Bumpy Road to Happiness
Posted on December 14, 2011 in Fun, Goals, Happiness by Sandra Bienkowski
Are you happy? Do you have fun? If you answered “no” to either question, I’d like to help you ditch the drudgery and find joy. I am passionate about helping other people live happier, more fulfilling lives. I know what it’s like to be in the depths of depression (a story for another blog), but I dug my way out. Now I hope to inspire others with what I know.
I want my blog, Journey to Joy, to offer straight talk, real solutions that work, and the truth. First, a bit about my journey …
Several years ago, the quote, “the road to success is always under construction” certainly applied to me. Everything was going wrong. (Not the depression I spoke of earlier, just a bad patch) It was almost comical; at least that’s how I like to think of it now. My car went from reliable to lemon. I couldn’t get my car to shut off. Seriously. I felt like I was stuck in some sort of horror movie where my car was out to get me. Costly repairs made my paycheck disappear in a not-so-magical way. I also realized (after way too much time) that I was dating another narcissist. Maybe not by clinical definition, but let’s just say I should have bought these men mirrors instead of dating them … but I digress.
My friends were getting laid off in droves at the publishing company where I worked. While my job was safe, it was like going to work at a ghost town. It was no longer a fun, fulfilling place of employment. Feeling overwhelmed, I quickly turned into one of those people so consumed with my own problems, I became a crappy, self-absorbed friend. I lost some friendships in the process. I was in my 30s and life wasn’t turning out like I planned.
I pulled out my journal because writing always centers me. I wrote out a vision of how I wanted my life to look. And then I wrote out the depressing part—how my life currently looked. I asked myself: What steps do you need to take to turn your life into your ideal vision instead of its current mess? The action steps included things like: dump the lemon car and boyfriend, find a new job I love, and be a better friend. I was amazed at how quickly my life turned around. I landed a job at SUCCESS, a national magazine, writing about how people can improve their lives. (Fitting, right?) I took a time out from dating. I stopped talking about my own problems long enough to be a good friend again.
When you get clear on your problems and clear on where you are going, you can improve your life—fast.
If you don’t like where your life is today, write out a plan for your ideal life. What’s your ideal vision for your life? Write it down. Now write a description of how your life currently looks and compare it to your ideal vision. Don’t forget the most important part—the action steps that will lead you to your ideal life. List them for every change you need to make.
A quote from Katori Hall, a playwright featured in O magazine sums up this blog best. “It was like God was holding a bag of blessings and I was holding a bag of shit, and when I let go of my bag, God was like, ‘here you go.’”
So let go of the crap and let your blessings begin.