Force Happiness - It's Worth the Effort
Starting back in February, my family and I began seeking out a new place to live. Not far away from where we live now, just new. Different. Better for us. Since school was out last week, we have been on real estate apps 24/7, setting up showings, making offers, and making time for some family summer fun on the side. It has been so exciting and is making us extremely happy!
This blog post is all about making choices that force you to be happy. For me, and many other humans like me, choices that I have made have either made me miserable or have brought me extreme joy. What I didn't learn until later in life was that, when I was at my worst, it was because of a choice that I had made. I choose my words that either draw people in or push them away. I chose my husband who challenges me to think about details and loves me no matter what. I chose my profession that causes me feel stress and pushes me to seek ways to be a better professional. I chose my first workplace that made me feel undervalued. I chose to have children who bring me constant joy and force me to think outside of myself daily. I choose to get up at 4:30 am when I can't sleep to write about my happiness and what I desire for you as a teacher.
The fact is, you either make choices that force you to be extremely happy or cause you extreme pain. Where my family and I were living wasn't causing us extreme pain, but the residual effects of us living where we did was not causing us the kind of happiness that we desired for ourselves, so we made a conscious choice to change our situation. Just like I wrote about in April, when I was in the school that I was in a few years ago, I felt stuck. I felt that there were no other options for me. I was miserable. Until I learned that there ARE choices that we can make to force that happiness that we seek upon ourselves. And, as it turns out, the action of seeking may be the secret to happiness. It's normal to get comfortable and, therefore, seek more. More for us, for our family, or for our students; whichever you choose to focus on.
I tweeted this article a second ago and I want to share it with you here too.
It is all about how we, as humans, have basic needs. If those needs are fulfilled, we begin to feel unhappy. If we have nothing to seek, it is against our human nature to settle. To be happy, we must seek out other opportunities. You choose what opportunities fit you, but the point is: JUST SEEK. If you are burned-out as a teacher, what is it about your situation that would make you happier? You may not know, if fact, in a recent survey that I put out, I asked the question: "What would be the most helpful thing to you as a teacher (besides canceling all standardized testing)?"
I actually had some teachers tell me, "I don't even know."
As I read some of the responses of these educators, who are feeling so burned-out that they "don't even know" what they need to be happier at work, it actually made me emotional. These are the people that are teaching our future. These are our co-workers. These are our fellow humans who interact with our children daily and they are so unhappy that they don't even know what could turn their feelings around! To make it worse, all I can find out there to help them are articles here and there with a quick list of things that they can do to get themselves out of burnout.
I am making it my mission to not turn my back on you and others, like us, who need more than an occasional article to help you snap out of it. You deserve more than that. I am here for you. Others are too. Please, I beg you, take some serious time to think about what you need to be happier. Is it a new home, in a new place (like me), a different grade level to teach, a different position within education, a different corporation altogether, maybe even a different profession? My point is, the more I read and research and ask, the more it seems to me that we all seek better for ourselves but feel guilty for it. WHY????? Why should we feel embarrassed for searching for ways to grow ourselves?
Check out any video from my personal favorite life coach, Tony Robbins. I'm not embarrassed about my obsession with seeking self-help. It has changed my perspective. Check out any video and then google "Secret to Happiness." You will find other articles and videos to help you to understand that YOU have to to stop forcing yourself to be so unhappy!
Do the opposite of forcing yourself to be unhappy. Seek out your happiness. Demand it. Force it upon yourself. You, your family, and your students are worth it. Below, you will find some of my current favorite articles about happiness. Enjoy!