened up. I was actually interviewing a woman about Sandwich Supervisor position opening up in a few months. But she mentions this job, her old job, and my soul cried a little. It was a vocation I had barely spoken out loud to others, for fear it was such a fragile dream it would shatter before I could realize why I even cared about such a thing. An HR position. Not an admin or social media position I had been frantically applying to in order to find meaning and a stable paycheck. A Human Resource job that combined my anthropology passion and computer skills I had fought so hard for. I had to have it.

And so I applied, with little hope but serious determination. I would be myself, I would bring my A-game (aka beige resume paper in a little plastic presentation binder and my Angela from The Office interview outfit). I mentioned this Happiness Plan discovery in the interview, and how the HR position matched almost everything (nothing is perfect, not even our dream jobs our souls call for), and it piqued their interest. Everyone loved it and I think it was a reason why I got the job. In the official email send out of me receiving the position, the manager of the store included a bio and it mentioned the happiness plan. A lot of people started approaching me about it, asking what it is, how I did it, how they can get it. It made me realize that everyone truly is on their own search for happiness and meaningfulness, and we all feel sad or a lack of happiness on some level.

Main Points of the Happiness Path

  • Gratitude. You’ve probably read it, but happiness is gratitude. It is looking at what you have now and being happy with what you have. Which is closely tied to the next point:
  • Stop putting happiness on the other side of success. Seriously. Don’t say, “I’ll be happy when I make X salary” or “Life will have meaning when I’m in X relationship.” It doesn’t work that way. Happiness is a state of being, not a life achievement.
  • Get ready for work. You might reach an AHA moment, but it will be after dozens of hours of work and personal development and acceptance.
  • It only gets better. Everything is a lesson and a chance for you to grow.
  • I think health is really important. If you hydrate, exercise, think about what you eat, you increase your baseline, your minimal operating state. Coming from someone who has suffered food / other allergies and from a bad skin condition most of her adult life (and a good chunk of childhood), the longer and more often you make positive change, the stronger and healthier you feel. Don’t give up.

What I did

I first reflected on my WHY. Why do you want a meaningful career, relationship, diet, hobby, whatever it is you feel you are lacking? My answer was freedom. I want freedom to own a boat one day, to not be forced to live in a bad or dirty situation, to not have my creativity stifled and be put into a box by others. To use my college degree despite all the people who told me it was a waste of money. Why do you want happiness? Why do you CHOOSE happiness?

Then, I thought about exactly what I wanted to PUT IN to a dream job. Everything from work days to communication to uninterrupted work (I’m a hustler, it’s hard for me to zone in on one job or project). And then, what do I want to GET OUT. Compensation, a sense of accomplishment, gratitude.

Get specific!!!!!!

Finally, I created a web, kind of like you had to make in middle school for coming up with story plots. In the center, I wrote “Work Environment”, because environment and surroundings are important. On each of the rays coming out of the center, I wrote what I desired. Some examples are:

“great, smart people.”

“healthy encouraged.”

“inspired, progressive space.”

“bosses earn respect.”

“workers earn money.”

“clean, plants.”

Pretty simple, right? Well writing it down and defining it puts it out to the Universe and helps you take actionable steps to achieving your dream ___________, and putting you on your happiness path.

Why are my posts not all about development and WordPress and marketing?

I am, like you, your partner, your gardener, a dynamic individual with a million stories and thoughts in my past and my future. I wanted a blog to show some of my personality and struggles and movement, to be the dynamic part of this otherwise static portfolio. And hopefully inspire, comfort, or help someone. These posts are not riddled with keyword-rich phrases because I do enough of that for clients. I am a different kind of developer, with communication and people skills and a desire to use my skills for good. Let’s build a culture together, I can’t wait!

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