While the world is bombarding you with messages to find balance, I’m asking you to find focus. I’m asking you not to seek perfection or betterment in every area of your life, but to find profound happiness in one area at a time.
“When we try to be all things to all people, we lose our sense of self. The quest to find “balance” in our lives is a misguided attempt at stomping on our passions, our desires, and the very essence that makes a person who they are. For me, finding focus has made me happier.”
This is why I wrote, A Slice of Happy. I realized I couldn’t “have it all” (at once) and I was exhausted from trying. I looked at all the areas of my life and asked myself, “Which one is screaming at me for attention? Which one makes me feel excited when I think about focusing on it?”
There are eight slices to the life-pie; health, wealth, family, relationship, community, career, spiritualism (or personal growth), and the leisure slice. Some slices pull at you to nourish your body, other slices appeal to your mind and some will directly affect your soul – that internal part of you that whispers in the night, ‘you should be painting portraits, or designing buildings or healing the sick.’ Each slice conjuring ideas or images of where, or how, you envision your life unfolding.
When I thought about picking my slice, I knew didn’t want to focus on an area of life that I knew would make other people happy, I wanted to focus a slice that would make me feel happier. I also knew there were slices that needed attention from a logical stand point, (I needed more money) but choosing a slice from logic didn’t feel like it would fix the unease that was overtaking my days.
My “chosen” slice would need to feel right on three levels:
- It needed to give me a feeling of accomplishment; a hand clapping, big goal feeling – what I call Hollywood happiness.
- It needed to give me a sense of immersion in a given task; a sense that time was standing still while I was engrossed in the process of whatever slice I chose. I call this, engaged happiness.
- It also needed to give me the feeling of an over-all sense of happiness, a whole body peacefulness. I wanted to feel a mini-euphoria that symbolized in my heart that what I was doing was right. I call this heavenly happiness.
Body, mind, soul – satisfying your desire for those three levels of happiness is the biggest part of picking your slice. Choosing to focus on one slice will not eliminate the responsibilities in your day, but it will give you the permission to allow those other slices to slip to the background while you indulge in one area that could offer you a life changing perspective.
Picking Your Slice:
Three slices that weren’t calling me.
1) Make a list of the slices on one page. Look at each one and eliminate the ones that don’t pull at your heart strings. They are usually the slices that conjure no immediate image in your mind or response in your gut. There are probably three or four slices you could take out of the equation immediately.
Two more slices that weren’t a priority.
2) Look at the remaining slices. Ask yourself, “If I focused on this slice would it make me happier or would it make other people happier?” Eliminate the slices that feel like they are someone else’s goal or someone else’s idea of happiness for you. The family slice can be a tricky one for many people because most people want to feel more connected or spend more quality time with their kids but you have to decide if that would make you feel happier. Focusing on your kids could possibly lead you to feeling more resentful about giving over to everyone else’s needs. Just know that when you pick a slice, it is with a clear understanding that something else will have to give. Whatever slice you choose means a sacrifice in another area to afford or manage the resources and energy required to work on the slice that is calling you.
3) With the remaining slices; imagine what it would mean if you pursued each slice with singularity. (We all have other people and responsibilities in our lives – that don’t go away, but for the sake of getting to the heart of the matter, allow yourself a moment to imagine each slice without the influence of all the “have-tos” and the “shoulds” we each carry with us.) Weigh the pros and cons of each slice not only from a logical stand point but equally, from an emotional position. Ask if each slice will bring you Hollywood, engaged and heavenly happiness if you were to chose it.
When you find the slice that speaks to your passion, your goals, your dreams; to the person you believe you are meant to be at this stage in your life, you will have picked your slice.
If you choose the career slice to focus on, you may find that it helps your wealth slice. If you choose the health slice you may find a positive influence in your spiritualism slice and if you choose your relationship slice it may correspond to an up-tick in how you feel about the family slice. When you are thinking about the slices, it’s easy to see how they can be grouped in ways that will affect each other.
Picking one is the key.
The other slices will fall into place because your happiness tank will feel full. You will feel less stress because the one slice you picked is not only going well, it is making you feel whole.
Pick your slice, find more happiness.