Seeking happiness

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With the ever-changing financial landscape and advancement in technology, we have less time for ourselves because we are constantly connected.   Our employers are faced with the challenge of doing more with less and that translates to either longer work hours for their employees or finding more effective and efficient ways of getting things done.

One thing is certain: the days in which we have abundance of funding are gone.   Fiscal responsibility is front and center focus and the need to do more with less is being used as a competitive advantage.   Unfortunately, at times the laser-like focus on the bottom line shifts the need to think longer term to short term, thus missing some critical points. Hence the outcome is not always pleasant.

Amidst all the above challenges, is happiness attainable? Here are some of my suggestions:

  • Focus on your dream – Your dream serves as an inspiration to keep you going.   By keeping it front and center, you’ll be able to keep things in perspective. More importantly you’ll be able to prioritize things that come your way.   Remember the big rocks (see my prior post on it) in your life. During challenging times, it helps to keep our dream in mind, because it will enable us to buckle down and dig deep.
  • Make other people happy – When we add value to other people, it also helps lighten our mood. It does not take much to do this.   Showing appreciation, gratitude, and being there for others are simple ways that have lasting impact.   For people who are managers, seek to understand your people.   Understand what they seek to achieve in their work.   Work with them to accomplish their personal goals. Remember that a happy employee will ultimately benefit your customers.
  • Always strive to do your best – This is very important.   It does not matter how smart you are; if you don’t apply yourself, you will not reach your full potential.   The key to doing your best is not perfection.   It is the effort, commitment and dedication. Sometimes your best does not yield great results, but as long as you strive to be your best you can live with the outcome. More importantly, the progress you’ve made will keep you focused on moving forward until you achieve your goal.
  • Take care of yourself – Your body is your temple. No matter how much money you acquire, if you don’t have your health, nothing else matter. Because all the money you earned will be used to pay for healthcare costs. So take the time to take care of your body.   This is my biggest challenge. As I want to achieve many things in life, I often sacrifice sleep.   I’m fortunate that I’m still healthy, but I know that I need to correct this pattern. .   Akin to people taking medicine but continuing to eat greasy foods—if they slow down the intake of greasy foods, perhaps they would not need the medication altogether.
  • Don’t do the same thing over and over – As it relates to progress, at times we do something the same way, but expect that the results will change. There is a saying that it is insanity to expect different results from doing the same thing.   When you’re stuck, step back and evaluate your situation.   Maybe you need to rethink your position.   Evaluate and assess the situation and apply corrective actions; this way you can see the progress you’re expecting.
  • Be yourself – I’d like to remind that you’re not obligated to live up to everyone‘s expectation.   Being yourself will definitely lead you to being happy.   Sometimes we live to meet other’s expectations. That makes us feel like we are being watched and not measuring up to their expectations.
  • Life is not perfect – At times we want to make it better to the point that we obsess about it. By obsessing on it, we becomes rigid and lose our ability to adapt to change.   More important, we lose the ability to have fun with what we are doing because we focus on the score and nothing else. Just like in basketball, sometimes your best players are the ones that do not score. Your best defender can shut down your opponent and give you the chance to score and win.   I suggest, aspire to improve you each year, but don’t obsess and keep score to maintain your awareness and focus.
  • Change is constant – Expect that change will happen all the time. The best way to succeed is to understand what’s in it for you. If you believe in the change, help facilitate the change.   If you don’t buy in to the change, leave and walk away. Don’t stay if you don’t agree, because change will be done on your behalf and it is never good or pretty.   Your ability to adapt to change is key to your success.

Remember that happiness is a state of mind. When we focus on the positive aspect of the situation, we do see opportunities amidst chaos.   Negative emotion can consume and paralyze us to the point that we are oblivious to our surroundings.   To be happy, we must understand our priorities in life and act on the things that come our way based on our priorities.   There is no perfect situation and perfect time. What you have is the current situation to act and make decisions on based on what is important to you.

Everyone on this earth was given the same 24 hours.   What’s different between a happy and sad person is their awareness and the choices they make.   As Jim Rohn says, “The same wind blows on all of us. What matter is how we set our sail.”   The sail in our life is our attitude. To be happy, we need to understand our priorities and make decisions as it aligns to our dream.

Writing is a labor of love. If you like my post, share it with others. If you disagree, share your perspective as I look forward to learn and grow each day.

“For some people, they live through life seeking happiness.  Waiting for that day – the perfect moment.  What they don’t realize is that happiness comes from within, it is also a choice.  A choice to be happy with what you have and appreciate the things around you.    Don’t wait another day to be happy.  Count your blessing and be happy today.  For tomorrow is not guaranteed and you’ll miss the opportunity to share that beautiful SMILE 🙂  that can brighten someone’s day and have a lasting effect in their life.”

