My number one goal in life is to be happy, and not just in general, but to be happy on purpose, with purpose, every single day. For some, this may seem to be an impossible feat, as we have often heard that no one is (or can be) happy all the time. But, this is not true! Any one of us can choose to be happy everyday of our lives, even and especially when things don't go our way –– and I have figured out how to do just that.
The concept of pleasure triggers is awfully simple –– these are the people, places, and things that stand to make you happy on any given day –– and by focusing on your pleasure triggers, you can easily find yourself staying grounded in that happiness, no matter what happens.
I have begun making it a habit forming two mental lists, everyday, by asking myself two simple questions, and answering them honestly:
- What (if anything) is making me unhappy?
- What would make me happy right now and/or at some point today?
Question number one is, I believe, a question most people are afraid to ask themselves, knowing that an honest answer has the potential to upend their lives, and maybe hurt some feelings. But, that's the point, isn't it? Aren't we here to change everything about ourselves that needs to be changed, and to do so without concern about who won't like it? Remember, your shift is all about you. You. You. You!
So, when you ask yourself this question, answer it honestly, and whatever the answer, commit yourself to getting rid of the issue. Anything and anyone who makes you unhappy has to go! So, if that means certain people get cut off completely, or are to be fed with a long-handled spoon, so be it. If that means your relationship needs to end or change significantly, then that what needs to happen –– not tomorrow –– today! Make declarations to yourself and to others, understanding that some of those declarations may be words, while others will be actions.
With a clear understanding of what may be making you unhappy, pinpointing what will make you happy is a great way to reward your senses and keep you forward focused. Make a habit of asking yourself this question every single day, listen to your answers, and do everything you can to satisfy these needs by seeking your pleasure triggers.
These triggers could be (and usually are) very simple wants and needs. Maybe there is that little voice in your head that tells you to forgo the high heels and settle on a pair of flats. Listen to the voice. The flats will be a pleasure trigger. It might be cold and raining inside, but the little kid inside you is dying for an ice cream scoop. Ignore the adult in your brain that says it's too cold. Get your ice cream. It will be a pleasure trigger. A glass of wine, a slice of cheesecake, whatever it is, as long as it does not put you in physical, emotional, or financial danger, do it!
Go out of your way to do what makes you happy, and do this everyday. No matter what happens in life, when we focus on obtainable joys, and all the people, places, and things that trigger those joys, we equip ourselves to handle what comes. We offer ourselves balance in an imbalanced world, and pad our self-care bubbles in the meantime.