Happiness Hack #36 – Paint Your Calendar

Many of us feel like life is a whirlwind that is filled with a constant stream of activities and that we are trapped with a never ending “To do” list that is thrust upon us by other people and life in general. We are overwhelmed by our lack of control and the feeling that this is the life we are stuck with.

The solution is to paint your calendar or “To do” list so you can see where you do have control. According to research done at the University of Michigan, the 15% of Americans who felt in control of their lives also had extraordinarily positive feelings of happiness. If you have a choice, you are in control. So focus on the choices you have instead of the choices you don’t have. What is within your control vs. what is not within your control?

Find everything on your calendar that you get to choose and paint it green, or choose a color that makes you happy. Be sure and include the weekends and evenings. Take some time to really consider what you are choosing vs. what you have to do. For example if you are helping a friend move, you may feel obligated, but it is still your choice. You are choosing to maintain that friendship and show appreciation for the times they have been there for you. Consider the same thing for work. Do you have to attend those meetings or do you choose to attend those meetings because you want to contribute and succeed at work? Find as many hours as you can to paint green.

Take a few minutes every day to review the green and appreciate what you do have control over. Recognizing and appreciating the parts of your life where you do have control will help you feel happier and more successful.



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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

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