Here in Southern Maine, this week has seen some perfect weather. Sunny, warm summer weather, brightening our days. For me, it has been a meteorological representation of my mood. A change in my job which I had been pondering for a while happened sooner than I had anticipated, in such a way that I have been afforded the opportunity to embrace this new chapter of my life cleanly.
This change brings me closer to my family, full of excitement for the future, and right now. I walk to work each morning through the beautiful West End of Portland, waking early and feeling refreshed, and without the need to hurry. I make myself a healthy and delicious breakfast because I have the time to do so, and I deserve it. I get to the office and share it with my dad with whom I work, and it is fantastic.
Working with my dad has always brought me happiness. And now, my partner is working with us, too, and it is even better. There is so much possibility for the future, so many plans. I always knew that the family business would always be my present and my future, and now I am at a point where I can invest in it fully.
This has gotten me thinking about sense of purpose, and how that relates to happiness. In researching this, I discovered that this kind of happiness, eudaimonic happiness, has even more intense positive effects on longevity, health and well-being than hedonistic happiness. To be part of something greater, to serve a purpose, is very impactful. Many studies have been done with the elderly in particular regarding this, all with the same results: If you have a connection to something bigger than yourself, you will be happier and healthier.
For some, this is volunteerism, others religion or spirituality. For many of us, it is through our work.
As my partner and I navigate our new paths, and our path together, we are finding great purpose in the possibilities for the future, and for me, working with family creates great eudaimonia. Often community starts with family, and I am very happy with the family I was born into as well as the family I have created.
Sense of Purpose
Sometimes the thing that is greater than ourselves is simply other people. This fantastic Brain Pickings article describes a children’s book Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon in which two find themselves on hard times in which they cannot seem to find happiness on their own despite best efforts, but find purpose and happiness again through each other.
Weekly Dose of Cute
I love baby animals. I love baby goats. Here are quadruplet baby goats from Sunflower Farm in Cumberland, Maine born this spring, being attended to by their chicken babysitter. I love how they boing boing boing!
This week, I want to challenge myself and others to create an opportunity for eudaimonic happiness. Spend at least an hour in the next week doing something that makes you feel part of something greater than yourself. What that means is individual to each of us, and I encourage you to take this challenge and discuss your experience with others in our forums.