“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be” – Abraham Lincoln
It is the season of resolutions, but perhaps it should simply be the season for being happy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an A-type personality who can’t get through a day without having it plotted out with goals, to-do lists and calendar alerts. I’m also well aware of the positive results attained by aiming high.
But the fact is, over the past century, despite immense progress in health and wealth, human happiness has not advanced. Happiness is when your life fulfils your needs, when you feel satisfied and fulfilled. It’s a feeling of contentment.
It’s easy to think of happiness as a result… a result of working hard and accomplishing, of getting that to-do list ticked off and of succeeding at life. But perhaps we have this back to front. Shouldn’t happiness come first? After all, happiness, they say, actually makes us more productive.
We’re all familiar with the concept of glass half empty, glass half full, right? When it comes to your cup, it doesn’t matter so much whether it is half full or half empty, but rather whether you fill your own cup first.
According to Simon Sinek, putting yourself first is not selfish at all, “Quite the opposite. You must put your happiness and health first before you can be of help to anyone else.”
So in 2019 I vow to keep my standards high but my level of self-acceptance higher; to make plans and yet be okay if they occasionally fall through and to set goals, but be open to change. Most importantly, to make time for myself.
After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.