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Happiness, by definition, is a state of well being and contentment equating to joy and/or a pleasurable or satisfying experience and/or obsolete, good fortune, prosperity by Merriam Webster Dictionary. Happiness means something different for everyone. Here is a little story:
Seven months ago, I was let go from a job that I was excelling in all due to the actions of a client I had. Never have I ever been let go from a job before. Generally, it is on my terms when I decide to walk away. This was strike number one towards affecting my happiness: prosperity. I am assertive by nature and was aggressive in finding new work. Less than 45 days later, I landed an opportunity in NYC. A few days prior to starting the new position, I got a “warning” from one of my pastors that an opportunity I am going to take is going to set me back financially and business wise. At this time I was debating over three job offers in three different states. Little did I know, he was referencing all the opportunities at that time.
I have been freelancing for about four full years now. When I work on my own projects, I tend to be at my happiest: satisfying experience. The job opportunity I took in NYC made me happy at first: pleasurable. Keep in mind I live three states south of NYC equating to a daily commute of five to six hours. At first, I was team #noexcuse and found ways to make it work. I sacrificed date nights, sleeping in my own bed, eating, taking care of self, and even my time. Fast forward five months later and the daily commute started to take a mental and physical toll on me and my work. This was strike number two towards affecting my happiness: state of well being.
Ultimately, a decision has to be made. Do you continue to be unhappy or make a drastic change towards finding your happiness? I am willing to make that drastic change to go back to being happy. Here are the steps I took towards regaining my happiness:
- Took a step back and analyze what is draining my happiness
- Took some time to gather my thoughts and decompress
- Began the process of re-introducing happiness. This was accomplished by going on walks alone, finding a new stimulating opportunity, reading motivational content, getting pampered and even a few much needed date nights. The goal was to find something to help generate organic happiness.
- Began the process of removing elements that were affecting my happiness. It could be a job, your commute to work, a needy loved one or even aches/pain in the body. I found ways to remove the cancer that was sucking the life out of my happiness.
- Finding or creating a safe haven. My safe haven is my home. My home is where I feel the happiest: at peace. Peace is the most important ingredient to finding your happy.
- Breathe through it. Don't hold your breath; literally and figuratively. Take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. It can feel painful while you're going through it or even like your going through it on your own. My close family and friends were with me every step of the way, even when I thought I was going through the process alone. Let it go and get happy.
- Putting it into practice.
My analyzing, decompressing, re-introducing, and removal process gave me grey hair! Yet it was completely necessary. The goal is, I have to do this for me mainly because my future heavily relied on it. No one else can make you happy besides yourself. Putting it into practice was eliminating my commute but only seeking opportunities where I can build towards a progressive happy future while being mentally stimulated and challenged. That time has come. My happiness has begun to make its way back as I step out on faith (yet again), listen to that still small voice and let God completely take the wheel.
Entrepreneurship, here I come: Happy.