I tweeted recently about one way to look at (and create) happiness that employs three pieces:
1. Enjoyment - this has to do with pleasure and doing things we enjoy (eating chicken wings, watching a movie...)
2. Engagement - this involves doing what we're good at; using our talents (singing, playing drums, making people laugh...)
3. Meaning - this is about reaching beyond ourselves and our own pleasure and fulfillment and sharing our gifts with our extended community (charity, volunteering, philanthropy...)
A personal example:
My brother and I (and a few friends) registered for the August 2009 Timberman Race in New Hampshire. It's a half-ironman race (more correctly called a 70.3 -- that's the total mileage of the race).
A race like this requires a lot of training. While I don't necessarily enjoy the training aspect of this, I do enjoy the results of training and the accompanying boost to my self-esteem from having done it. I've also engaged my training partners for the camaraderie of it.
In addition to our small journey, I've recently decided to extend myself with this not-so-small personal fitness goal and donate to a local charity, the Make-a-Wish foundation of New Hampshire.
My goal for the race is to raise $1,000. I've donated $100 myself and have two other colleagues who have already signed on to donate as well.
Will you help me help the children served by Make-a-Wish? Any amount is appreciated. Donate here.
And if you're so inclined, you can follow my training results here on my personal Blog.
Thanks for making a difference with me!