Recently I looked through a newsletter by Dr. Rhonda Andersen, a local fitness trainer for women in Brisbane and former ABC journalist, and stumbled across the article below. The title ‘What does it look like when you are thriving?’ caught my eye. I think it is an interesting question to ponder about. We all want to be happy, but what does happiness actually look like in everyday life? What activities and events constitute happiness for families, couples as well as for individuals? How about reflecting on it during the Easter break and start to implement some of the ideas.
‘In her book The Gifts of ImperfectionI, social worker professor Brené Brown describes the way she and her husband Steve asked themselves, “what does it look like when our family is going really well?”.
Here’s what they decided were prerequisites for a happy family: sleep, exercise, healthy food, cooking, time off, weekends away, going to church, being present with the kids, a sense of control over their money, meaningful work that isn’t all-consuming, time to piddle (i.e. potter), time with family and close friends, and time to just hang out together.
They dubbed these their “ingredients for joy and meaning”.
This seems like a great foundation for family life, but it could also be a worthwhile question for couples (what does it look like when we’re flourishing as a couple?) or at a personal level (what do I need to feel at my best?).
After they’d compiled their joy and meaning list, Brené and Steve compared it with their ‘dream list’ — the things they wanted to accomplish or acquire (a bigger house, and so on).
They concluded that while it was tempting to think that what would make them happier was the bigger house, it was actually the items on their joy and meaning list.
That’s not to say we ought to give up on the things we want to achieve, but answering the question about what makes us and the people around us thrive is likely to give us a more valuable life compass.
Have a lovely Easter break,
Dr. Rhonda Anderson, Fit and Well, March Newsletter 2018