I received the most heart-wrenching note the other day. It read..
“As I sit in some of the hardest times of my life I have been thinking of you, especially today. I wonder how you did it? How you chose such happiness and delight in the face of struggle. How you seem to get the support of anyone at any given time when you need it most. How you didn’t let sadness and depression win…
I keep your strength in mind and how you were able to turn your situation into something that worked for you and not against you. You’re such a good role model and inspiration. I know it wasn’t easy for you, but you made it seem easy. I just want to enjoy life the way you seem to.” -Anonymous
This note slayed me because I know so, so many people are struggling through hard times and searching for happiness. It’s TOUGH to keep picking YOURSELF up when things are not going well. I’ve been there, too.
So, how did I manage to enjoy life and find happiness in the face of struggle? Do you really want to know?
Well, I’m not quite sure how to tell you this (and you might not believe me).
But the truth is, I didn’t use an existing method.
I created my own by mixing together a number of methods and adding my own personal twists. I turned these methods and twists into a plan, and I stuck to it.
I jokingly called my plan, “The Don’t Get Depressed Plan” (a terrible name, I know!) and I followed it on a daily basis.
I’ll be honest, my main goal as I struggled to deal with challenging, uncertain (and even downright HARD) times was NOT TO BE HAPPY, but simply NOT TO GET so DOWN that I’d have an additional struggle (depression) on my hands.
Can you believe it
For once in her life, this FIERCE overachiever planned to simply get through, to PASS.
I guess that’s what happens when the odds of success feel impossibly low.
But you know what happened?
By following my PLAN, I enjoyed one of the happiest years of my life in the midst of struggle and chaos and no one was more SURPRISED than me.
Even though the big picture was that I was going through a really hard time (quite possibly the worst year of my life), I felt happy and fulfilled most days.
Really and truly happy and fulfilled.
I felt this way because I had a PLAN and I followed it.
Although I didn’t set out to have one of the happiest years of my life, it wasn’t by accident that I found myself feeling happy and was able to turn my situation into something that ultimately worked in my favor so that I felt happier most days than I had in years (maybe ever).
Feeling happy was a decision I made and a PLAN I followed.
I’ll share with you here one of the methods I used in order to “not get depressed.”
I RELENTLESSLY focused on “small happinesses.”
You know what “small happinesses” are, right?
They are the little things in life; like colorful birds, fresh morning dew, and the everyday joys friends and family post on Facebook.
That’s just one piece of the plan, and the best part is I know I can use my plan over and over again to overcome life’s challenging moments.
In fact, I’m still using my plan to enjoy small happinesses now that that whole situation is behind me, because they make me feel so good.
Are you curious about what else besides focusing on small happinesses was in my plan?
We’ve known each other for a while now, so I don’t see any reason you shouldn’t feel comfortable asking me specifics about my plan or grilling me for wisdom, guidance, and advice over the phone.
If you’d like to use me as a sounding board or grill me over the phone for half an hour about my plan, you can see when I have time for that here. Just click through to schedule, and I’ll answer whatever questions you have.
Is my calendar conflicting with yours? You know you can always get me here so we can work out a time that works for both of us.
I hope you have a happy week, and until next week,