What Have You Learned?

Happiness is not something you can find,
it is a product of your actions
and the actions of those who care about you.

It’s been an interesting year!  The market took a beating, Russia invaded Ukraine, the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, extreme weather patterns have become the norm and according to Mitch McConnell the era of  bi-partisanship is over.  Good news, bad news?  Who knows; I guess it really comes down on how you look at things.  Such is the case with happiness.

The past two weeks are often coined as the happiest time of the year.  We are emerging from the season of good cheer, and entering 2023 to the repeated wishes of, “Happy New Year”.  It would seem that our wish for others, and theirs for us, is to find happiness in 2023.  An interesting wish, as I don’t believe we find happiness, rather it is something that we have a hand in creating, both for ourselves and others.  So here’s my question: What did you learn in 2022 that you can use in 2023 as you strive to create happiness?  The answer to this question begins with self-reflection 

At its simplest, reflection is about careful thought.  It’s an opportunity to pause amidst the chaos, untangle and sort through our experiences and create meaning.  This meaning becomes learning, which we can then use to inform future action.  WIth that in mind, think about this past year and;

  • Identify two or three events that have brought you or others a sense of happiness.
  • Define the happiness (Did you feel loved, fulfilled, a sense of peace, overwhelming joy, etc)
  • What did you do (actions/behaviors) that enabled this happiness to exist?
  • What meaning can you draw from the experience?
  • What did you learn?

Your challenge for 2023 is to now take what you have learned and incorporate it into your life.  Knowledge is power.  You’ve answered the question, “What made me happy?”  Now use that information not only to bring happiness into your own life, but more importantly, into the lives of others.

Embrace the Challenge.