I often get asked the question, “How can I feel truly happy in my life?” This is a complex question that can be overwhelming at times, therefore I break this question down into categories that will make it feel more manageable.
If we look at life fulfillment it’s fair to say that we won’t be satisfied or fulfilled by having just one component, for example just friends or just a significant other. True happiness involves a variety of different factors all coming together. In order to feel happiness in our life we should take a look at the categories that make up satisfaction and see how each category stacks up against the rest.
1) Family: The family category involves those in your immediate, extended, or identified family. Does your family have a strong bond, do you spend time together, and are the relationships honest and trustworthy?
2) Significant other/Partner: The partner category is whom you choose to be the most intimate with. This tends to be the romantic relationship in your life and the one that tends to be the most emotional. Does your significant other respect and love you? Do you enjoy each others company and feel connected to one another?
3) Personal hobbies/enjoyment: This category is how you spend time by yourself. It’s important that we have something that we invest our time in by ourselves that gives us great pleasure. Do you make time to engage in this activity and allow yourself to enjoy it?
4) Spiritual/Religion/Higher power: This category is defined by engaging in something bigger then yourself. Maybe it’s meditation, going to your place of worship, or volunteering for a charity close to your heart. It’s important to invest time in something outside of yourself.
5) Social life: The social life category is spending time with people outside of your family or significant other category. Do you make time for girlfriends, golfing buddies, or co-workers? Do you feel supported by those people and cared for?
6) Career: This seems like an obvious category but this tends to be the category that my clients feel they have the least control over. However you choose to spend your day (in the office or home with your children) should feel worthwhile and significant. Do you feel appreciated, valued, and challenged?
Once you understand the categories above I want you to rate yourself from 0%-100% on how much you feel fulfilled in each category. This will give you an understanding of where you feel like your happiness comes from and where there is potential for improvement. The categories you rated lower than others are the places in which your happiness can progress. My suggestion is to make small goals in those lower categories and begin to raise those percentages. We’ll never be at 100% across the board but striving for general happiness in all of our categories can greatly improve our zest and appreciation for life!
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