Over a year ago, when it was really sinking in that I was going to be stuck with my terrible boss for at least one more school year, I bought this book called Five: Where Will You Be in Five Years? I’m not gonna lie, it was one of my typical summer mornings where I sit around and watch The Today Show in ultimate laziness. They were featuring this book and how it would MONUMENTALLY change your life. The hosts were waxing on and on about how much you could accomplish in five years if you just set some “goals.” My ears perked up at the word goals. I like goals; I set goals; I have a blog about goals! I said to myself. I got on Amazon and “one-click purchase” later it was on it’s way to my doorstep.
Then I got the book. I flipped through it briefly, not really reading it at all. Knowing that I was trapped for a year was totally demoralizing, and suddenly I didn’t even want to look at it. Why read a book about the great things you can do, when you aren’t in a position to do those things? The frustration and depression was too much, so instead, I found myself reading a lot of historical books about serial killers and cannibalism and disasters (kind of makes sense now, doesn’t it?). Long story short, I put Five on a shelf for later.
This weekend I ran across it. I’m in a good place now! Time to read this thing! I thought. It’s pretty short, and frankly I think the author just really liked Wordle and decided to make a book. It asks you to assess some basic values and tease life goals out of it; then it has lots of inspirational quotes from inspirational people. There are some lists of items that could be included on your bucket list, like climb Mt. Everest (yeah right). Overall, I finished it in about 20 minutes and I would call it a vapid coffee table book.
I will admit one part of the book resonated with me though. It asked you to write down the name of the happiest person you know, and then identify why you think they are happy blah blah blah. Thor was playing video games next to me and I said, “Who is the happiest person you know?” and after a pause, he goes, “Me.” I said, “You?? For real?” and he replied, “Yeah. Me.” The thing is, before I asked him, I also thought of myself but didn’t want to admit it because it sounds pretty arrogant. So there you have it. We are the happiest people we know.
But I know other happy people. And that’s why they are my friends (at least they appear happy to me!). These are truly the happiest I know (I hope y’all don’t mind being mentioned).
Top Five Happiest People I Know
1. Angela. For five years, we worked, carpooled, and lived next to each other. Even when things were super stressful (which was pretty much everyday), she could laugh it off. She has more friends and family than anyone else I know, and is always thinking about what the future may bring.
2. Courtney. Ok ok we didn’t even talk to each other the first two years we worked together, but once we did we became inseparable (no really, the other day someone honestly thought we were dating). She is always willing to try something new, is super independent (although might not admit it), and laughs all the time.
3. Jim. Although we don’t see each other as much as we should, you can just see it in his face. He’s freaking happy. Most of my friends who’ve had babies in the last few years didn’t look very happy (actual miserable is the word that comes to mind) when we would hang out. Jim was the exception.
4. Devon & Liz (can I put a couple? Well I just did). I would have said Devon was a happy dude before Liz, but the two of them are like BEAMING. He seems to be doing exactly what he loves for a career, and they are always having fun together.
5. David. We met only a year ago, and most of that time was very rough since we were working for the same horrible boss, but he took it in stride and always found a way to laugh about our awful workplace. He is always moving, always playing, always slightly ridiculous in a rad way.
So what do these happy people have in common (other than me, which begs the question: am I the secret to happiness?! jk jk)? The one thing I can say is that they know how to deal with stress, they have a lot of hobbies/interests, and even when things suck, they are able to laugh about it.
*SIDENOTE: If you’re really looking for a great goals book, I highly recommend Do More Great Work which I used for myself, and then in my classroom. It also has printable tools you can access online for free.