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I did some reflection in my journal about why I like my life so much. Here’s what I came up with:
Space for Reflection
I like that my life isn’t overloaded with so much activity. Sometimes I get really busy, but over the course of a year and during most months of the year, I have plenty of time to think, reflect, and ponder.
This month a number of friends told me how much I seem to be a person of deep thought. I do love to think deeply about many different topics, and I’m genuinely curious about so many aspects of life. For someone like me to be happy, I absolutely need abundant space to engage in deep thought.
I can’t really help doing this. Most of the time I’m not even aware of it. It just seems normal to me to keep asking questions about the nature of this reality. I’m always trying to connect more dots and deepen my understanding of how life works.
I feel less happy when I fill my schedule with too much activity and don’t have as much time to think.
I especially love morning runs because they carve out an hour of thinking time each day. One reason I like going for longer runs is that I gain more time to think and ponder.
I find thinking to be a gloriously rewarding activity. It’s been super important for me to create a lifestyle rich in time to think. It definitely makes me happy to have this kind of lifestyle.
Money on the Back Burner
The world of money sometimes interests and excites me, but much of the time I find it rather mundane and boring for my tastes. So I usually prefer to keep this aspect of life in the background instead of the foreground.
I still consider money when making business and life decisions, but I prefer not to base decisions mainly on financial concerns. I’d rather make decisions based on other forms of value, such as appreciation, exploration, or growth.
For me to be happiest, I’ve found it best to see income generation as a problem to be thoroughly solved, so financial concerns don’t get in my way too much.
I like having years’ worth of savings, so even if all of my income switched off suddenly, I could coast for a long time – plenty of time to create new income streams, even if I had to start over in a whole new field from scratch. And even if the savings evaporated, I’ve invested enough in a variety of income skills that I feel that I could replenish it as needed.
“Get the money problem solved once and for all” was something I worked on for many years. I like having this area of life solved well enough that I can give more attention to other aspects of life.
I love to explore. I get bored easily, so wandering through different learning experiences is a big part of my life. This also gives me plenty of source material for connecting more dots.
Centering my life around exploration and discovery was a terrific choice that has made me way happier than investing in a traditional corporate career.
Friendships are a big source of value for me. I especially like connecting with people who are a bit unusual. I’m often sponging mindsets and ideas from other people, testing them for myself to see how well they work.
I’m good at making new friends quickly. I tend to just assume friendship with new people instead of feeling like we have to go through a long building phase together. I think life is too short to do otherwise.
Having dozens of growth-oriented friends (and hundreds if not thousands of looser connections) makes me a lot happier than when I used to have no growth-oriented friends. I especially like that lots of interesting invitations and ideas flow to me through my friendship network. I appreciate the ongoing stimulation this provides, even though sometimes it feels like the flow is a bit too high, and I have to withdraw a little.
A Wife I Adore
Last but definitely not least, my marriage to Rachelle is a key source of happiness. I appreciate her every day. Being in love for 10+ years is absolutely wonderful.
Every day I get to share the words “I love you” multiple times with someone. What’s not to like about that?
We spend a LOT of time together. It’s rare for us go more than a few hours without interacting, verbally and through touch and affection. Somehow we naturally make each other happier. When people see us together, they can tell we just belong with each other.
Even when we aren’t doing any particular activity, we enjoy each other’s beingness. Spending time together doing just about anything is very satisfying for us. This makes us optimistic for the future too. It’s a special feeling looking forward to spending so many more days together.
These are just some aspects that create happiness in my life that came through while journaling. There are others of course – a healthy lifestyle surely helps – but these have been more top-of-mind for me lately.
What makes you happiest? If you have a happy life, be sure to pause and appreciate what’s going well. And if you’re still working on getting there, see if you can identify what specific changes need to happen to increase your long-term happiness. Then do what it takes to truly solve those problems one by one. Even if it takes years or decades, the time is going to pass anyway. You may as well give the gift of happiness to your future self by investing where it counts.