Happiness

“Today is going to be the worst day. I don’t know where my mask is, I can’t find my hoodie. I didn’t pack enough food.” Says every teenage boy… it can’t just be mine?

“Wouldn’t it be nice if…” I prompt him like we learned in the Mindvalley Be Extraordinary For Teens exercise (after he has had a bit of a tantrum and after I have taken a deep breath and bit my tongue).

“If.. I could play video games today after school. If drafting class goes well and the teacher isn’t annoying. If I get to the cafeteria line before everyone else gets there.”

I wrote a couple of weeks ago how I found this program on mindvalley.com. It’s a 10 day program, with video lessons (talks) no more than 20 minutes long. We have only done 3 so far, as we aren’t doing them daily. We sit and watch together along with little brother Owen, who is 10 and curious.

The latest one is on happiness. They talk about the thinking of people only being happy ‘if’ or ‘when’ something favourable happens. Which means you constantly live in a state of not being happy ‘yet.’ The tip is to consider the ‘reverse gap.’ To think of where you were one year ago compared to now. Or 3 years ago compared to now. And 5 years ago compared to now. What areas of your life have improved if you look at where you are now to a previous time in your life?

When I think of my last one year timeframe:

– I am in the job I want after a complete restructure of positions at my work. This had been a very stressful and uncertain time of co-workers leaving and those of us staying by order of seniority, picking the positions that we wanted. The job I ended up with just happens to be the one I have wanted to land in for the last 9 years and due to a retirement was already in the works for me to train in, but it was very uncertain if anyone else would bump me for it.

-I started an exercise program (on demand) in January, and other than a one week break in July for a holiday, I have exercised Monday to Friday every week since January 4th. I have more strength and tone which makes me so happy, and it has become a lifestyle. 😅

-we had a holiday in July for a week away in Kelowna.

-I PASSED exam 1 (of 2) of the course I am taking – Canadian Securities Course. (I write exam 2 shortly. 😀

-I took steps to upgrade my website and had some calls with someone for ideas for marketing my art instagram page. The goal for this being to put pieces in place towards getting illustration work. I had the courage to post a Reel on Instagram. 🙈😅

-I have watched many personal growth masterclasses, listened to podcasts and taken steps towards always improving my emotional intelligence.

These were all personal areas for myself that I wanted to grow and I am so thankful that I have! When I think of looking at my ‘reverse gap,’ it is hard not to feel happy about what improvements have happened. I find I have no reason to get caught up feeling not good enough comparing to others when I just compare to my past self. Then think back 2 years, then 5 and 10. Some of these things happened that I hadn’t expected. A year ago, I didn’t know I was going to get the job I wanted. A year ago, if I thought about an exercise program, I wouldn’t have considered committing to more than 6 weeks of working out. Now, I absolutely love it and it’s become a non-negotiable. Some cool meditation and dream and journaling exercises, I would not have given my ‘power’ that much credit a year ago.

You can always amaze and surprise yourself. ❤️

The exercise did help Jordan. It gave him perspective about the good things in his life in the past year, like playing hockey games again. Getting referee jobs again to earn some money – games were cancelled pretty quickly a year ago. He has had a good start to grade ten, and caught up on school work compared to last year too. And of course, of the most importance in his world, some newer electronics in his collection than previously.

Take a look at your own reverse gap, and remember what you are happy about! Celebrate all of it. And perhaps, Add something to your to-do list that will be part of your reverse gap next year when you look back. 🤗

Sending Love,

Devon

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