I read an article a couple of days ago, which discussed happiness and ways to achieve this in our lives. There were many areas discussed but they concluded that two things were absolutely key; having a Purpose in life and maintaining good Relationships. I thought about this and realised that the reason I am so happy these days is that I have both in my life.
The definition of Purpose is: ‘determination or a feeling of having a reason for what you do’ and ‘The object toward which one strives of for which something exists’. I simply call it a ‘reason to get up in the morning’. Without purpose in my life I wouldn’t have the excitement of the challenge of each day. I wouldn’t have the energy to get up and get out of the house early in the morning.
A feeling of great achievement
I wouldn’t have that feeling of great achievement when I succeed in overcoming a challenge if I didn’t have purpose, and you know what – the greater the challenge the greater the feeling of achievement. I believe that we need the ‘Downs’ to appreciate the ‘Ups’. If I played golf and every time I hit the ball it went straight down the middle and every time I putted the ball went in – I would love it for a while, then I would get bored because it was always perfect.
When the ball slices off the club and is lost in the undergrowth, or you take three puts to get the ball in from 6 inches; you get frustrated, annoyed, angry and fed up. But as you continue to play and you hit that perfect ball off the tee the feelings you experience of pure joy, are accentuated by the number of times you have messed up. You need the rain to really appreciate the sunshine.
Your purpose in life
Havin a purpose in life is very important. It brings with it a passion for what you do which is intoxicating and drives you on when the pressure is on. If the job you currently have doesn’t feel like your purpose in life, then look for something you can do as a result of the money you earn which will give you a purpose. It could be helping the homeless, or supporting the disadvantaged, or anything else which gives you a sense of something bigger than yourself.
When I set up my business I didn’t have any clients and had bills to pay, so I ended up decorating for 3 years and I wasn’t passionate about it – in fact I struggled with if physically and was often in a great deal of pain. However, I had a dream to encourage people and lift them to achieve more in their lives and be happier doing it. It really felt like a purpose I had in life, and that all my experiences both good and bad had led me to this point.
A shoulder injury was a blessing in disguise
Three years ago, a shoulder injury caused me to cease decorating and made me focus on my business which is now making a difference to a huge number of people. This is very exciting, but the road to get to where I am now has been a painful one. However, the benefits of pushing through against all the odds has resulted in the opportunity to change people’s lives. I also want to help run an orphanage and help the homeless at some stage in the future.
Relationships are the second key which include both family and friends. Before I met my wife Julie I had a good relationship with my mum, brother and sister and good friends Barry and Linda plus Tony and Val; but apart from these there were no other relationships in my life. Since I met and married Julie, I have a wonderful relationship with her and even better relationships with my mum, brother and sister, Barry, Linda and Tony and Val.
More importantly however, we have now formed new relationships with a number of couples who we’ve had over for dinner, and been to theirs for dinner. This year has been the busiest I can ever remember, but what has astonished me is that we have entertained more people this year than ever before. I used to think that we were too busy to have people round, but once I had raised the importance of relationships we found the time to do this.
When we counted, we were amazed to discover that we have formed relationships with 21 couples this year. There is something special which happens when you spend an evening with people. There is sharing, encouragement, friendship, honesty, joy, love, and a feeling of belonging. I can see as I write these out why relationships are viewed as important to finding happiness.
Key Thoughts for the week.
1. Do you feel that you have a purpose in life at present?
2. If you do that is great and keep going with it. If not see if you can find something you can do which give you a feeling of purpose.
3. Do you have many friendships in your life?
4. If you do fantastic just make sure you keep in touch with them. If you don’t see if you can add a few people to your friendship circle. If you are single invite someone round, if you are a couple invite a couple round.
5. If you think you are too busy to do this, you aren’t – it’s just that your priorities are in a different place. Raise the priority of relationships and watch what happens.
Well that’s it for this week. I am recovering from a very intense 4 week period and I’m looking forward to a steadier pace for the next few weeks.
Have a really good weekend, and until next week stay positive.
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