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Weighing the Cost and Benefits For Your Happiness

With an Open Heart

This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 18: Weighing the Cost and Benefits For Your Happiness

“Happiness is always a by-product.  It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular.  But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.”

 ~Robertson Davies

Weighing the Cost and Benefits For Your Happiness

Everyday, we have commitments. We have them to ourselves, to our work, to our families, etc. But what happens when our commitments begin to become obligations we not longer value? Well, you begin to resent them, and with the endless obligations, our lives begin to feel like giant resentments.

So, how do you change that? You have to have balance. You also have to say, “No” sometimes. Further, you have to give yourself the permission to sometimes “slip-up”. Sometimes, the commitments you make mean more to you, than they do the other person or thing you’ve made it to. You might be asking, well how do I know the difference? It’s rather simple: you need to weigh the cost and benefits of your happiness, the happiness of those around you, and the impact your “slip-up” may have. Most of our commitments aren’t life and death, so give yourself flexibility. In the event they are life and death, you should probably stick it through, or try and figure out a way to get some extra help, or move things around in a way that makes you feel less resentment towards the commitment.

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Weighing the cost and benefits doesn’t have to be too complicated. You don’t always need to make complicated lists and ruminate over the potential options or outcomes either. Just ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this make me happy?
  • Will doing this today, rather than tomorrow really have that big of an impact?
  • Will I lose more than I’ll gain by following through with my commitment right now?”

I found myself in this situation two weeks ago. I was out of town on a much needed mini-vacation visiting my best girlfriends in the world. I knew I would be spending much of Monday in the airport, flying, and then getting settled from my weekend away and posting an entry to The Awakened Heart Project would be more difficult. In hindsight, I knew I should have completed my post prior to leaving and scheduled it instead. But, I didn’t. Life got busy (as it always does), and quite frankly I didn’t. I can’t rewind life and redo anything about it, so my only option was to either:  (1) Spend some of my much needed getaway with my friends working on a post, or (2) spend my time with my friends, talking, laughing, hugging, smiling, and enjoying their company.

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I weighed the pros and cons of my decision to spend time with my friends and ultimately decided that I valued my time with them more than I didn’t maintaining my commitment to a Monday AM post. I knew one-way-or-another, I would get the post done, but it just wouldn’t be on that Monday. I also figured that following my heart and doing what was best for my heart and soul was more aligned with The Awakened Heart Project than resentfully keeping a commitment I had made to my followers and myself. Further, I assumed that my followers would be understanding and forgiving and that any follower that couldn’t forgive me for doing what was best for my happiness, and my heart, I could let go of without  feeling terrible about myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a person of integrity, and 99% of the time, If I told you I would do something, I will do but. But I also give people the benefit of the doubt. I also give people flexibility and understand that plans change, and people need to do what’s best for them. I also firmly believe that most of the time, when people don’t keep their commitments, it’s not with malicious intentions, so we should cut them some slack.

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So, because of all of these reasons, I chose my happiness and I know this was the best decision for me. Moreover, because I made the decision to post this entry late, I also had a new post to write that was a direct response to my decision: Weighing the Cost and Benefits For Your Happiness.

I hope you can all forgive my “slip-up” and understand where I was coming from as I do appreciate all of you : ) I hope you can also spend time reflecting on your commitments and making decisions that make you feel more happy than resentful.

“Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one’s self?”

 ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reflection:

  • What commitments have you made that make you feel resentful?
  • What commitments have you made that you have a hard time keeping? Could this be because you lose more than you gain by keeping these commitments?
  • Are you hard on yourself for having “slip-ups”? Why? Could you be more compassionate and less judgmental of yourself?
  • Are you hard on people that sometimes “slip-up”? Why? Could you find more compassion for these people?

Did you find this post inspiring / Thought provoking / Worth reading? Share it with your friends!

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The Awakened Heart Project 

Registration for The Awakened Heart Project is closed for the year. However, follow the blog for the opportunity to participate in 2014. With An Open Heart will be going through some major changes in the coming months! Stay tuned!!!

Please fill out the form below to be notified when The Awakened Heart Project will begin again. Thank you.

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