In my last post, I wrote a simple explanation of the Four Levels of Happiness.
Today I want to apply that information and show you HOW YOU CAN BE HAPPIER.
By understanding the Four Levels of Happiness I AM happier and if I am off-kilter, by implementing one simple strategy, I easily get back to my center.
As we all know, a happy mommy = a happy family.
This information is worth knowing!
So let’s dive in.
I will use these two occupations as my examples:
- Stay-at-home moms
Within these jobs, it is extremely easy to fall into the trap of Second Level Happiness; you think your job is you. Your wrap yourself and your identity into your work.
As a teacher, you want to be the best teacher; you try to achieve Super Teacher Status in your school. You are incredibly organized as well as highly professional with your parents. You work to impress your principal.
As a stay-at-home mom, you want to raise fantastic children. You want a well-run, efficient home, with all of the family pistons firing. You feel like your family actually represents YOU and the job you are doing or not doing. So you work hard to make this family gig seem effortless.
That’s great. I am actually inspiring myself. I may leave this computer to go clean my kitchen. We ALL want well-run, efficient homes.
If you are in the work force, you need to be effective at your job.
But when you place all of your happiness eggs in that basket, it’s oddly difficult to hold onto.
As a teacher, maybe you have a conflict with a student, or maybe an influential parent just doesn’t like your style…and has no problem sharing that opinion. If your happiness is in your proficiency as a teacher, what then?
As a mother, maybe you have a personality clash with one of your children, or maybe your grade schooler was caught cheating on a test. If your happiness is in your proficiency as a mother, what then?
I am so excited right now. I love this info so much.
HOW YOU CAN BE HAPPIER:
Look with new eyes.
Yes, as a teacher, be professional. Give your best. Continue all that you are doing.
As a mother, create a fabulous culture in your home. Yes, continue guiding, directing and teaching.
But don’t make THAT role your Purpose in Life, your Definition of Success.
Move past that second level of happiness, which is Personal Achievement, and make the choice to go up to third level of happiness:
Giving to Others.
Shift your focus from self to others:
- How can I help each child become their best self?
- How can I use my gifts to make a difference in the life of this child?
- How can I impact the families that I am in contact with?
- How can I smile more, be more, enjoy more?
- How can I love deeper, more unconditionally? What would that look like for each of my students/children?
Instead of focusing inward, live an outwardly-focused life.
It is truly life-changing.
Then, if you want to get an even deeper sense of peace, hang out with the Holy Spirit for a hot minute. Spend time in that relationship, realizing this crazy world isn’t about you, it’s about GOD in you. Eternity is real. You could die this very day. Be ready.
Seems so easy, doesn’t it?
To make this more concrete, I’ll share with you how I used The Four Levels of Happiness last week to instantly become happier.
Last Wednesday I felt off kilter. I wasn’t exactly sure what was wrong, but I just felt “off.” I sat down and analyzed. I was definitely unhappy.
I asked myself, “Why? Why are you feeling unhappy?”
And I easily answered, “Because I am worried about The Parenting Dare. Will people like it? Will they like me?”
I could feel a sense of inferiority creep into my being. What would I have to do to counter that sense of inferiority? Would I have to pretend? Would I wear some sort of mask, shielding my vulnerable parts if people didn’t like me?
I sat with that thought.
Holy Hannah, it was massive. I felt paralyzed.
Then I chuckled.
“Lori, look what you are doing. You are squarely in Second Level Happiness, thinking that your online course is you. Stop.That.Right.Now.”
I thought of my greater mission: to educate parents.
And then I thought of the desired outcome: to protect children from being exposed to hard core porn.
“Lori, shift your focus from self to others. You were created to make a massive impact in our culture. Keep giving authentically to others. Keep educating. You know that is what He wants.”
And I literally went on my merry way.
So when you feel off balance, step back.
Ask yourself if you are focused on self or others.
Recalibrate. Give authentically to those that God has placed in your home and in your classroom.
You were made for massive good in this world.
Go do it.