When I was growing up I learned that if I wanted to be happy I needed to make smart big choices around who I married, what job I had, when I had a family and how I achieved financial security.
The thing no one told me was that while big ticket choices are important, they aren’t the most important thing when it comes to my happiness. Your big choices decide the playground you play in or the stage you act on but they don’t determine how you live your life, and that is where you find your happiness and fulfillment. We regularly read of people with everything who take their own lives or seem hell-bent on a self destructive lifestyle, so its not the things alone that bring happiness.
We all know ordinary people who do not have either a partner, a great job or financial security but who are happy and have meaningful lives. So how do they do it? They create happiness by focusing on the small choices they make every day.
Many of us believe that our happiness is dependent on making changes in the big areas of our lives. We tell ourselves that we’d be happy if only we had a bigger income, a better boss or a more interesting job, perhaps a different partner or whatever. But the reality is that while changes in those areas will bring change into your life, they might not bring you more happiness. We have been hoodwinked by society into believing that if only we had a great partner, lovely home, wonderful family or financial security we’d be happy. Yes these things contribute to a fulfilling and meaningful life, but they don’t create it. Your happiness depends on how you live you life and the multitude of small choices you make every day.
The amazing thing is that we all, regardless of our circumstances, face the same choices every day. The sad thing is that most of us aren’t even aware of the choices we are making. We live much of our lives on autopilot without understanding the impact our choices have on our sense of well-being. We continually strive for what we don’t have, we don’t look after our physical bodies, we waste time doing things we don’t care about, we ignore those around us and and we’ve given up on our dreams. The really sad part is that we don’t even realize that is how we are living our lives.
I believe the only way you will bring more happiness and purpose into your life is focusing on the hundreds of small every day choices you make. First you need to become of the choices you are making now and then you can consciously choose the life you really want. Start by asking yourself the five following questions:
The hundreds of little daily choices you made in the past have brought you to the place you’re in now. While big choices are important because they can change the direction of your life significantly, it’s the hundreds of small every day choices you make that determine your quality of life. Become aware of the choices you are making and the consequences of them.
Your everyday choices add up to create your life – what sort of a life do you want? If you don’t like the life you have at the moment, you can choose a different one.
Image by Coralie Ferreira