3. enjoy your life. prioritise joy and happiness.
I mean really, if your life is no fun you need to change something. what is the point of it all if you don’t enjoy most of your life?
that’s my third habit. making sure that my pleasure is my priority.
i work two jobs and i enjoy both of them. Not every day: some days are hard and some days i get overwhelmed – it was especially difficult to get out of bed today but you know what? i love the semblance of financial freedom that my jobs give me. i enjoy that ( i say semblance because as long as you’re working full-time you’re not free). i enjoy living where i live, eating what i eat and shopping where i shop. without both my jobs i’d have to make some sacrifices i don’t really want to make, so as hard as it sometimes is, i keep on working both jobs because they allow me to enjoy the things i enjoy.
being poor is no walk in the park let me tell you – i know cos i’ve been there. in fact, based on what i make and the cost of living in Joburg (two jobs notwithstanding) i’m still poor – but you know what? i’m not as poor as i would be otherwise, and in actual fact i dont usually think of myself as poor. i’m willing to work this hard in order to do and have the things i love, because i place premium value on enjoying myself and if i have to work to make that paper then so be it. i’m lucky i enjoy my jobs, mostly, but even if i didn’t i’d still enjoy spending the money.
this is not just about money though, it’s about making sure that you enjoy your life, whatever enjoying your life looks like to you. it’s about what i like to call ‘life-enhancing decisions’. make those things that enhance your enjoyment of life a priority and minimise your exposure to the things (and people) that detract from your enjoyment of your life. i mean really. relationships that drain your energy? leave them. a house you hate? redecorate. or move altogether. a nagging spouse? check your behaviour and read ‘Boundaries’ by Dr Henry Cloud and somebody else. stop complaining about doing things you don’t like with people you like even less
unless those things give you pots of money to spend on things you like with people you do like. at the end of the day, you have to decide if the misery you feel from whatever you’re doing is worth whatever you get in return. ask yourself – if you’re not enjoying it, if it’s not adding value to your life nor bringing you pleasure, why are you doing it?
of course you’ll have to do things you dislike one way or the other: i hate making my bed (i really really do), but know what i hate even more? coming home to an unmade bed. so although i hate bed-making, not bed-making detracts from my joy even more than making my bed would, so i
usually make my bed.
know what else i hate? playing scrabble with my son. know what i love? seeing him smile and knowing that i did that. know what else i love? when he says ‘you’re the bestest mom in the world’. so, once in a while i play scrabble with him, because the pleasure i get from making him happy more than makes up for any dislike i have for playing wordgames with 10yr old boys. the point is – sometimes you will have to do things you don’t like, things you’d rather not do, in order to experience that surge of endorphins that comes from making someone else happy. always know what you’re doing and what the pay-off is – your life will be easier and you’ll be less grumpy than otherwise.