As I sat sipping my morning coffee I looked up and read the mural in front of me at my favourite cafe.
I’d seen it so many times before but never taken any notice until now.
A moment of divine inspiration hit.
I reached into my bag, grabbed my notebook and intuitively started creating a list of ALL the things that make me happy.
At the time, I was struggling with a bout of mild depression.
Feeling lost and unsure about what to do and how to get out of my funk.
‘Do more of what makes you happy’.
After writing, I reflected:
‘These are the things that make me happy. And if I want to bring more happiness into my life, perhaps I need to do them more often.’
I’d created what I call the ‘Happiness Playlist’.
And what I came to realise in this moment is that I was doing so little of the the things on my list.
So I took some steps to rectify it.
And it worked.
I became happier because I was simply doing more of the things that bring me joy.
While my experience with meditation has taught me that long lasting happiness is built on the inside, it doesn’t mean that things on the outside can’t bring us happiness too.
So whether you’re feeling down or not, I’d encourage you to sit down with a pad and pen and ask yourself:
What makes you happy?
And when was the last time you did those things on your list?
What you might find as you create your Happiness Playlist is that most of the things you write down are simple, easy or free to do.
Which is exactly what Gretchen Rubin (who wrote The Happiness Project) discovered on her journey to becoming happier:
‘I was struck by how possible it was, even for someone who was pretty happy, to make myself happier by just doing very ordinary, manageable, simple things that didn’t take a lot of time, energy or money. There was really a lot of low-hanging fruit – things that once I thought about it, I could do pretty easily and added a lot to my happiness’.
Creating a Happiness Playlist is an exercise I’ve shared with my students because it’s so simple, yet so effective in bringing more day-to-day joy into our lives.
Which is what one of my students discovered…
She was feeling lost and didn’t know if she was going to be happy again.
She felt like she had nothing to look forward to for the next 10+ years of her life.
Within a couple of weeks her life had massively shifted.
Her friends commented that she was glowing, and a big part of that is because she was simply doing more things that brought her joy and happiness.
So whether you’re feeling low like I (or my former student) was or you’re already pretty happy, I encourage you to create your own Happiness Playlist and start sprinkling your list into your daily, weekly and monthly schedule.
It’s amazing how the simple things in life can have such a powerful and positive impact on our lives.
And how experiencing more fulfillment can be incredibly easy.