The Happiness Chart

Happiness Chart on how to be Happy

The Lifestyle Strategies section is all about helping you find your perfect life, showing you there are alternatives to what everyone else implies life should be (no one says it out loud). Being happy is probably the most important measure of a perfect life. If we don’t love what we’re doing, who we spend our hours, days, minutes with, how can we expect to treat others well or help make the world a little better?

May people have told me to grow up, stop being so naïve. Life is harsh, it sucks sometimes and you have to just bear it and move on. True, but move on to what? You also have a choice to work hard to not fall into a pattern you’re not happy with. It may sound selfish but our own happiness is the most important thing. Without it how can we hope to spread more happiness? It’s like when an airplane loses cabin pressure and you’re told to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. (Morbid example, I know.)

Life can get complicated. Responsibilities and societal norms can pull us in all sorts of different directions, twisting us until we feel trapped. It’s our own responsibility to build a life we love, to be happy with our decisions and where we are heading. Life changes often, something new always comes along, both positive and negative. We don’t always have a choice to control these changes, but we do have control over how we deal with them.

I hope you enjoy my Happiness Chart. I’m getting back off my little soap box now. I’m writing this while I’m sitting on a patio looking out over the Slovenian Alps and Bohinj Lake. I’m pretty happy with my life. So I know it’s possible.

What changes are you making to increase your happiness? Share your strategies and plans.

Disclaimer: I bet you didn’t know that Happiness needs a disclaimer. I know this is not for everyone. It’s not meant to be preachy. If you’re happy, love life, love where you are, great, keep it up. This is for those who feel out of step, like they are missing their purpose in life. I used to be one of them. I meet a lot of more through this blog who need encouragement to break free of what they have been told they’re supposed to be.

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37 Responses to “The Happiness Chart (psst It’s really simple)”

  1. MariaNo Gravatar says:

    Nail on the head with your statement of…

    “It’s our own responsibility to build a life we love, to be happy with our decisions and where we are heading. Life changes often, something new always comes along, both positive and negative. We don’t always have a choice to control these changes, but we do have control over how we deal with them.”

    Maria´s recent [type] ..Manna from Heaven!

  2. I’m glad I have finally come to my senses and have started making the changes necessary to do what excites me and makes me happy! It’s amazing what an just a small change of perspective can bring. My 30 by 30 travel challenge is just step one of many more changes to come. Super excited for all that lies ahead and encouraged to continuously find so many other following their passion and finding happiness and success on their own terms!
    April Thompson´s recent [type] ..A Woman on My Way — The Prizes

  3. LivNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Todd
    Clearly i’m a bit slow to discover this post of yours but I just wanted to tell you that I love it. You shouldn’t whinge if you’re not happy you should do something to make a change. I am always saying that!
    Liv´s recent [type] ..Beaches of Auckland

  4. LivNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Todd

    Clearly i’m a bit slow to come across this post of yours given the date it went up, but i loved it, so just wanted to say that. I totally believe in the Happiness chart. No point whinging if life isn’t what you want it to be. Change something. I say that all the time!


  5. I’m slowly learning this life lesson… I can complain about how unhappy I am, or I can try to change what it is that makes me unhappy. If I fail, I’ll try again… I think people complain the loudest when they’re unhappy and they don’t feel like they can do anything to change it. I’ve been there.. it’s tough. But knowing you can dig yourself out of that hole is the first step.
    Jill – Jack and Jill Travel The World´s recent [type] ..To Be Excited About The Unknowns

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jill, I think you’re right. It things are tough, make a plan and then change something. There is nothing permanent about anything in life and something can always change (even when we are happy already!).

  6. devinNo Gravatar says:

    Sometimes it is important to take care of yourself, even when it appears selfish. Simply stated, when I am happy, I have more to give.
    devin´s recent [type] ..Paid for Travel Writing — All Those Dollars

  7. NorbertNo Gravatar says:

    Haha! Love the disclaimer! Pretty simple but powerful Happiness Chart. More people should be aware of it. So true, If you’re not happy, you’re the only one who can change it. You don’t have to follow what others tell you in order to be happy or to feel like you are doing things right. Do the things that your heart tells you, for me that’s the easiest way to achieve happiness.

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Thanks Norbert. yeah, with all the back biting going on in the travel blogging world, I thought a disclaimer would be good :) Feel free to share the chart around. I’m thinking of making into a down-loadable pdf soon.

  8. Thumbs up! Don’t really have anything else to say as you said it so perfectly. I just loved your disclaimer. He He!!
    Happiness really is a choice. :)
    Caz Makepeace´s recent [type] ..Best Travel Blog Posts for the week of Oct 18

  9. The EnvoyNo Gravatar says:

    This is something I can identify with at this point of my life. Am leaving the corporate world for graduate school in another country next year – I’d been “safe” but unhappy (stagnant even) throughout that time, but unwilling to move because of that “safety”, until now.

    “Many people have told me to grow up, stop being so naïve. Life is harsh, it sucks sometimes and you have to just bear it and move on.”

