September 21, 2016
People are happy because of ONE THING: Breathing Room. Lets take a moment and break that down into 3 parts.
Living life with margins is a key to success. The happiest people live life with a little bit of breathing room. They have breathing room with their time and their money. Let’s break each of those down to live a life with margin to be happier and healthier.
1. Happy build in breathing room with their Money… If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, or accruing new debt each month, you are not living within your means. And newsflash it’s not healthy. It’s not making you happier quite the opposite in fact
If I make $400 a week, I had better only spend 300 a week. Leave myself some breathing room. The magic word here is… Budget!
A great budget actually allows you to spend the money you want where you want it the most. It will help you save, and prioritize the most important things in your life. So put your money where your mouth is.
Another thing you can budget is time.
2. Happy people budget breathing room into their days
I keep a calendar, and the days I am happiest are the days where my events don’t but up into one another. Days I am happiest are the days I have breathing room. If you are working, going, producing 12, 16 hours a week. You’re doing it wrong stop glorifying busy. This is not the American dream
If my schedule is so jampacked, that I don’t have time for a red light, a bathroom break, or even lunch, there’s no way I can be healthy
What is the opportunity cost, what are you sacrificing by scheduling that much into your life and working so hard?
The most magical word in the English language or any language for that matter is the word no.
The more often you say no, The more time you will have to say yes to the things that matter most. To your top priorities.
That’s what NO does, it helps us prioritize what matters most in our life. The opposite of Great is not bad. The absolute great is good enough. Why do 17 things below average when you could do two or three re-things with excellence?
3. Happy people have extra spoons. To be happy, to be healthy, you need to budget your spoons each day I used to call this one shits to give. As in “I don’t have any more shit to give “.
When I read about spoon theory, I learned the words to describe my feelings when I ran out of “shits to give” Learn more at the link HERE, but the basis of spoon theory is:
Each day we start out with a handful of spoons, and everything that taxes us emotionally or physically takes a spoon. You getting a traffic jam and get frustrated take a spoon away. You get in a fight with your spouse, take two or three spoons away. You yell at your kid, take a spoon away. You fail a test take two or three spoons away. Someone gossips about you that’s another spoon.
By the end of the day if you still have some spoons left you’re doing it right. But I’ve had days where I ran out of spoons around three or 4 o’clock, those days are not good days. Those are the days when you walk in the door drop your bag flopped on the couch and don’t move again until your alarm goes off the next morning.
The happiest healthiest people I know seldom run out of spoons. Unhealthy people run out of spoons every day, and have to borrow their spoons from tomorrow which is in exhausting way to live.
You want to be healthy? You want to be happy? Live with margins, with breathing room, give yourself enough time, enough money, and enough spoons to get through every day. The American dream is not go go go, produce produce produce.
Happiness comes with contentment. Live not just within but BELOW your means. But first things first, and let go of the things you don’t really value with that magic word no.
Jake Tracy has owns and operates Real Life Counseling of Northern Michigan, where he works to help children, teens and their parents thrive. Learn more from Petoskey Counselor Jake Tracy at RealLifeCounselor.com.
PS: Gratitude is another HUGE factor in happiness. ;)