How Much Is Enough?

Hundred dollar billsUsually when we talk about enough, we ask ourselves something along the lines of: How much is enough money or enough possessions?

And in business the question might be: How much is enough success?

It’s almost a trick question though.

We tell ourselves: I’ll have enough when I meet this goal or reach this level. And then you’re almost there and you change the goal, you up the ante just a little bit.

The result? You never quite meet your goal – and that’s the nasty trick we play on ourselves a lot.

No wonder you’re frustrated and stressed out! You do all the work to meet that goal and once it is in sight, you move the goal just out of reach.

We do this with our time too, have you noticed?

We never have enough time to get everything done! And at the end of the day you’re not thinking about what you accomplished, you’re thinking about those tasks you didn’t have enough time to finish.

We have this pattern of raising the bar a little higher, so we never actually reach it.

And what happens when you have enough? Is that when you finally get to be happy? When your business is officially a success? Maybe it’s when you finally get to have a little more me time?

So, what is enough? That’s for you to decide. However, I challenge you to look at it a little differently.

The problem with asking, “When will I have enough _________?” is the question assumes that you currently don’t have enough!

What if you do have enough? What if you changed your focus slightly? What if you allowed yourself to be happy, successful and have me time exactly where you are right now?

What if enough isn’t something that’s out there but appreciating what you currently have?

This doesn’t mean that you don’t set goals for yourself and your business. It means you celebrate where you are and the steps you took to get here. And you look to the future for your next steps.

How does that feel? What does celebrating where you currently are change for you right now?

What does having and being enough, exactly right now change for you? What does it change for your business?

I’d love if you shared your thoughts in the comments below.

Wondering how you’ll ever go from feeling like you don’t have enough ______, to feeling like you do have enough _______? Wondering what’s getting in your way? This is exactly what the Productivity Insight Process reveals. Through this process, you’ll discover what beliefs and defaults are holding you back and how to change them. Find out more here.

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What If You LOVED Your Workday?

Young Female Lying On The Grass In The Park Using A LaptopHow does your day usually start?

Not the getting out of bed part of your day, the business part of your day.

How does the business part of your day usually start? Do you have any habits? What are you thinking? Are your thoughts your habit?

So, do you start your day stressed out, worrying about how you’re going to get the long list of tasks done. Maybe doing a couple really quick ones just so you feel like you’re making progress, and maybe avoiding the more important and intimidating task?

What are you thinking about that list of tasks?

What if you were excited by them instead of feeling like you have to do them?

What if instead of feeling constantly behind by everything you should be doing or should have accomplished you were excited for the things that are happening in your day and business?

What if you didn’t worry about what you’ll find in your email today, but were excited to hear from people? To find out what they needed? Or out how you can help them and how that works into your schedule?

What if instead of being annoyed that someone asked you to do something extra, you were excited about the prospect of helping them?

Would if feel like work then? How would that change your business? How would that change your life outside of your business?

Does even thinking about that possibility feel foreign to you?

I know there was a time in my life where  I would have read what I wrote above and said, that’s great, but I’d rather not live with my head in the sand to all the work that needs to get done. And then pile on more things to do because I’m so busy being happy by all the extra work people are sending me.

So, let me be clear – I am not suggesting that you accept every request with happy abandon.

I am suggesting that it is possible to be happy about those requests AND have a plan or process for them.

So, you’re not just happily saying yes when a client emails you with a last minute request – you’re using the processes you already put in place to tell them that you’d love to do that with/for them, but last minute rush jobs cost this much extra. Or I can do that for you in two weeks because I want to honor the commitments to my current projects.

There are boundaries and processes you can set up so it’s easy for you to navigate requests and you’re teaching your clients (and others!) how you work so you have fewer of those requests coming in.

If this is something you’d like to explore in detail, let me know!

How does your workday normally start? And how do you want it to start?

Share in the comments below!

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What Does Being Happy Mean?

happy plastic doll

So, what does being happy mean? How would you define it?

I thought about this over the weekend and realized that there’s a difference between “being HAPPY,” emphasis on happy and “BEING happy,” emphasis on being.

And just what is that difference? I’m so glad that you asked!

Being HAPPY (emphasis on HAPPY)

When I think about being HAPPY I think about putting on a happy face no matter what you’re actually feeling. There are some benefits to this, by smiling you actually can start to feel better and happier. What I really mean by “putting on a happy face” is when you’re using a happy mask to hide whatever it is you’re really feeling – and you’re not just masking it for others, you’re masking it for yourself too – you’re not allowing yourself to feel the emotions – any emotions.

