Thursday, January 23, 2014

Want to Feel Happier? Go Have an Adventure.

Strolling through Washington DC with my niece.

Every day, we are given a ridiculously vast breadth of choice about how we'll live.

We can give in to the grind, our grief, or feelings of stagnation. Or we can go out and create joy. 

We can embrace opportunities to try new things, see new places, have adventures, or just indulge in our most favoritest activities.

The times you're feeling stuck or unfulfilled are probably most important—and hardest—times to do this.

But "doing cool sh*t" is one of the greatest keys to happiness.

In the fall of 2011 when I got laid off from my beloved job at Yahoo!, I could have gone down the dark path of worrying I'd never find another gig like that—or that I'd be collecting unemployment for months on end or run out of money altogether. Instead, I took a breath and tried to make the most of the situation life had thrown my way. Within weeks of getting the axe, I used airline miles to tag along with my niece on her college tour of the east coast. When I started working again, freelancing from home, I made it a point to pop out to my backyard during the day with my laptop and meet up with friends for lunch or morning walks.

I sought out stuff that made me happy.

Seeking joy and adventure doesn't have to mean climbing a mountain (although I highly recommend doing that at some point). It can be as simple as going to a movie by yourself on a Wednesday night or trying a new recipe or treating yourself to a walk on the beach at sunset. 

My friends over at Mimosa Lotus know this very well.

In fact, they've started a really awesome campaign to honor a dear, departed friend of theirs. They're calling it "How Do You Live?" and encouraging people to use that hashtag on social media to celebrate this simple, yet totally transformational way of looking at our time on earth.

The beauty of this approach is that the more you go out and do cool sh*t, create opportunities for happiness and growth, and let yourself take risks that feel good—the more you'll discover who you really are.

And isn't that why all of us are here? To wholly make that discovery?