In a time use study by John P. Robinson, a sociology professor at University of Maryland, an interesting result was discovered. This study showed self-described happy people watch 20% less tv than unhappy people. Although people typically enjoy their tv watching experience in the moment it does not build long-term happiness.
So what were the self-described happy people doing instead of watching tv? They spent more time involved with others socially, attended more religious services, read the newspaper, and they voted more.
Unhappy people reported having too much unwanted extra time on their hands and no way to fill it. It seems that TV is an easy way to fill the time and an easy way to an unfilled life.
These findings really got my attention. My daughter barely watches tv, she does not like it. I watch more when I am tired, which makes me even more tired. I am not a person who feels I have unwanted extra time, so I would like to utilize the time I have in more fulfilling ways.
The findings of this study lead me to believe if we all…
- Identify activities we wanted to do
- Identify our energy patterns
- Do the activities that match our energy patterns when our energy allows
….then we would be more fulfilled happy people.
I have put together a few thoughts that I hope will inspire you to identify the things you want more of in your life and how to fit those things in when most conducive to your energy pattern. This is a 3 part series of blog posts, so please read and do the exercises in Parts 1 and 2, then I have a special freebie for you in Part 3.
First, make a long list of the things you would like to do in life.
Look around your house and gather the clues of your passions. Do you have pictures of nature? Would you like to explore the outdoors or travel more? Do you have pictures of family and friends? Would you like to spend more time with people? Do you have unfinished projects? Would you like more time to complete those projects? Are you stuck and need to learn how to complete those projects?
What is on your Bucket List? Before you die what are the things you want to achieve? What stories do you want to tell at the next social event you attend? When you are at an event who are you drawn too and what stories are they telling? Who is living the life you want? What is it that they are doing differently than you are?
When you were younger and had bigger dreams what were they? Do you harbor any regrets there? Why did you not pursue those? If there is any passion in those dreams add those to your list.
Think of the people in your life, on TV, or those you’ve read or heard about that inspire you. What do you appreciate about them? What makes them stand out from the crowd? Anything about them that inspires you? Anything about them that makes you say, I wish I could…____? Is this triggering anything you would like to add to your list of what you would like to do in life?
What skills or hobbies do you wish you had? Have you always aspired to paint with acrylics? Do you attend every quilt show that you find out about? Do you wish you were a better writer, a better cook, a better mechanic? Do you wish you had a beautiful garden, decorated home, or make beautiful jewelry?
What are you an expert or want to be an expert in? You are proficient in a particular area but have never presented yourself as an expert. What would you need to do to be an expert in this area? What are you extremely knowledgable in? What topics do people ask your advise on? What expertise so you already share with those around you? What topic do you talk about with passion and knowledge?
My desire for you is to be happy with the life you have created for yourself. And to create a life that not only fills the time you have on this earth, but fulfills you. If you would like more joy in your life please go through the above exercise and check out part two of this series where we will explore energy levels. And do not miss part three, I will share how to combine what you want in life with your energy level and present you with a great opportunity to work with me to figure out a plan to put this all together.