-Will Lukang

Finding Happiness

Will Lukang, CSM, PMP, CLDC

Finding HappinessIn Merriam Webster happiness is defined as a state of wellbeing and contentment, or a pleasurable or satisfying experience.     When I think of happiness, this quote comes to mind,

Happiness is always a by-product.  It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular.  But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness. 

~Robertson Davies

 

When I think of happiness, it is relative to a person’s circumstances, time and state of mind.   It also varies from one person to another.   Some people find happiness through material things. Other finds happiness through helping others.  When I was growing up, I was happy when I spent time at my parents’ convenience store, because I got to interact with the folks who buy stuff from us and the workers at the market.  I also found happiness drawing and creating posters for use at school because it was a means for self-expression.

As you go through life, what makes you happy changes; it is indeed relative to a point in time or phase of your life.  I find that sometimes we kind of live our life backwards.  We work to earn more money and accumulate stuff to make us happy.  However, it is better to find your true calling and then express your passion to achieve your goal.   As I ponder this topic, I can’t help but think of what matters to us the most.   I viewed that health is important and being healthy should make us happy because it enables us to do what we want.

I view a happy person as someone who can enjoy a journey with unexpected stops, but enjoy the scenery as he/she passes through.   I’m often reminded that I need to put my expectations in perspective.  The last time I served at St. Martin’s soup kitchen it reminded me that other people are facing problems; that a gift of a meal brings joy to them.   It is a humbling experience that made me come back to keep me grounded.

As I reflect on this topic, I can’t help but think that there are people who find tremendous happiness in making others happy in spite of the grief that they themselves are going through.   They put others’ welfare ahead of theirs.  Mother Teresa is an inspiration for what she did.  She dedicated her life to help the poor people.  She founded the Missionaries of Charity with the objective of providing free service to the poorest of the poor.

These days, I’m happy when I spend time with my two daughters and wife.   I’m thankful for the opportunity to be part of their activities and lying down and sharing stories with my daughters.   I believe in doing random acts of kindness.   A simple thank you goes a long way to putting a smile on people’s faces.   Each day I count my blessings and avoid falling in the trap of complaining.   Because I always remind myself that other people are going through tougher challenges than I am.

I’d like to close this post with this:

The happy have whole days,
and those they choose.
The unhappy have but hours,
and those they lose.
~Colley Cibber

May you find happiness in the little things in life like taking a walk in the park.  May you seize the moment and make the most of your opportunity.  As my friend Judy says, “She believes that truly happy people are the ones who are thankful for what they have.”

Are you happy?

Will Lukang, CLDC, CSM, PMP

Sometimes I find myself getting caught in life’s conundrum.    At that point, I spend time worrying about things that matter to me and things that are happening around me.    While it is not intentional, it affects my ability to be effective and productive.  Akin to a cloud that is hovering on your head, it affects the way you deal with people and impacts your productivity.

As I look around and talk to people around me, I realize that everyone at some point will be doing the same thing, and it can become infectious.    I compare worrying to carrying a bag of rocks.  During the first five minutes, I would be all right, but as time goes by I would have some difficulty carrying, and over a period of time I could have trouble keeping it up.    After a while, couldn’t carry it anymore and would be really tired and have to put it down.

The question I asked myself: Is it necessary for me to worry?   It is not easy to decide not to worry. However over the years I learned to ask myself these two questions:  Can I change it? Can I influence the outcome? If my answers to these questions are “NO” then I would remind myself that I have to stop worrying about it.  I would let nature takes its course and face the outcome and react accordingly.

I believe in the saying “It is not the load that breaks you down, but the way you carry it” by Lou Holtz.  Everyone in this world carries some sort of load.  However, the way you carry the load is what matters.    Life is short; therefore by worrying you’ll miss out on enjoying the present.     Your happiness is defined by how you deal with life’s challenges.   If you put things in perspective, it can help you enjoy your life a little bit more.

The next time you fall in the trap of worrying, ask yourself the two questions, and if your answers are NO, stop and take a deep breath and let it go.   Life filled with worries is not going to do you any good, because it will affect the way you deal with your family, who has nothing to do with what’s going with you.   You’ll miss out on the opportunity to create a lasting experience with your loved ones if you worry too much.  It could also affect your work and cause you to underperform.

Don’t take the medicine before you have the headache.   Sometimes by going with the flow you can see things better and come up with ways to address it.   Learn to smell the roses, enjoy the gift of a brand new day, and appreciate the blue sky.