I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. They’re easy to make, but not so easy to keep. Last year was a real eye-opener for me, clarifying what I always suspected. Happiness can be found in simplicity.
“What is the good life? In my view, you can find it by following a startlingly simple path. The ‘pleasant life’ might be had by drinking champagne and driving a Porsche, but not the good life. Rather, the good life is using your signature strengths every day to produce authentic happiness and abundant gratification. This is something you can learn to do in each of the main realms of your life: work, love, and raising children.”
– from the 2002 book, Authentic Happiness by Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD
While I never longed for a champagne and Porsche life, the value of simplicity took time to gel in my mind. It was a combination of midlife, major health challenges, and tidal wave of changes that clarified the concept. For me, simplicity is a streamlined work life; an uncluttered, pleasant home; and maintaining a deep connection with the people I love.
When those three things are in balance I am freer to create, to play, and to do good wherever and whenever I can. It’s that simple.
I recently posted this on my personal blog and thought I’d share it here.
As we close out 2011 and welcome in 2012, it’s a good time to take stock of life. I’m not a new year’s resolution maker, but I do like to think about the previous year and where I hope the next year will take me. 2011 was a bittersweet year, one of tremendous highs and lows.
When we welcomed 2011, I wondered if I’d be around to see 2012. As it turns out, I look and feel healthier than most people I know. Aside from my still faint eyebrows and eyelashes, and my boyish haircut, there is no clue that I survived triple-negative breast cancer and ten months of very aggressive treatment, or that I have multiple sclerosis. Life is funny that way. Despite the difficulties of the year, I am truly grateful to have lived it — life is a roller coaster and I’m happy to take another turn on the ride in 2012.
Wishing you and yours all the best in the new year.
May you find your version of simplicity and happiness.