    Life is harsh, but if work=play and play=work, it can be fun at times. What irks me is that quite a number of people are adamant that what you do most of the time must be something you hate; and are quite upset when someone thinks/shows otherwise.
    The Envoy´s recent [type] ..Kim Jong Un Appears

  10. Love the chart! Thanks for making it crystal clear. I have a similar mantra I share:

    If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.

  11. I consider myself very lucky that I’m happy, but I also work at it and completely agree with your model. If you’re not happy about something – change it. I recently gave up a management job in Canada to move to Germany to be with my German fiance and have never been happier, even though some family and friends felt it was a risky move.
    Expat in Germany by Laurel´s recent [type] ..Next year -

  12. Jaime D.No Gravatar says:

    I am in the “CHANGE SOMETHING” stage. I am currently making tons of sacrifices to save for my goal. Hopefully in 10 months I will be taking off to backpack the world for a year or more! Great post~

  13. Tandem WorldNo Gravatar says:

    Love it when you say: “It may sound selfish but our own happiness is the most important thing.”

    Tandem World´s recent [type] ..Another Travel Deal – An Airline Policy We Love!

  14. Totally are with you. If you aren’t happy the only one who can change it is you.
    Ayngelina Brogan´s recent [type] ..The only place worth eating lunch in Taganga

  15. Adam BeckettNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Todd, you know it’s great to meet like minded people, that’s part of the fun of Blogging.

    Simple and direct chart that gives you a stark choice without being preachy

    I’m 51 days into my 11 month bid for freedom, which is a little scary but on the whole absolutely bloody awesome…maybe I’ll see you on the road one day??

  16. JimNo Gravatar says:

    Nice story Brie.I’d like to hear more from you and how things go in your new life.
    Thanks for kicking this off Todd.
    Jim´s recent [type] ..Our kids baby elephants at the David Sheldrick Trust- Kenya

  17. JennyNo Gravatar says:

    Nice. I have a similar chart on my site (that I found on the net). Happiness Chart

    It’s what made me notice that I needed to change things!
    Jenny´s recent [type] ..The Thrilling Adventure of Selling Everything

  18. I like this a lot. It’s simple, it’s visual and it’s clear. Great strategy!

  19. EarlNo Gravatar says:

    Good to see the trip to Slovenia is paying off!

    I just had one of these moments the other day and for the first time in a while I just felt that things were finally going in the direction that makes me the happiest. Of course, it still isn’t easy and requires quite a bit of work to maintain that direction and the “stop being so naive” comments won’t stop coming…but once you find that bit of happiness, you know that such a life is possible and that there’s nothing stopping you from achieving your truest goals.

    Nice chart by the way…simple yet powerfully true.

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Earl,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing something nice as usual. Glad you had that moment, you certainly deserve it. I’ve had lots of unhappy moments while traveling and living abroad too, but things are just going in the right direction for me now, so I know it is possible too.

      Cheers, Todd

  20. BrieNo Gravatar says:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself, and believe me, I’ve tried. I’m so happy to hear someone with the exact same mentality as myself when it comes to this. I get the same “suck it up, that’s life” speech constantly! I wish more people agreed with this because you’re right- this is all you need to know to be happy.

    For the past few years things have been snowballing downhill for me. I tried desperately to pull myself out of it by trying something new, but kept failing miserably. Then this past year, I hit rock bottom. Maybe even the bottom of rock bottom. So it was (quite literally) do or die. Obviously, I chose do- I left everything I knew and everything I had been working so hard for and moved to Thailand. Everyone thought I was crazy for doing it and thought it should just stick to “the plan” and what was expected of me. I’m not one for doing things just because that’s what’s generally accepted. Do what you need to do to make yourself happy. It’s YOUR life and you only get one of them, so why anyone with half a brain would sit back and accept unhappiness is beyond me. So as I said, I picked up and moved to Thailand and I’ve never been happier. I was riding my bike down the road outside my house just a few hours ago with the biggest smile on my face just thinking about how happy I am now just because I decided to grow a pair and do what I need to do for ME.

    I think most people just settle into the norm or a routine that makes them unhappy because it’s easy. It’s comfortable and doesn’t take any effort. Doing something new is scary, and in the beginning, it’s almost never fun. It takes a lot of faith and courage to make the sacrifices that are often necessary to make yourself happy in the end. Most people either don’t have that courage at all, or they don’t have the motivation to dig deep down and find it. Sometimes it’s hard to admit to yourself that you’re not happy, and sometimes it’s just too scary to go down the path that will lead you to happiness.

    So basically, my point is- AMEN.
    Brie´s recent [type] ..Chiang Mai

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Brie,

      Thanks and I’m glad you like it. I love hearing when people pack up and move somewhere new. I also hate the suck it up, life is hard speech. Although I haven’t gotten that one in a long time :) More the you need to grow up speech.

      Thailand is great and I’m happy that you like it there. Chiang Mai is nice and relaxed too. Have fun.

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