There are a few sub-themes to which I follow in order to maintain happiness. However, my overarching theme is this:
Happiness is sustained fulfillment.
Fulfillment is born out of creating art.
What does that mean? How do I achieve this baseline?
Much of my best reading gets done on airplanes. In my experience, zero reading gets done in the actual airport. Too much background noise, gate changes, and the constant distractions of awaiting the boarding process. However, once I’m in my distraction-free bubble in the air, I can power through books with ease.
To try and recreate this distraction-free environment, as best as possible at home, I put on my noise canceling headphones and set the iPhone to airplane mode.
Booking airline tickets 2-4 months in advance gives me the freedom to fly. With that much planning in advance, most ticket prices are in the $200-300 range for roundtrip; even west coast trips.
Budgeting for this is of upmost importance to me. I try and keep them to weekend trips, even if it is a 3-day weekend, as to not disrupt the day job. However, I find the inspiration that I gather from traveling to new places fuels my creativity and only enhances my work.
A few weekends ago, I went with a group of friends to a state park to go hiking up the side of a mountain.
It was beautiful.
Being able to spend the time to relax and get out of my element was so worth it. The work that I do is emotional labor. Putting in the effort and emotion to make something that may not work burns a lot of one’s energy. However, when the work is done, you can say, “I made that”, which is very satisfying.
I’ve mentioned before that I keep a bullet journal of new experiences. The practice of quickly jotting down keeps me motivated. It is a helpful reference in times where my motivation stagnates.
The new experiences refill my soul after pouring it out into my work. When creating art, it can drain you. My practice in maintaining happiness is remembering to refill it through new experiences. Often times ideas can hit when you are out of your routine environment giving a new perspective on a situation.