While at the gym tonight, I heard a quote from Lewis Howes’ podcast, The School of Greatness. The episode was titled ’10 “Happy Habits” Successful People Do Differently.’ Lewis opens the podcast with a quote from Gandhi that goes, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in Harmony.” Of course, I listened to the rest of the podcast, but that opening quote lingered in the back of my mind the whole time. I thought genuinely about where my happiness is at today.
“What you say… what you think…”
I feel like I have a healthy outlook on life. Through my life experiences, I’ve developed a level headed ability to “not sweat the small stuff,” pause in times of abnormal circumstances, back up and try and take in the big picture. I take a moment and ask myself, “what significance will this particular moment have on the bigger outcome of my life?” It’s not always easy to do that, especially when emotions and stress are high in the moment. But I think it’s one of those things, like a muscle that needs to must be developed through repetitions. In a way, it’s like meditation.
I know one method of meditation is to focus on the breath. Whenever the mind wanders into other thoughts, and when you become aware of it, simply bring the attention back to the breath. Don’t feel mad or disappointed that it wandered. Acknowledge that it did, and move on. After enough consistent repetitions, the time it takes to notice the mind wandering lessens. You spend more time focusing on the breath and less time “wandering.” Being able to recognize when to take a step back is a lot like recognizing the wandering mind.
What does this have to do with my happiness? I think what I say and what I think are pretty harmonious. I come off as a levelheaded guy with levelheaded advice (when it’s asked for, most of the time haha). I know all the steps I need to take to be successful, and I say those things out loud. I believe in what I say.
Now about, “What you do…”
In many facets of my life, what I do lines up with what I say and think, while in other aspects, it hasn’t. For example, I know to better my musicality, I need to practice consistently. I say that I need to out loud, but doing it is another story. I say I want to hang my hat on songwriting eventually, and I know to better my craft at songwriting, I need to write consistently. I say that I need to out loud, but doing it is another story. I know that to become healthier, I need to eat better consistently. I say that I need to out loud, but I have no problem doing it. Honestly, I’m pretty good about eating healthier. The musicality and songwriting have been the cause of dissonance between saying, thinking, and doing.
So, where is my happiness level right now? I think it’s been as high as it’s ever been! Sure, I have a ton of things to be grateful for in my life. But besides that, I think the leading cause of happiness is, across the board, I’m doing those things I say and think more often. I’ve been trying to take time daily in writing. Maybe not songwriting specifically, but writing in general (which is a start). I’ve been learning piano, which in turn is making me study music theory. And I’ve been picking up the guitar at home more often.
Based on fresh personal experience, I think there is a lot of merit to that quote. So I’m saying and thinking right here and now, that I want to do all of these things. Like Nike says: JUST DO IT.