On Being Happier

You probably have experienced more than once that feeling, be it after a birthday, a vacation, the beginning of a new year or a random occurrence, when you realize that you want to and/or need to change. The last couple of years have been rather comfortable, I don’t owe money, my micro-home has come together nicely, the firewood is sorted for winter, visited family and friends in Europe twice, became a keen photographer and other good stuff happened, too.

My point is that I’m not in a situation where I evidently need to change because things are bad, as a matter of fact they are pretty cruise-y and admittedly easy, yet there is a strong, self-driven emotion for change. I have so far deliberately written in abstract terms, so you might be asking what it is that he wants to change? What does he want to achieve?

Is it a massive, apple-shaped derrière-augmentation? No, my goal is to become a happier person. For I understand that being happy not only enables me to achieve more, moreover, when things don’t go according to plan, I will fall back on being happy, and that’s just fine.

Attitude, Focus & Perseverance

How do I move forward? A simple approach would be to focus daily on eliminating non-useful habits. You know, the stuff some of us, including myself, do regularly that never help, chew up time and leave a bitter after-taste. If, instead, I focused on useful stuff I shall be successful, right? Right! It is just a matter of attitude, focus and perseverance. I made a list without a specific order of stuff that I do, that I am aware of, that is non-helpful and that I want to change:

with people:
  •  talk less, listen more
  •  praise more, criticize less
  •  don’t complain, no gossip, keep small-talk to a minimum
  •  please/help less
  •  say ‘No’ much more, without justification
with myself:
  •  keep home and living spaces clean/tidy
  •  get away from social media, internet, apps, games, news & politics
  •  don’t sweat small stuff, smile more
  •  eat good food, in moderation and take the time to appreciate it
  •  celebrate small achievements
  •  read, read and read
  •  stretch, meditate and exercise daily
  •  put more effort into everything that is useful

Seems like a long list. Frankly and tragically, I have attempted before to better myself, getting rid of negative habits, but I am understanding now, that to achieve a happier state of mind and life, I have to address these points all simultaneously. This does not equate to a bigger challenge, on the contrary. For example, the time I save by not being on social media, I can use to read a book, instead of reading the news before getting out of bed and feeling pissed off, I can do push-ups.

I took this photo yesterday. The pig and chicken are doing their own thing at the moment. I’m not getting any eggs and have to sort out a plan on how to catch the pig…


5 thoughts on “On Being Happier”

    1. Hello Tersia, thanks for your comment. I have to re-read my own words here and then to remember that this is how I want to go forward. It’s a process and is challenging for me and moving forwards only slowly. In terms of “rat race”, it seems to me that it’s the same
      everywhere (more or less), it is more a question of having the right attitude and being able to maintain it in challenging times.

      Cheers and best wishes, Ben

  1. I saw you on “Where the Wild Men are” and came across your episode. Very courageous indeed, lots of blood sweat tears. I love how neat, clean and tidy you are.

    Your photographs are indeed beautiful and opens up your heart and make you cry.

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