When we think of design, and especially life design, we don’t often think of happiness. We think of how we want things to look, how our day or month is going to be shaped. We think of those big goals such as a new house, a career that makes our hearts sing. Those are all worthy and great for sure! I would also suggest to you that good design has the responsibility to bring pleasure in the here and now.
The computer I work on is a good example; it is easy on the eyes, very functional without looking clunky, smooth and comfortable to be around. Same goes for most toothbrushes, seats in our cars and tissues we use to blow our noses. Such design is not by accident but rather the accumulation of a great deal of data (information) put through the filter of what works. This does not mean that the toothbrush I find comfortable for my hand is necessarily comfortable for yours. And that’s just perfect too.
Here’s a semi-radical concept for you ~ I want you to start to plan and design into your life opportunities for happiness. It does not have to be anything big or dramatic but it does need to fit you and your style.
To start your design process I’d ask you to think back to the events, moments or experiences in which you’ve had that feeling of contentment. It does not need to be, nor is it likely to be, a list filled with big, jubilant moments, as most of us don’t have too many of those. In all likelihood your list will be populated with events such as that time you watched the sunset next to your loved one, or when you were laughing so hard your sides hurt or how you felt after a really good workout.
Step number two is to look for the common thread in your list. Perhaps it will be several threads. Whatever it is, this is where you’ll begin to put the pieces together. The more component parts you can identify the easier it will be for you to begin the process of allowing more opportunities for happiness to show up.
Next comes the fun part! What can you do to create favorable conditions for these experiences to be present? Is it helpful to be around a group of people or a specific person? Do you find yourself more able to notice those moments when you’re more rested or when you’re outside? Do you find greater joy in being around a crowd or is it more satisfying for you to be in a quieter, more peaceful environment?
Begin to find what works for you, create the conditions optimal for those moments to occur and I am going to suggest you’ll notice more smiles, laughs and good times!
Need an extra hand with this step? Want another set of eyes on your list? You can always get on my schedule and together I’m sure we can puzzle this out!
Wishing you the best for your day ~