Another indicator of focusing on being HAPPY is mostly doing things that have the immediate result of happiness, otherwise known as instant gratification. Instant gratification isn’t always bad, but if you’re doing it at the expense of your long term happiness you’re probably more focused on being HAPPY.

So, if the above are what being HAPPY is, what is BEING happy?

BEING happy (emphasis on BEING)

When you’re BEING happy you realize that you won’t be HAPPY all the time. You’re human, you have emotions and it’s normal to be upset, angry, or frustrated sometimes. When you’re BEING happy you allow yourself to feel those emotions. It doesn’t mean that you sit and wallow in them, but you remember that they’re normal and you don’t beat yourself up for having those emotions. One other thing to remember, it’s difficult to fully appreciate happiness if you’re not allowing yourself to feel other emotions too.

BEING happy means that you’re not focused on instant gratification. You recognize that for some things there’s more happiness in waiting then in enjoying it right now. You know what instant gratification is. It’s when you buy that item you want even though you don’t quite have the money for it (but you get paid at the end of the week!) or you have a problem and you spend the time looking for a magic pill, but not the time to slowly tackle it bit by bit (think get rich schemes or quickly lose 10 pounds in a week promises).

BEING happy is about recognizing what you’re feeling and deciding how you’ll respond, instead of reacting. This brings me back to my definition of happiness:

Happiness is a state of mind that you choose to be in regardless of your circumstances or situation.

Happiness is a choice. You choose your own definitions and rules for your life – so which ones do you choose?

What does being happy mean to you? How would you define it?

What to chat with Evie about this? Schedule here.

Photo credit: Happy Man by Neal. via Flickr

Where Is The Service To Others?

I recently shared some of my happiness tips with a small group of people and a concern was voiced – where is the service to others? The concern was that the tips focused too much on personal happiness and there was no room left for giving to others (volunteering) or doing things that might be uncomfortable, because those things might not make us feel happy.

There is a value of service to others being expressed. The concern is that we might not try being of service to others because we’re only focused on doing things that make us happy.

I think there are two things happening with this concern.

One – I didn’t do a good job of describing my definition of happiness.

Happiness is a state of mind that you choose to be in regardless of your circumstances or situation.

So, my definition of happiness is less about only doing the things that you think will give you a joyful feeling and more about choosing to be in a positive state of mind.

Two – the common assumption that happiness = being or staying comfortable.

Are you happy if you’re only doing the things you’re comfortable with? Probably, but eventually you’re going to get bored. Only doing the things you’re comfortable with is easy, but not a strategy for long-term happiness.

So, what’s a strategy for long-term happiness? Know your values and occasionally re-evaluate.

Your values are going to change over time. Certain things are going to be more important at certain times in your life and other things will be less important. That’s normal. So, evaluate what your values are on occasion (yearly, quarterly, whatever works for you).

Are you spending time on the things you value? If not, find a way to add more of that to your life. And step away from the things you’re doing that take time away from that. Is this process always easy and simple? Nope, it can be difficult to step away from things that you have been doing for a while. And it can be uncomfortable to take on new and different responsibilities or activities. But taking that step outside your comfort zone is extremely rewarding.

But let’s go back to the original concern: where does service to others fit into this? I have two answers:

One – if being of service to others is one of your values, then you’ll make time for it.

Two – doing volunteer activities that are a service to others does bring you happiness! Studies have proven it.

In the quest for happiness where do you think being of service to others (or volunteering) falls?

Doing It For Others Or For Yourself?

I started writing this post about how frustrating it can be to do things for others and not be appreciated for it – when the reality is you’re doing it for yourself and justifying the time spent by saying it’s for someone else (when I do this it’s because I’m listening to the voice in my head that tells me it’s OK to spend time doing things for other people, but not for myself).

I remembered hearing a conversation about it, but couldn’t place where the conversation took place. Then I remembered! It wasn’t a conversation at all but two blog posts by the wonderful Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project. So, instead of re-hashing her posts, I’m sending you over there (to the source!) to read them. It includes some other great pieces of information too! It’s all in her posts: Why I Try Not To Do Things For Others, But Instead, Do Them For Myself and 5 Mistakes I Continue To Make in My Marriage.

Let me know what things you do for others that are really for yourself in the comments!