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Love the life you actually HAVE instead of wishing for the life she has

For 15 days, we’re exploring the topic of making our health and well-being a priority as part of the 15 Days to a Healthier You series. You can read Day 1 here and Day 2 here

The #1 Way to NOT Be Happy

We can stop trying to be someone we’re not. Happiness begins in that moment, when we look within and say, “I was not created to be her; I was created to be me”. Happiness is an inside job. You don’t find happiness by being the best version of someone else; you find happiness by being the best version of you. –The Happiness Dare

If you want to succeed at not being happy, I’ve got the guaranteed path to accomplishing that: try to live someone else’s life.

Spend your days comparing yourself to her. Wish you could be her. Do everything you can to be like her.

This will make you feel so unhappy. You’ll probably feel frustrated that you just can’t do it like she does. You’ll probably beat yourself up over the fact that you’re not as good as her. And you’ll stress over not measuring up.

Or, you can choose to be YOU. To focus on making the most of where you are. To intentionally cultivate the ground right where you are. To do all you can to be the best version of you.

I loved the encouragement in The Happiness Dare to stop trying to feel like we had to try to do what makes other people happy and fulfilled and instead find our own happy spot.

Don’t look at others and think, “It makes her happy to garden, so I should do that, too!” By all means, if the thought of planting and weeding and harvesting sounds amazing to you, go do it (even if that is just with a little container garden on your porch!).

But if the whole gardening thing sounds utterly boring and exhausting to you, please give yourself the grace to not feel obligated in any way to become a Master Gardener. Unless you want to be miserable.

You have to figure out your own happy spot, instead of thinking that what will bring someone else joy and fulfillment is also going to bring you the same joy and fulfillment. Don’t try to be her, because you aren’t her.

Loving the Life I Actually Have

I’ve wasted much of my life pining away for a different time, a different season, a different set of circumstances.

No more.

I’m committing to love my actual life. The one I’m really living. Right here. Right now. Today.

It’s sometimes messy. It’s sometimes disorganized. And I rarely get everything done that I hope to in a day, but that doesn’t mean I can’t embrace it, savor it, and fall in love with it.

It’s a gift. All of it. And the more I choose to see it as such, the more I notice the gifts and the beauty all around me.

So many people have asked me in the past week after reading this post of mine, “How do I figure out what makes me come alive and feel happy? I don’t even know where to start. How did you figure out what to even try and experiment with?”

If you feel like that, I encourage you to ask yourself these questions:

  • What makes me feel happy?
  • If I had an entire day to myself and napping wasn’t an option (!), what would I choose to do?
  • What are some of my happiest memories?
  • What do other people say to brings life to me and puts a smile on my face?

As I’ve been taking the Happiness Dare, I’m realizing that there are so many beautiful things all around us, but often, I’ve been too busy and focused on productivity that I’ve missed them. This dare has really challenged me to look around my world and find the happy. To add more shots of joy into my every day life. To wring the delight out of what might seem ordinary.

I’m letting myself take time to slow down and enjoy a bike ride, to buy those discounted flowers, really be in the moment in a conversation, to savor the beauty of the ocean, to slowly enjoy books, to eat more ice cream, to wear colors I love, to stop saying to myself, “That’s not who you are!”

My daughter said to me the other day, “Mom, you’ve been laughing a lot more recently!” I know she’s right.

By intentionally seeking to do things that make me smile more, I have a lot more joy in my life. And I think this joy is becoming contagious!

We can’t change who we are, but we can make the most of our situation. We can’t choose the personality we are born with, but we can choose to be thankful–even in the midst of difficulty.

And we can choose to be intentional and purposeful in how we live our lives so that we make the most of all that we’ve been given instead of wishing we were someone else.

Loving My Actual LifeNote: Want to talk more about this with me live? I’d love to have you join me on Periscope (around 8 to 8:15 a.m. CT) and Facebook live (around 8:30 a.m. CT) every morning where we’ll be discussing each day’s topics more in-depth and you can bring your questions, chat with others, and we can share together what we’re learning! (You can watch today’s Facebook Live video here.)

Day 3 Project

  1. Look around you. Really look around you. Notice the wonderful things in your life. Let yourself stop and really savor those blessings. Don’t take them for granted!
  2. Ask yourself the following questions (if you need extra help, ask your spouse or a close friend): 
    • What makes me feel happy?
    • If I had an entire day to myself and napping wasn’t an option (!), what would I choose to do?
    • What are some of my happiest memories?
    • What do other people say to brings life to me and puts a smile on my face?
  3. Based upon your answers, what’s one simple way you can seek to cultivate more happiness in your every day life today? Tell us in the comments! I can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

Resources to Check Out:

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22 Comments

  • I think this post sums up my passion exactly! To share what makes me happy and folks me with joy and help others do the same. We are all so unique and need to embrace our own interests and loves. Thank you for doing what you do!

  • Lisa says:

    I LOVE to learn new things especially about self-improvement, organization, crafts, etc. It makes my heart sing and feel alive to be learning!

  • Quinn says:

    I am and have started writing 1 thing a day in the mother blessing journal of yours I have had for a while and have had intentions of writing 1 thing I am thankful for my husband or whatever good that comes to mind about him! Our marriage needs it! I finally started less than a week ago!

  • This is an incredible series, Crystal! I think it would make an awesome eBook when you’re finished with it on here 🙂

    • 🙂 That’s actually part of the plan… and then we have a bigger plan for it for the beginning of 2017! 🙂

      • Jody says:

        I was thinking the same thing as Davonne! I would love an ebook of this series, to be able to go through it offline, distraction free. Excited about what the bigger plan for it is as well 🙂

      • Oh, so exciting! Can’t wait to hear all about it – I’m so glad you’re writing free, lighting up the world with your pen. Watching you blossom as a writer is so much fun 🙂

  • nicole says:

    i really needed this today crystal thanks so much! i know what i love is playing with my kiddos but sometimes my to do list is so long it doesnt happen i will take more time to do that today! ps your hair looks great curled!! mine is too long it would take forever

  • Stacey says:

    Love this post. It is definitely something I have been working on but I need to keep at it. Thank you!!

  • Diana says:

    A lot of the things that energize me aren’t feasible for me to do much of in the current season of life (and that’s okay!). But there are other ways to get a shot of happiness too, and one of those that almost always works for me is to really notice whatever the weather is doing. Either a gorgeous blue sky, the way the raindrops are falling, the way the light changes the color of the trees depending on the time of day, or whatever fits in your climate. There’s always something beautiful there, and by noticing it and enjoying it, I always feel more happy and grateful 🙂

  • Leanne says:

    I loved this post!
    I feel happiest when I’m talking about Jesus with other people who love Jesus.
    I really like to shop for bargains, meet good friends for coffee or treats (or both), and I really like to be involved in activities that gather people together for encouragement and fellowship!
    Honestly, my happiest memories have been made in the last couple of years when we’ve gone to family camp and invested that time in loving each other better and loving God better…. I’d rather do that than Disney World any day!
    I think people would say I’m happiest when I’m showing love and encouragement to others…
    that’s what I’m going to focus on today 🙂

  • Emilie says:

    I read somewhere to make a list of all the activities you loved to do when you were a child. Do them again now.

    My list:
    coloring, playing on the beach, swimming, bike riding, getting together with friends, making mix tapes, making cards, taking pictures, baking, playing card games and picking agates.

    These are the things that I would love to do if I had a entire day to myself, now I need to do them instead of some other commitments I have made.

    Thank you for this series! (and thank you for making it free).

  • I love this post so much! I’m committing to reading every day as a small way to cultivate my happiness.

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