A few weeks ago, I took one of my travel holidays, this time to the beautiful island city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. I’ll post about the trip later this week, but it was the culmination of much reflection the past few months about where I am in life, what I want to continue, change, and move away from. It’s a process I used to do around the New Year time period, and now every 3 months or so.
The past few years have had their peaks and valleys across most every aspect of my life, and while I don’t think I’m unique in that respect, I also don’t think any challenges are insurmountable with the right spiritual and emotional support.
And that is why I committed this year to focusing on three areas of personal growth: Spiritual, Physical health, and Career. Each are very important to me, bringing their own challenges as well as a sense of happiness.
Spiritual Growth is always top of mind for me, moreso in the past few years. So in addition to daily devotions, I’ve tried to become more Christ-like in every aspect of my life. Why? Because there is a truly a peace that comes with feeling that I am in the [spiritual] place I belong. Or to put it another way, that I’m on the right path.
Physical Growth. Good gravy this has been hard! This year I found myself waking up with a little less pep in my step at times. And whereas in past years I could slough off weight/inches with ease, it was getting more difficult to stay at (what I feel) is a healthy weight and general condition. And so I started
running walking fast, spurred on by my church’s support of World Vision. While I wasn’t able to keep up with their training regimen, it’s felt really good to get into the gym. I missed the high that comes from a solid workout, not to mention the time for my brain to slough off some of the minutiae it accumulates.
Career Growth. I’ve been very fortunate to have a career that has offered a myriad of experiences, challenges, opportunities, that have allowed me to grow in expertise, travel the globe, and engage with some of the largest and most influential organizations. Yet, I got to a point where I failed at managing a reasonable balance between work and life. That sucked, but I’m very thankful to have learned from that episode and moved forward. Recently, I came to the conclusion that, for the right opportunity, it was time to challenge myself further with a role that allows me to build something. Stay tuned.
Oh and there has been so much more that has happened to lift my spirits and leave me feeling really, really blessed. My family, my kids, and a new relationship (almost a year!) that has me smitten and, well, over the moon 🙂
I say all this to get to this story. While I was in Puerto Rico, walking back from a few hours relaxing on the beach, I walked by a guy who exclaimed
“Hey bro, what are you so happy about? It’s just a beach?!”
He must have heard me laughing and just enjoying myself, particularly when I was sitting in the surf and pretending I was bullriding as the waves would come in and try to knock me over. Trust me, it was a lot more fun that how odd it sounds!
Since then, I’ve had several other people share that they have noticed pep in my step, a more genuine smile and sunnier disposition. It’s hard to express in words how it makes me feel that it’s that noticeable, even by those who I may hardly know.
And so, I want to leave you with this. I encourage you to take some time periodically to do a “Happiness Check”, thoughtfully searching your life and making sure you are not just satisfied, but really overjoyed with every new day. Find your happiness. It is really worth it!