One Thing You Can Do To Be Happier
I just finished reading Oola for Women by Dave Braun and Troy Amdahl. It’s a self-help book that assesses 7 areas of your life: fitness, fun, faith, family, friends, finance and field (career) and I think it’s brilliant for one main reason: it gets people to look at the everything. Even what you don't want to look at.
So many self-help books I read have a particular category they focus on - vulnerability, creativity, etc. And that’s fine unless you’re like me and you only read the books with the topics you're more drawn to. I’ve read countless self-help/personal development/spirituality books about creativity, fear, meditation, and mindfulness. But I avoid the ones about money and career.
Why? Probably because I don’t track my finances well and have been doing work that isn’t entirely fulfilling for years. I know those are the books that will actually help me grow the most, yet I turn away from them and fill my life with other self-help books that are about topics I feel safe reading. But you don't grow when you feel comfortable and safe. You grow in the moments of discomfort.
This is exactly why the Oola book was so helpful for me. With their 7 life categories, you can’t avoid anything. You take a look at it all. I realized I have changes I need to make to my finances and field before I can really truly be all-around happy.
For example, I have the financial means to pay off my car instead of making monthly payments on it with interest. And I have been doing this for the last year! Why have I been throwing that money away for so long? Why didn’t I increase my monthly payments? Why didn’t I pay off the balance the moment I could? I set my minimum payments & prioritized other areas of my life. While really, that debt was in the back of my mind this whole time, dragging my happiness down.
Even simply recognizing that burden has already made me happier, let alone relieving it by finally paying my car loan off. I didn’t give weight to the value that making a change to my financial habits could have on my overall happiness.
I’m sure you also know a change that could improve your life. A change you may be avoiding. Something that's been in the back of your mind for months, if not years.
It could be a toxic friend that sucks your energy whenever you're together. Hitting snooze instead of getting up to go to the gym and finally get in healthy shape. Sitting on your phone at dinner instead of having a conversation with your significant other.
While these issues may not be on the forefront of your mind, they’re there. Hanging out in the back of your head, taunting you now and then. And you’re avoiding them because of _____. What? Fear? Shame? Discomfort?
I promise you-you're not the only one who has room to improve. You’re in good company. We all have something we can do to be happier people. I challenge you to ask yourself: What area in my life am I avoiding? What one thing, if changed, can help me be a happier person?
Listen to what comes to mind first. If it’s something you can do today DO IT!
If it’s something that will take some time, write down S.M.A.R.T. steps you can to take to get it done. And make sure you start by doing something right away and get that small win in.
And while this wasn’t initially meant to be a post about the Oola book, there’s something to be said about understanding yourself - in all areas of your life - and becoming happier by taking action to improve them. If this sounds like a book you’d identify with I totally recommend it for digging deeper into what I mentioned above!
At the end of the day, you control your happiness. If your life isn't what you want you have the power to change it. And that starts with prioritizing yourself. Think about that one thing and do it for YOU.