Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Knowing Yourself is Saving Yourself & How To

If you’ve been reading my blog, you may have noticed I’ve mentioned Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project a couple of times here and there. I’ve been mulling over how to improve my already good life to appreciate it more. Through her daily blog she also tackles how difficult it is to truly live a happy day every day despite knowing herself well.

One of her main obstacles was figuring out what brought her joy. I also struggled with that although I consider myself very self-aware. Sometimes knowing yourself too much limits you and leaves you stranded just as if not knowing yourself at all leaves you confused on where to start. While I know what I like, a bigger problem was finding the time when I have 10-11 hour work days.

They say the rule is 8 hours of work, 8 hours of play, and 8 hours of sleep. I try to abide by that as much as possible, but ran into how else to take advantage of my personal time and life when I had such little waking time left. As a lover of learning, growing, and taking classes (and also sleep), there are very few night classes available for anything between needing to eat dinner and driving through LA traffic.

I’m very inspired today because I’ve found a few solutions after a lot of research and experimenting. I found a gymnastics class and also an intense stretching class that is offered 4Xs a week late enough that I can attend or get a good work out even if I am a few minutes late because the class is 90 minutes long. Although I have asthma, I may have found a way to run without medications - using athletic breathing masks. I also found a lovely park near my house to rollerskate, bike ride, run, or play badminton. These are much better solutions than what I tried before.

Archery was fun but without lessons, too hard to master. Pole dancing class was too expensive and required investing many, many hours to even be proficient. My former love of hula dancing was only offered at times when I couldn’t go. Being a Big Sister during work hours through a work/community option was no longer possible for me.

As you try to figure out how to live your best life, be patient with yourself. It’s taken me weeks to even get this much progress because I had to self-reflect a lot to even know which direction I wanted to go in. Then I had to research classes and options what would work with my schedule.

If you are still searching for your self and answers, ask yourself these questions.

If you had an entire day to yourself, how would you spend it?
Do you thrive in your own company or with others?
What makes you feel alive and inspired?
Do you get more joy and satisfaction out of exercising your mind, body, or feelings?
What did you enjoy doing as a child?
What values, beliefs, and actions do you want to exercise at play and even at work?
What don’t you like and why?
What current hobbies that you have are similar to newer ones that have the same skills or traits that you might enjoy?
Do you volunteer and with what organizations?

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