If you ever listen to financial news, you’ll hear experts talking about having a diversified portfolio. That means that you should invest in a variety of industries, in case if one industry isn’t doing well, then another one that is doing well will offset the losses.
In life, having a wide portfolio of self-building activities and behaviors will strengthen our happiness, especially when one activity isn’t going as well. Sticking with too few choices will lead to inaction, which will keep us stagnant and unhappy.
Over the last few months, I’ve worked very hard to expand on finding out what makes me happy. Before that, I battled ruts where I felt bored, depressed, and lazy. Once you’re in those ruts, it becomes very easy to sink into a deeper hole.
I never worked on diversifying my sources of happiness. I contained myself to experiences that weren't very inspiring. Being limited led to a downward spiral; talking down to myself, giving up on finding stuff to do, which made me want to stay in bed because I couldn’t do wrong there.
I realized I didn’t have to live like this. I started by diversifying my thoughts and words. Instead of talking down, I talked myself up. I used words like “excellent, wonderful, fantastic” instead of plain “good” when people asked how I was doing.
Instead of beating myself up for not getting enough work done, I told myself, no big deal, we’ve done a ton today, there’s always tomorrow. That lessened the pressure, so instead of worrying about achieving a certain amount of stuff, my mind was flowing.
I needed to expand the elements of what being happy is. There are deeper feelings of what happiness can be to people. It’s getting to a higher level, where you find the joy in everything, not only when good things happen to you.
Take stock of what and who you have that will stir the of overwhelming feeling of gratitude. With the happiness and confidence you’ve given yourself, spread it to others you encounter. Sharing your time to lift others will reveal their feelings of appreciation, which will strengthen and reinforce your well-being.
Diversify your activities. I’ve always been a big reader, but I was reading too many business books that were similar, so I wasn’t enjoying it as much. I mixed it up a bit; reading biographies and stories based on real events. It was a more enjoyable experience and opened me up to learning about how different people define their own happiness after struggles. That’s one example; you can cook different cuisines, do different workouts, etc.
“Well what happens if you fall back on being bored or unhappy?”
That’s the point of diversification!
We got hit by the blizzard over the weekend so activities were limited. Most places were shut down, so it gave me an opportunity to do two things I really enjoy but don’t do often; walk around in the snow and take pictures of the city. The roads were shut down so it provided some cool and exciting shots, plus met some cool people that were doing the same thing. So much for boredom.
As for going back to being unhappy, I know the happier person is infinitely greater, looser and more productive than the upset and non-existent person I spent a lot of time being. It’s a feeling that I would never want to go back to. What's the point of being alive when you’re wasting the one life you’re given?
Having financial variety may help you on the road to riches, but spending time on expanding your means of happiness will lead to a lifetime of prosperity.