02 Aug The contradictions of happiness
As many of my regular readers would well be aware I'm a strong advocate of planning…planning for happiness, planning for accomplishment, planning goals that will provide a sense of achievement and meaning.
These same people, however, may also be aware that two of my top strengths are a love of learning and curiosity; which means I'm always open to new ideas and new ways of thinking about things…especially from people who's opinions I trust and/or from sources I find interesting.
Which brings me to Leo Babauta of Zen Habits who's articles I've posted and/or linked to before; Leo's writings often appear deceptively simple but more often than not they're thought provoking and profound. Which is why I found this particular story of interest…
Recently I wrote about the illusion of control, and living with no goals.
What I’m still figuring out is what you do if you let go of the illusion of control, and plan as little as possible.
What’s life like without goals or plans? How do we deal with the chaos? I don’t have all the answers, but I’m learning a lot.
I went to the World Domination Summit in Portland earlier this month with few plans. I had a speech to give, a couple smaller sessions to hold, a bike tour scheduled, a plane ticket and a hotel room. But the large majority of the weekend I left open, with no plans.
It was liberating. I didn’t mind giving the talks, and I loved the tour, but meeting unexpected strangers, hanging out with people I’d never met, going with the flow of the crowd — it was fun. I never really knew what was going to happen next, and that’s scary, but strangely freeing…
Now as I began this post I now reiterate that I'm a big fan of planning; I believe the research indicates that those people with the most happiness tend to have clearer goals and, therefore, are more likely to plan their lives in positive ways. But they also balance this, I believe from personal experience and 20 years as a therapist and coach, with sponteniety and a willingness to leave "open spaces" in their lives.
So what do you think? Do you find your happiness depends on a balance between planning and acceptance of chaos or giving up control? Let us know via The Happiness Institute's Facebook Page HERE