I’ve got a nifty little tool for you to help you get your sparkle on. Interested? Then read along.
If you have read the first two blog post (here and here), you have probably noticed that these posts are all about figuring out what makes you happy – so that you can then actively pursue these things in order to make you sparkle like a shooting star.
Happiness is like a bunny in the woods
When I say “pursue“, I don’t mean chase, by the way. You can’t chase happiness. Like a bunny in the woods, it will elude you. Many people have tried, many people have failed. Because they chase after something that they THINK will make them happy, only to realize afterwards that this thing that they’ve been chasing didn’t really do the trick. And the reason for that is, that they have no idea what they actually want. They chase the bunny because it happens to be there, not because they were looking for a bunny. Do you know what I mean?
You have probably had thoughts like these before: “Oh, when I move to that new apartment, I’ll be happier. When I finally find myself a man, I’ll be happier. When I travel the world, I’ll be happy.“ And then you do that, and afterwards you realize, that you aren’t as happy as you would have thought. Why? Because you brought your unhappy self into this new situation.
Find the happiness within
The problem with these things that we chase is, that they usually lie outside of us. They don’t come from within. They change the outside circumstance, not something on the inside. And that is the most important part: finding the happiness within. So please, stop chasing random happiness promising things right now! Can you do that? Not for me, but for yourself?
What you can do instead of chasing the random happiness promise is to pursue situations, thoughts, and activities, that create an enjoyable feeling INSIDE of you. The difference here is that YOU are doing, or thinking them. They don’t rely on anything outside of you. They don’t rely on the weather being nice, or your boss being kind, or someone doing you a favor or anything like that. These things that are in your control. YOU can create them yourself – only to make yourself happy. Doesn’t that sound exciting, and empowering?
Here comes your sparkle meter
That being said, let’s dive into this tool I’ve been teasing you about in the beginning.
Then let’s go. And let me introduce you to your sparkle meter. What’s a sparkle meter? I’m glad you asked. A sparkle meter is like a thermometer, only instead of Celsius or Fahrenheit, the scale is Sparkle. It is a meter that tells how sparkly you feel – or in other words: how happy you are.
This sparkle meter can help you a lot when you want to find out how you can create more happy feelings in your life – which I am pretty sure you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog, am I right?
Now, here is how you do it: Every night you sit down and ask yourself: On a scale of one (no sparkles) to ten (sparkling so much that you could accidentally deter plains flying over your head) – where am I on my sparkle meter? Don’t think too much about it. Go with your gut, the first number that pops into your head is the one you’ll go with.
What makes you sparkle?
Do you have a number? Then let’s move on. Now, write down all of the things that contributed to this number.
Let’s say you are a solid 8, which is great. Then you write down ALL of the things that lit you up that day, and that made your day so great. And, of course, also write down why you aren’t a 10. What didn’t you like that day?
The same goes for a low number like a 3. Write down what ruined your day, and also write down what went ok and prevented your day from only being a 1.
When you’re done with that, look closely at what you just wrote down – and think about what that means.
So, maybe your sparkle meter is at a 5. What lit you up that day was your nieces being excited about your visit, and your boyfriend cooking dinner for you. What sucked that day was your boss moving up a deadline on an important project at work, which will result in a lot of extra hours for you.
I’m completely making this up, obviously.
How do you want to feel?
Now, you may say: “But Annika, these are all things happening outside of me. I thought I wasn’t supposed to look for outside things.“ Which is absolutely true. And this is also where the next step comes in. And the next step is, asking why: Why did these things push up or pull down your sparkle meter?
Let’s say, the earlier deadline makes you feel completely stressed. There is a hint for you in this: You like feeling calm. Which tells you to pursue situations that give you that feeling. Take a bath before going to bed, get up a few minutes earlier in the morning to enjoy your tea stress-free, get off the bus one stop earlier on your way to work instead of being crammed into the bus with lots of other people and the noice and the smell, and walk the rest of the way.
Why did the other things in your day make you feel happy? Well, your nieces’ joy and your boyfriend’s gesture made you feel loved, and appreciated. So, in order to make you sparkle even more, make yourself feel loved – by you. Give yourself a foot rub, look in the mirror and tell yourself „I love you“, treat yourself to a salted caramel hot chocolate and indulge in it. Whatever gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
There are so many ways in which you can conjure up certain feelings in yourself that you enjoy. And all of these things are completely in your hands. You can decide to do. It’s only a matter of choice. And the choice is yours. Will you ravel in the stress, and the discomfort of that deadline, or will you actively find ways to make you feel calm in this stressful situation? It really is up to you.
Commit to it
But now let’s move away from my fictional examples, and talk about you and your homework for today – and at least the following week: Commit to your sparkle meter. Talk to it every day (even if it makes you fell like a crazy person). Ask it questions. Figure out why it is where it’s at. Get to the root feelings of your happiness or sadness – and then do something about it. I know that you can. You just have to want it.
The great thing about this is: When you commit to doing that every day, you will see a change in your sparkle meter. Maybe you start at a 4, then you discover things that make you feel good and incorporate them into your life. Before you know it, your at a 5, then a 6, then a 7. With the occasional daily fluctuation, of course, but you will notice an upwards trend. And this will tell you that you’re on the right track.
And it will also show you that you are immensely powerful, powerful beyond belief when it comes to creating your own happiness. Pretty cool, huh?