5 Ws for happiness

5 Ws for happiness

I’ve spoken much and written lots about the first 3 “W’s” that go towards finding happiness and living a great life; but this week I bring you two more “W’s”. Before outlining the 4th and 5th, however, let’s review the first three…

Ôš         The first “W” is for WHAT – most of us are typically pretty good at focusing on and defining what we need to do. Many could be more specific but the “what” is, in many ways, the easiest of the W’s

Ôš         The second “W” is for HOW (I didn’t say all the W’s were first letters!) – after working out what to do the next, and probably next easiest step is determining “how” to do it

Ôš         And the third “W” is for WHY – now this is an area a lot of my clients need help with and this is something I often refer to as “The Big Why”. Answering “Why?” we do what we do is at the heart of motivation and it goes towards the meaning and purpose we need to live a thriving and flourishing life

But as noted, I’ve written before about the WHAT, HOW and WHY…today is more about two other “W’s” which were highlighted to me just the other week. So let me give you a personal example and outline a situation I experienced in which I got the first three “W’s” right but neglected the last two.

I was recently invited to speak at an event (a relatively common experience for me these days) and after some discussion I clarified the What, How and Why of what I was going to present. I must admit, however, that I didn’t give enough thought to the latter two. Now my first presentation went extremely well. This was a presentation that was very similar to many that I give every week and every year and which, I’m pleased to say, are typically very well received. The second of my presentations, however, did not fare quite so well.

It was still well received and I still received some great feedback but I have to say that I didn’t feel quite as comfortable as I normally would; and this was because I was asked to deliver a closing keynote, after the closing ceremony and just before two incredibly live musical performances! Although I did my best and although there were many there who appreciated my efforts the reality was that many at the conference were much more interested in drinking and partying (including me)!

It was this experience that caused me to reflect on two additional “W’s” which are not just relevant to me and my presenation but also, I argue, to creating happiness and a productive, fulfilling life. And these additional W’s are…

Ôš         WHERE – what is the context in which you do what you do, and

Ôš         WHEN – timing is oh, so important!

So when it comes to creating and designing a happy life, a life with happiness, meaning, purpose and connectedness…

Ôš         work out what to do

Ôš         determine how to do it

Ôš         ensure you’re doing it for the right reasons (why?), but also…

Ôš         be careful of where you do what you need to do and

Ôš         when you do it!

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