The holiday season is officially over and it’s time to return to my regularly scheduled life. Around this time, it seems like everyone is making lists, and I am no exception. I feel compelled to make lots of lists: of things I would like to do differently, of places I would like to go, of people I want to see, of things I want to make, and all sorts of other stuff. It’s not even a new year’s thing; I just like to make lists. Lists make me feel like I have a plan, and crossing things off my list makes me feel like I’ve achieved something.
However, a lot of the cultivation-of-happiness work I’ve done this year makes me feel like creating another list of things to do isn’t the best course of action. One of the lessons I learned in 2011 is that I spend far too much time thinking of the past and the future, and not enough time in the present. So instead, I’m going to apply one of the lessons that popped up in a number of things I read this year. Srikumar Rao calls it:
The Law of Increase
Whatever you are truly grateful for and appreciate will increase in your life.
This year I am not going to make a list of things I am going to do. Instead of thinking into the future, I hope that the simple act of paying attention to the things I am thankful for right now will attract more opportunities for me to have/do/be those things. So, here it is:
I am thankful for
– my family. I think my game-loving, marathon-eating, big, extended family, who gathers to celebrate every life event and has 18-hour-long sleepover parties for major holidays is AWESOME.
– my partner. Our relationship continues to evolve, and as it does, I grow more certain that we go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong.
– my health. Between learning how to cook and eat more vegetables (Rumana, I can’t believe I didn’t know about brussel sprouts until I met you) and having ways to be active while having fun (yay for Main Stacks, PW, and Dance Central), I am more fit now than I was 5 years ago.
– work that I care about. Paid and unpaid, how I spend the majority of my waking hours is for a cause. Even on the difficult days, I know that what I do matters.
– the opportunity to share what I’ve learned and what I’m learning. Whether it’s writing this blog, sharing with my personal mastery group, talking to undergrads, or being a mentor, talking about what I’ve learned helps lead me to other insights about myself and helps me grow.
There are a bunch of other things I am also grateful for, but I wanted to keep the list short, or else I’d never finish it and this post would stay stuck in draft form like the five other posts I haven’t finished. The other behavioral shift I’m trying to make is moving from planning to doing. Instead of resolving to write for my blog more often, I’m trying to just do it. And this post is my first small step in that direction.
Happy new year!