I read an article the other day about happiness. All the science, all the research, Shawn Achor acting like we can actually make our employees happy, etc. It’s all a bunch of bullsh*t really, right? I mean, Shawn doesn’t think so, because he has studies and stuff, and he’s a nice enough fellow (Editor’s note: Who says “fellow”? Like ax murders and 90 year old men, right?), but can we be real for a second? You and I? We are not “making” anyone happy!
The reality is you can make yourself happy, but no one else can do that for you. Now surrounding yourself with assholes doesn’t help you, you must help yourself to become happy. But that’s not the asshole’s fault, that is your fault for making the decision to stay around the assholes! Or the phenomenon of “This guy just makes me so happy!” It’s not the guy. If you deciding that you’re going to open yourself up enough and allow yourself to be happy with this person. The guy is the guy, they come and go, you are the constant.
Thanks, Tim, I though you weren’t a Life Coach!?
I’m not. It just got me thinking about what truly makes me happy. Right now in my life, because it’s changed over the years and stages. Here’s what I came up with, it’s not an exhaustive list, that would be impossible, but just a few things that make me happy:
- Dogs. I have a great dog. When I get home he’s the first to greet me. He’s excited. He wants to snuggle, or I want to snuggle, it seems like we both want to snuggle. He follows me around. If I go outside he wants to be with me. There’s a new puppy in the neighborhood and I’m drawn to want to go play with that puppy. Pretty much any dog, I’m going out of my way to touch.
- Alone time with my wife. When you raise three kids and are very involved you realize that you have very little alone time. So, it can be on the water, in the mountains, at a restaurant, in the bedroom, just time alone with my wife, with no one else around. That seems rare, but we are always our best selves when we are alone.
- Talking with my buddy Kris Dunn. It’s rare as an adult male that you find someone you can pretty much tell anything to, and I found that in KD. Adult males rarely have “real” conversations about “real” sh*t. I always feel like KD and I can do that. Having that has brought real joy into my life as a grown-ass man. I wish more guys had that.
- Being outside on a beautiful day. On the golf course, on a lake fishing, hiking in the mountains, sitting on a beach, anywhere where it seems like you could be a million miles away from the stresses of real life. Alone or with folks I love, away from phones and computers, just enjoying the beauty the world gives us if we are willing to pay attention.
- Having a Gin and Tonic in the Cayman Islands on the deck of this restaurant called Catch. Wow, that’s specific! Yep, it’s the world’s best Gin and Tonic, and I’ve tried a lot! Combination of great atmosphere and a perfect drink. It has never let me down each time I’ve gone. The drink is simple enough, Hendricks, Fever-Tree tonic, one giant ball ice cube, a twist of lemon peel, one small thin dried chili pepper, served in a large stem balloon wine glass. I’ve tried to replicate it and I can’t. It’s the combination of drink, place, atmosphere.
- Helping people, when I don’t feel like I’m being taken advantage of. At my core, I love to help people. Brainpower, sharing ideas, physical labor, whatever, I’m down to help. Especially when it feels like the people you are helping truly values the help they are getting. Yes, this can sometimes get overwhelming and I spread myself thin, but in the moment of helping, it never feels that way.
- Laughing. I’m the first to admit I have a fairly dark sense of humor and some stuff that makes me laugh would trigger a lot of other folks. That’s why I value those friends and family I can share my sense of humor without judgment. Or at least without judgment to my face!
Bonus round – interacting with co-workers face-to-face, seeing my niece smile and hearing her laugh, hugging my Dad and he gets emotional, watching my kids succeed, hitting a pure golf shot, sitting by the fire and listening to music, watching live sports, a great steak, cooking in my kitchen without interruption, creating/writing something new that challenges my own thinking, babies, sh*t that works like it’s supposed to, unexpected great service, a perfectly cut lawn, new shoes, and hugs.
What makes you happy? Hit me in the comments.