Serving up Happiness

If you read my book or some of my other blogs, you will know I do a bit of geocaching, hunting for containers hidden by others who do the sport.

On the trip from Wellington to Napier, I was prompted to stop at several points of interest because there were geocaches to find. There was a lunchbox behind an 1870’s horse and cattle trough, a plastic bottle under the tiny 10 by 10 red wooden store from last century, and a screw top jar at one of the lookouts. I found a hidden picnic park, a rest stop with wild chickens, and sculptures carved out of tree stumps.

I had so much fun in the journey and found places I had passed many times without noticing. I was having a great day, but there was an underlying sadness that spilled out into tears on a long stretch where I had too much time to think.

The Memorial
One relationship has been tough lately and I am trying to keep busy and not think about it. I am trying to concentrate on what is going right in my life, and I am generally happy, but sometimes it hits me all at once and I am sad again.

While I was feeling sorry for myself I stopped at the next geocache. It was near a large monolith type memorial to our fallen soldiers. It was very remote for such an imposing structure. I took out my camera but something didn’t seem right.

It was sadly neglected and full of waist high weeds. I know how much I personally benefit from the freedom that I have. Much of that is thanks to those who were willing to go out and fight for justice and freedom.

Then I thought of the goals I had just set for myself. “Health” “Wealth” (I just need an income not a fortune) and “Contribution.” I want to contribute more. Do daily good deeds. Show more kindness.

I got to and pulled some weeds, glad I was in my usual casual explore clothes and shoes and wishing I had some gloves with me.

It was hot work. I cleared away all the larger weeds but left the small ones; there were just too many. I took away the empty yoghurt pot, but left the weeds to rot into the grass. It wasn’t a great job, but the memorial looked a whole lot better when I took the photo.

What surprised me the most was the change in my attitude.

Just ten minutes before I had been having a little cry over a problem I was having. As I left the memorial I was smiling and happy. I was also energised.

Contribution is not just about helping other people. It is about bringing out the humanity in myself and being a better person. It is about getting past my own troubles and realising I am luckier than most. It is about being connected to others and less introspective.

I have heard many times that we love those we serve. I have noticed we also love ourselves more when we serve. And… we are happier.


Six Ways to Overcome Rejection

The path to happiness is not easy and smooth. Sometimes we feel rejected, and that can make a serious dent in our happiness.

Just a few years ago I was happily employed as a middle level manager. I had a good income, a company car, a laptop and phone, and nice people to work with.

Then one day I was made redundant.

It was a real blow and it felt like a personal insult.

I was assured the redundancy was not performance related. The organisation was restructuring to cope with the recession, and I did not have the right qualification for the new role, but I took it badly I still felt miserable, rejected and humiliated.

It took most of the weekend, but I managed to find a way to overcome the rejection and hurt, and to move into a better space. These are some processes that helped me not only cope, but thrive.

Look for the positive in the situation.

I asked myself what were the benefits of my situation. My first happy thought was that I would no longer have to work with my immediate manager who was difficult and made life stressful for all around her.

I was also thankful I was not responsible for supporting a family.

Make new plans.

Rejection often changes our plans for the future, so make some new ones. I took full advantage of free retraining that was offered and made plans to move overseas to be closer to family and friends.

Don’t take it too personally.

Most rejection says more about the other person than about you. I was made redundant because the senior management decided that the person in my role needed a qualification I didn’t have. Other times people lash out at each other because they feel bad.

Being rejected is part of life and does not mean we can not be perfectly acceptable somewhere else. While I felt unwanted and unappreciated at first, I chose to see it as a business decision and not a personal insult.

Consider how it affects others.

Are others affected too? My workmates were the ones who had to stay and cope with my job as well as theirs. They also had to manage the difficult boss. Thinking about others helped me feel less sorry for myself and it took my mind off my own difficulties.

Accept the inevitable.

One of my colleagues decided to fight her redundancy. It made her last few weeks bitter and unhappy and she still had to leave. By all means fight rejection if it is unjust, but if the situation is unchangeable, accept it, and work with it.

Trust it happened for a reason and can be over come.

Life is always changing, and the only option is to keep moving. Say to yourself; where is this challenge going to lead? If you have trouble with this, look for others that have gone through the same rejection and succeeded.

In my case I didn’t have to look too far. My husband had started his own successful business after he was made redundant.

I started travelling and house sitting. I love what I do now and I wouldn’t go back for any amount of money. Both people who worked in my office have also moved on because of the manager. I might have been lucky to get out when I did.

Taking this road instead of the “poor me” route takes courage and perseverance. It is sometimes easier to fall in a heap and feel sorry for ourselves.

After thinking things through my situation using this process, I went into work for my final few weeks feeling cheerful and happy. I was the one smiling and my workmates were the ones feeling anxious about the changes.

With a few simple techniques and the right attitude, it is possible to overcome rejection and even turn it into something positive.

Now I have a new life that I love so much I wrote a book about it called "HouseSitting in Australia."

We all get rejected some times, but with the right mindset we can move on quickly.

Inspiring Thoughts on Happiness

and how to bring more happiness into your life.

Some of my other blogs are about My Travels in Oz, House Sitting and Writing Blogs. See Below