A challenge worth taking

It wasn’t really a challenge when it was put in front of me. It was more like a suggestion. But it seemed like a challenge worth taking on.

“How can you find 10% more happiness?” I was asked.

Just 10%. That’s not a huge undertaking, I suppose. But it resonated with me. Because 10% seemed doable, and also potentially life altering. I could possibly find 10% more happiness. I could probably do it. I could focus and play and choose and connect and easily get 10% more. Couldn’t I?

I could find myself in a tough situation, or feeling tired, and think about something – or someone – that would bring a smile to my face. I could stop and breathe and notice something beautiful, or remember something beautiful, or create something beautiful. I could find a bit more happiness in that exact moment.

The other night I chose not to get frustrated when my son got frustrated. Well, actually, I did get frustrated and then I pulled back and decided to be less so. I realized that I couldn’t stop him from reacting that way, and I could only love him through it. I found a bit more happiness in that moment.

This morning something happened that would have normally set me off. The “usual” me would have been upset. Or hurt by it. Or maybe even angry. Today I was, for whatever reason, only overwhelmed with a sense of “ah well” and “whatever” – and not in a bad, teenage attitude way. In a, “whatever is fine and it’s not worth getting upset about” way. What a difference.

I could keep choosing ways to find a measly 10% more happiness in my life, and look for the payoffs. I could make time for more peace and a sense of wellness in my mornings, especially the mornings when I’m rushed. I could laugh more and make others laugh more. I could hug more and make others hug me more. I could play more. I could smile and say hello to strangers and metaphorically – and actually – stop and smell the roses.

I can find – and create – 10% more happiness in my life, one percentage point at a time. I wonder what my further rewards will be.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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