I bet few of us live lives we ever expected. If you asked 1000 people, “Are you happy with your life right now?” “Are you living the way you expected or planned?”, I wager only a few would answer yes.
I created what I like to call a Distilled Happiness Quotient to live by. Since a quotient is the product of division, it is what your heart loves in this world divided by your daily life. Then distilled to a very short list. A very rational analysis coming from a highly sensitive, intuitive person, and unique for everyone.
A dear friend years ago with whom I have since lost contact gave me an exercise for coping with times of blues in life: You write down a list titled “50 Things My Heart Loves.” If you are pretty down in the dumps of despair, this will seem like a very difficult task at first, but as you force yourself to list 50 things, from the smallest breeze in a tree to a musical sound to the biggest love of your life, you will soon have before you a snapshot of the vast beauty in this world and your heart connection to it.
After much distilling, my happiness quotient boils down to 5 things:
I want to: 1) write, 2) walk, 3) be outdoors, 4) serve others, 5) travel.
The fact I participate in 4 of the 5 on a daily basis helps empower me to stay in touch with my happiness despite life rarely going as I imagine, plan, or anticipate. It is also a matter of scale. If I interpret travel to mean moving a 20-mile radius from my home, then I do accomplish the 5th thing quite often. Would I like to do more of all 5 things in greater scale and variety? Yes! But being aware of engaging in them each day in whatever way possible makes me happy.