How to Be Happy 111 Hours a Week

By doing less of what you don’t like

Everyone wants to be happy. But few people actually take the action required to actually be happy. It’s because most people think that doing stuff you don’t like to do is OK. They think it is just “how life is.” Nope.

How much time do you spend each day doing something you don’t like?

Now answer this: How much time do you spend Living?

Before you answer that, let’s define LivingLiving is when there is nothing else you’d rather be doing at that moment.

Living is when you are completely focused on this thing you are doing because it’s all that matters at the moment. You aren’t looking at the clock. You aren’t looking at the clock, thinking about what to do next or what to eat for dinner.

Now really ask yourself: How much time do you spend Living? A few hours day? A few hours a week? A few hours a month? A few hours a year?

If the answer is anything less than 111, you’ve got some work to do. Spend 111 hours a week Living.

The Math

There are seven twenty-four hour days in a week for a total of 168 hours. You sleep eight hours a night for a total of 56 per week. 168-56=112.

One hour a week you can spend NOT Living. That’s it. That leaves you 111 hours that you need to get to Living.

Why One Hour a Week?

It’s a lofty, but attainable goal. It’s my goal. I meet it frequently, but I miss it a lot. We all need goals that will challenge us. Especially when it comes to the only resource we can’t get more of — time.

Most People Aren’t Even Close

Let’s start with how you are spending your time now. If you are like 80% of Americans (citation), you spend 40 hours a week working a job you don’t like.

So, right there, you’ve used up your one hour by 9AM Monday morning. By the end of the day Monday, you’ve run up a deficit of seven hours. Maybe it will get better after work. Oh, wait, but you have to get groceries. Another hour. Actually, the drive in to work was hell and you were pissed off the whole time you were getting ready for work because it’s Monday, so that’s another two hours you were not Living. It takes a half hour to get home. Now we’re at about nine hours and we forgot about sleeping. That’s another eight hours so we’re down to four and a half hours of potential Living. You cook dinner for an hour, then tidy up the house and check email. That takes another 2 hours, so now we’re down to two and a half hours. What do you do? American Idol and CSI, while Facebooking on your phone. I think there’s a half-hour or so left, but what difference does it make at this point?

Your entire day was spent doing stuff you don’t like. Except the TV, but was it Living? (refer back to the definition of Living above, please)

A Better Way

Realize that your time is all you have. You can get more of any other resource except time. You have what you have. 24 hours in each day and no more.

Before you make the bed, return a phone call, mow the grass, brush your teeth, go to work, get groceries or anything else, ask yourself: “Am I Living?”

Stop believing you have to do a bunch of stuff before you can do the one and only thing you want to do — Live. Stop believing that life is all about sacrifice. It’s not; it’s all about Living. Stop believing that the only way to earn money is by doing stuff you don’t like. Stop believing that making the bed, getting groceries and mowing the grass are just part of life. They don’t have to be.

But the grass needs to be mowed, I need to make money and somebody has to make the bed.

True.

There are three ways to deal with these things.

  1. Don’t do them.
  2. Pay someone to do them.
  3. Make them Living

Don’t Do Them

We do a lot of silly thing that don’t matter. Making your bed is a great example. Your just going to mess it up again the next night, so what’s the point?

It looks better.

It‘s nice to crawl into a freshly made bed.

OK, but when you look at the definition of Living above, is it worth it? There is some benefit in virtually anything if you look hard enough. But the real question is: “Is it worth it?”

What could you quit doing to free up some more time for Living?

Pay Someone to Do Them

But I can’t afford to pay someone to do them.

Probably not. Most people can’t. But start by being very aware of the fact that you are robbing yourself of Living every second you do these things. And remember that you’ll never get anything you want if you don’t create a vision for what you want your life to look like. Preferably a vision that seems really hard. A vision that is slightly beyond what seems possible keeps you constantly thinking and challenging yourself to do more. Best of all, it will keep you asking questions.

You’ll like the next one.

Make them Living

You can enjoy anything if you put your mind to it. Does that sound hard? It is. But again, this is your life we’re talking about so it’s worth the effort. What’s the one thing you do a lot of that you could enjoy more? Probably your job. If you don’t like your job (like 80% of Americans) do something about it. Whether that means starting your own business or changing careers, it will be hard.

But, eight hours a day is a third of the day — a third of your life! Is that worth it?

It Is Hard

Is this going to be easy? Nope. Nothing worth doing is. Will it be worth it? This is your life we’re talking about. What else is there? If this isn’t worth it, what is?

Stop looking at Living as something you only do in your spare time and start looking at as ALL THAT MATTERS.

Photo by Fernando Brasil on Unsplash

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