Life Is Hard -- Focus on Happiness

Written by on Feb 21 2011

I woke up this morning at 5:00AM. I read and almost fell back asleep, but then my brain started grinding on stuff and I woke up again. I repeated half a dozen times and finally tried that trick with iPhone games, but had the same result. I don’t remember the last time I had more than one’s decent night’s sleep in a week. I’m stressed. I have too many things on my plate. This weekend I found myself impatient and yelling at my kids. They didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, I have great, well behaved kids. Although I was too stressed/tired/whatever to curb my behavior, I was not too much so to observe it. I don’t want to live like this.

The last two years have been the hardest of my life. The last six months things have been getting better until some time in December I was back. I was normal (normal for me). Now I find myself stressed out again to the point of being unhealthy. At the beginning of the year I decided that this was going to the be “year of Steve,” kind of like the “summer of George.” This morning I saw the way back to that. Today I will execute.

Life is hard. But the purpose of life is to be happy. Success should be judged not on wealth or accumulation of stuff, or even of how kind one is, but on how happy one is. Happiness is the goal. Everything else is just a means (all be it, an often misguided means) to that end.

For me, the key is to focus on what brings me happiness. My kids, my friends, my work. Today is the day I make deep cuts to focus on the things that bring me happiness or the the things that don’t today, but are a true means to that end (like doing work I don’t like). If I’m not finding joy in watching my children, then everything else needs to change until that is once again the status quo. That is my litmus test.

Take an inventory of yourself to discover what brings you happiness. Cut down everything else until you are only doing things that move you on the path to happiness. That is what’s best for you, your family and your business.

What brings you happiness, what do you do that is a misguided means to that end? What can you cut out today? What is your litmus test?


Hi I'm Steven,

I wrote the article you're reading... I lead the developers, write music, used to race motorcycles, and help clients find the right features to build on their product.

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