In a week devoted to writing, small pithy (one hopes) tweets, blogs, interactions on my social networks and work on the ‘big’ novel, as well as thoughts about new work, I have to agree with the Forbes (Forbes.com) people who included Writing as one of the professions that most induces happiness.
Interestingly they list professions that are not necessarily huge money-spinners – Clergy are no 1, then Fire Fighters, Physical Therapists and then Authors at 4. An interesting note about Teaching, which clocks in at no 6 is that teachers report being happy, despite all the nonsense they have to endure; the profession still attracts young idealists but fifty percent of them are gone in 5 years. So, happiness must be quite fleeting for some!
Why are Writers happy – and Artists too at no 7? It seems the difficulties of making money are out-weighed by the joy of making, creating, being autonomous.
How many of us endure day-jobs that are not making us happy? Yes, I can see the hands from here but given the brutality of the world out there at the moment your choices might be limited.
So, what can you do to create more happiness in your days?
If you can find a job that makes you happy most days then do so. You spend a lot of time at work and it’s better if you’re doing something meaningful that brings you joy and satisfaction. It’s not about the money, although we do know that helps.
If you can’t find the right job, focus on the bits of the job that make you happy – there must be something! Likewise seek out the people who make you happy in your workplace. Have coffee, lunch with them, work on projects together. Hatch a plan to improve your workplace!
Do things that make you happy outside of work. Wannabe Writers and Artists can indulge their passions at the weekend. You can shake off the malaise of work by using your weekends to be active, creative, restful: happy in ways that suit you. Some ideas: dance classes, language classes, concerts; learn a new skill, do some volunteering.
Be with people who make you happy. I’ve suggested this in another blog, but it’s true. While happiness does come from within, from who you are, it is helped along enormously by others. Be with your friends, your family, your lover. They should fill your life with love and joy which = happiness.
Get a pet. Being with animals is one of life’s simple pleasures. It’s now established that old people survive better if they have an animal around to stroke, take care of; keep them company. We’re the same: a devoted dog, a purring cat, something soft and loyal to cuddle up with, does your happiness quotient the world of good. Animals don’t answer back, which in this world of endless noise, is a great joy.
Take control of your own happiness. You know what makes you feel good. Life is too short to be miserable, so if the day job isn’t doing it for you, then make sure the rest of your life brings you nothing but happiness. It’ll make you feel better and you’ll live longer.