I think I have a slight addiction to constantly looking at the same problem from different perspectives….
The general approach I have been taking up to this point is basically this:
- Find out what I am best at
- Use it to say or do something important
- Turn that into a career
- Become incredibly successful!
In my latest iteration of trying to figure out what I should do I decided to abandon the constraint of immense success and get right down to the very basic needs of my life. What is the simplest perspective I could take for determining my requirements for happiness?
In doing so I came up with the follow four basic areas of need and a description of what each entails. They are, in order of importance:
- Health of the family unit – Relationship with my wife and children, with our extended families, having sound parenting tactics & strategies, having regular activities, and being a family that eats well
- Being a good provider – Have a functioning home where repairs are done promptly, keeping our cars well maintained, doing my job well, and having a balanced budget
- Having an outlet for Self-Expression – Having a creative outlet like blogging or video editing, and dressing nicely or in a way that is more reflective of who I am.
- Having fun along the way – Going to movies, building a home theater, taking full advantage of living in Ottawa/Manotick, planning more date nights, building and cultivating friendships.
After coming up with this list I wondered ‘If each of these four items were functioning at a high level, how would I feel?’ The answer was that I would be pretty damn happy!
I don’t need this immense success I thought I desired. I don’t need to change the world. I don’t need massive accolades or financial success. I really just want a simple life where these basic needs are met.
I think that when there is a feeling of helplessness in any one of these categories you begin to overcompensate in the others. Having a young family can certainly exacerbate such a feeling.
Having kids definitely was a shock to the system. All the free time I had for simply having fun went ‘Poof’! Much of the extra money we had for unplanned house repairs is now spoken for. And the level of stress in our home went way up with a dramatic decrease in sleep quality, not to mention the constant attention required during daylight hours.
The way I reacted was to hone in on that ‘Self Expression’ aspect and try to make it solve all of my problems. If I could do something that would lead to extreme success, then I could leverage those results to fix everything else, right???
But upon reflection I don’t really want that at all. I am very optimistic about looking specifically at those four aspects and making sure I am always doing something that is helping me improve in each one. It seems so much more achievable, and that in itself is all the motivation I need.