Have you ever been in a certain stage in life, where you have certain hopes and dreams and have no idea where you’ll be standing in the next five years? Or maybe even the next year? We all imagine our lives to become something else in the future, based on our values, hopes and dreams. The question usually is, however, when we finally reach this goal, or own this thing we longed for, are we truly happy?
Stumbling on Happiness
The problem is that we’re actually quite bad at predicting what would make us happy. A particularly bad thing to do is chasing possessions. That doesn’t mean that you can’t buy anything nice for yourself, but it has been scientifically proven that buying things to make you happy is a slippery slope.
Practicing gratitude can be of greater help to make you feel at least more content. It’s always better to look at the things you do possess, rather than the things you don’t. Writing down a couple of things every day can increase your overall feelings of happiness. In fact, you don’t even have to write them down to increase this feeling. But when you do write them down, you’ll be able to read them again at a later point in time and check what you were grateful for back then. Some of those things may stay the same, while others will make you wonder why you were grateful for them, or vice versa. It’s a very good practice and one that has increased my overall well being quite a lot!
Write something to your future you
A fun little experiment you can do is sending yourself an email to your future self. There’s a couple of websites to do this, one of them is https://www.futureme.org/ You determine how long it will take for the email to be sent out. I did this half a year ago and on my birthday, on the 30th of March I will receive an email from myself. The fun thing is that there’s been quite some time since I’ve written and sent it, so I don’t remember the exact details, but I know I tried to touch all important subjects of my life and said a little something about them:
- My relationship
Even though I haven’t received the email yet, I am looking forward to it. Just to see if I was able to predict the future at least somewhat. Doubtless there will be a ton of things in there that aren’t relevant anymore, or perhaps still relevant. Once I receive it, I will share my experience with you guys. For now though, why not try it our yourself? 🙂
Jeffrey, Measuring happiness through possessions you have or desire/want……I like the word need rather than desire/want…..is an unending slope. Most things lose their appeal once we own them! Gratitude as you suggest is the best in that it encompasses all of life. I hear vividly your 6 minute diary in action here!!! Sending oneself an email such as the website you cite is a neat idea to measure progress or lack thereof on happiness/hopes/dreams/goals in to the future, whatever date you set! Your email from 6 months ago to come due on your March 30 birthday …..My relationship, Friendships, Work, Achievements…will be interesting to hear your evaluation. I love all your devices to improve life from the 6 minute diary to yearly goals & now this suggestion. I guess it’s my senior stage of life or how difficult my life has been for the last few years that make me hesitate to lay these on top of my daily calendar book which is my script. –Great post on self-improvement once again, Jeffrey! Phil
LikeLiked by 1 person