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Happiness Plan

24 Mar Actionable steps to find your happiness path

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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Search

16 Dec

I am on the search for something. You probably are, too. Whether it is a job search, a personal discovery, a fitness journey, that little thing or change you can make that makes you happy… I’m kind of looking for all of the above!

When things change, it is often a time of search and discovery, of fitting ourselves back into our comfort zone. Maybe it would be better if we stayed out of that comfort zone, though. I am uncomfortable not having a stable income, or feeling like I’m not working as hard as possible toward something. But the last time I was scared after I quit a job, I headed down a path. Now that path is what I am quitting. The search feels never ending, honestly. But I think that I am having to backtrack because I didn’t ask myself the important questions before the last search. Or maybe that was a fine step, because it was critical to get me to this step. See what I’m saying? There are a million paths to take, is there really a right one? I kind of doubt it.

The saying, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey” was the phrase our middle school plastered on its walls, as if 12 and 13 year olds really knew what that phrase meant. For younger me, who was sorely disappointed by “B”s, it meant that the “A” isn’t the destination, it’s the learning process and retention that counts. But do I remember anything that I learned those years off the top of my head? I learned girl friends are a hard code to crack, that boys are confusing but fun, I think we learned about the Middle East in seventh grade as well. Okay…

As I continue my search- for health, for a job that fulfills my curiosity and at the same time I am respected and well compensated, for healthy relationships, for a calm and relaxed mindset- I want to revisit WHY I do things, and choose the paths I do. And then let it go. Because we are moving FORWARD, people. Each and every one of us is moving. I hope your search is fruitful.

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!

Gratitude

27 Nov

In the spirit of Thanksgiving…

I reflect often on gratitude, as most people do this time of year. A lot of personal development exercises have you ponder on gratitude. You hear about how important it is for happiness and seeing things positivity.

Why do we need gratitude?
We need gratitude because we need people. Upon birth, we are dependent on our parents for survival. Being able to pay it forward or give back, gives positive reinforcement. Okay, okay, I’m an Ayn Rand enthusiast. And sometimes, altruism can be a bit frustrating or not very apparent. To some people, it is natural and essential. But, for selfish people, sometimes it is forced. At least for me. But what happens when I do force it? It forces me to see the positive.

I believe in manners, and say thank you and please a lot. But since I started a regimen of personal and spiritual development, I take care to do meaningful gratitude. And really putting some elbow grease into it!

An example? I am doing a 90 day business enhancement project, inspired by Chalene Johnson. Of ten things, the fourth is to do something every week during those 90 days to make your significant other feel significant. If you don’t have a relationship partner, then it’s your best friend, your sister, your kid, whoever is significant in your life. I have a list written out for my boyfriend, and the first was a letter and drawing I wanted to make for him. It takes some effort to put down how I feel. But if I don’t express that, how would he know?? How often do those we love, get to hear it from us? Especially in a meaningful, thought out letter or way.

Sometimes we have to put in more effort and force the positivity. That doesn’t mean it’s any less meaningful.

I encourage you to engage in some meaningful gratitude- go out of your way to make people feel special this holiday season. You’ll be surprised how making others feel good can make yourself feel good!

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!

Meditate

6 Nov

For the last six weeks, I have meditated everyday. It started as a 21 day challenge, but I have known the benefits of meditation and wanted to incorporate it into my daily life and get good at it for the long haul.

I started meditation with something called “Sourcing”. It opens you up and is very vulnerable. It also connects you to a Universal source of energy and healing. Kinda tacky, right? Well, the cool thing about meditation is you make it your own. I meditate at my home office desk, and visualize what I want incorporating different methods I have researched. It’s one of my favorite things about my morning routine I’ve constructed. Especially for beginners, I love this Chalene Johnson Podcast, Meditation for People Who Don’t Get It But Really Need It. It’s really as easy as 5 minutes, twice a day.

Besides reducing stress, and sitting there and trying to clear your mind, think about the word- “meditate”. Meditating on things help us reach a deep understanding. When I meditate on my future, I can picture the things I want. When I meditate on my family, I think of how I can give back the support and love they have given me. Meditating helps humans return to our instincts and calm the clutter and perceptions.

What’s your favorite method? What helped you get in the habit of meditating?

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!

Accomplishment

6 Oct

I love this word- “accomplishment” and thinking about the feeling it evokes. I especially love that different people set different standards for accomplishment, because, DUH, everybody’s different. But you know that feeling I’m talking about? At the end of the day, you did your absolute best and your worn down so perfectly that you know you will sleep well that night. It’s earning that ice cream cone after a 5 mile run and it tasting so much sweeter because you set that treat for your hard work and sweat. Looking at your kids, who aren’t serial killers, and knowing you did a good job and all those sleepless nights at the beginning were worth it.

My honest and truthful things that make me feel accomplished:

  • Sore muscles. A good workout, a hard hike, a successful rock climbing mission. Love those worked muscles!
  • House chores. I don’t like doing them, but I love it after I put energy into my house and living space and everything is clean in my sanctuary.
  • $100 paid work. Being an entrepreneur is HARD, but if I was able to get $100 worth of client work done, I feel GOOD!
  • Nourishment. If I had a full day of healthy eating and hydration choices, I feel wonderful.
  • Added to my knowledge library. I love learning new things, and it can make my day when I learned something new.

With that in mind, I should probably hit those marks every day! What makes you feel accomplished, every part of you?

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!