SET OURSELVES UP FOR HAPPINESS PART I

The Happiness Matrix

A Practice in finding happiness in all circumstances

Today, I want to show you how I maintain my emotional and mental well-being. We’ve all had our ups and downs in life. Some of us have to navigate tougher roads than others. No matter our course in life, at the end of the day, we all have a deep desire to find happiness, and maintain it. To many of us, the secret to finding happiness seems elusive and mysterious… But it doesn’t have to be.

My journey to finding happiness.

I’ve traveled down many tough roads in my life. But it was through those experiences that I learned the secret to setting up my own happiness despite whether situations are good or bad. And today, I want to share that secret setup for happiness with you.

Personally, I like tangible and practical tips and tools when I learn new things. These allow me to look at things from a logical standpoint, be able to better visualize the lesson learned, and it lets me take what I feel is beneficial for my life, and leave what is not. This is why I created this tool that I use consistently to setup happiness in my life. I call it – The Happiness Matrix.

Before We Begin…

Before we start, I want to clarify that I’m not trying to sell you a product, or a service. Nor am I trying to get you to buy into one belief or another. My goal in sharing The Happiness Matrix with you is to simply pay it forward. To share with you a tool that has worked very well for me and might be useful for you and others out there who are navigating life’s many challenges.

I want to humbly and realistically admit to you all that I’m still not perfect at this, and that is perfectly fine with me. This is what I have also learned – we don’t have to always be perfect to accomplish things. After all, we are, at the end, just a human being that is bound to make mistakes at times. The point is to keep working on ourselves happily and positively throughout our lives. So today, I want to share with you how I go about handling situation—be it good or bad.  Let’s begin : )

I want to share with you the secret of The Happiness Matrix.

Through my life experiences, I’ve found that I can better visualize the path to happiness with a tool – or in this case, a matrix. I created The Happiness Matrix with two axes and four parts – which I will explain more about later. I’ve found that I can map all of my experiences into this matrix.

For me, it’s like practical mind mapping. I use it to find where I’m at based on the situation I’m currently in. Once I’ve found my location, I can then start heading in the right direction – towards happiness. I can also learn how to create my own happiness and avoid things that make me feel bad in the future.

This Happiness Matrix has helped me navigate many difficult situations, and I hope that through sharing it with you, that it can help you as well. I’ve found that there are usually two parts to making ourselves feel at ease and happy while handling any situation – whether it’s good or bad.

When we carefully observe our mind, we will be able to see our behavioral pattern more clearly over time. We will be able to understand ourselves better, what makes us vulnerable, and what makes us happy. This is what enables us to find peace and happiness in all circumstances.”

The first part

The first part is the actions you can take to help create happiness. This includes reducing or removing the factors that cause you to feel bad, and increasing the factors that make you feel good.

It seems simple enough, but we often have trouble taking these actions. If you’ve ever been in a toxic friendship or relationship, you can probably picture how identifying factors that make us feel bad isn’t always easy right away. Most of the time we need to take a step back to clearly see if something is bad for us. When in the middle of an action, we might think it’s something that’s good, when it really isn’t.

In the same way, we might have trouble recreating the things that make us feel good. For example, if you’ve ever started a workout routine, you might feel good about it immediately afterwards. But the next day you might get sore and think that exercise was to blame, even though the exercise is good for you.

The goal in this first part is to consistently be in the position where you’re increasing the “feel good” factors. These factors cause you to feel happy, and at ease in life, which is how we all enjoy feeling.

The second part

The second part is the operational modes you work within on a daily basis. You have the proactive mode versus the reactive/receptive mode. You’re always in one of these modes and never in between. This isn’t as straightforward as the first part, so I’ll expand a little more on this part.

The goal is to consistently remain in the proactive mode so you can avoid having to react or receive things that make you feel bad. The proactive mode is based on how mindful and conscious you are before you take action.

I’ve found that there are times we go through unpleasant feelings because of our own actions. Have you ever said to yourself, “I shouldn’t have done that?” Or, “Why did I do that?” When we regret over the things we did, we do so because we weren’t proactively thinking before taking actions.

Instead, before we take action we should ask ourselves, “Then what?” And do this again and again until we’ve already thought through the outcome our action will bring. This is a way of practicing mindfulness prior to taking action. It’s a way of consistently being in the proactive operational mode.

When it comes to the reactive/receptive mode, this is based on how we react to, and handle certain things and certain situations. When we’re in this mode, things are happening to us. We often don’t have the ability to change others and the surrounding at this point in time, but we do still have the ability to change how we want to handle the situation at that exact moment and navigate our way to happiness in the future (More on this later.)

How both parts fit into the happiness matrix.

The first and second parts I just shared with you are what creates The Happiness Matrix. They’re each their own axis. When formed into a matrix, we can better look at how each part impacts our ability to find and achieve that happiness.

The first axis is the proactive mode vs. the reactive/ receptive mode. The second axis is where we reduce our emotional and mental burdens by reducing the factors that make us unhappy and increase our happiness by increasing the factors that make us feel good.

With two parts to each axis, we have four parts within the matrix. These four parts are like four fitting pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

In my next post, I’ll go deeper into how each piece works within the matrix, and what you can do to use this mental note —and The Happiness Matrix—in your daily life to achieve a higher level of satisfaction and happiness on a more consistent basis.

Until next time!

With Love,
Mim

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