Steps to Happiness

Simple things – like the things that make happy – can be the hardest.

Some amazing goal can, of course, also demotivate you, make you think that you’ll never manage. As a personal goal, though, it should be motivational – and maybe, if you are the right kind of person for that, it’s even a matter of “the bigger, the better.”

When you start out running, even just going out the door seems difficult. Once you have been running a mile or two, however, a marathon or an ultra becomes a challenge that stretches your potential, but feels in reach. Such a goal is very rewarding, as there are steps to follow, signposts on the way, and concrete matters to motivate you.

I’ve been there myself, running my first marathon and soon after, finishing – albeit with less running than hiking ;-) – an ultramarathon challenge. (And I just registered for a new marathon – this time, to aim for a certain finishing time.)

Running a marathon is much more clear-cut a goal, however, than “doing, getting active,” for example. When you come back home from a hard day’s work, you’ll probably not feel like doing anything more than turning on the TV – even against the warning that this is exactly the thing that may give you some pleasure right then and there, but ultimately make you less happy.

I can, and feel justified doing so, recommend that you at least read a book or go out for a walk. And this section of the blog/website – Steps – is all about not being such a scientist, not just throwing scholarly results and reflections at you, but showing concrete steps that it’s possible to try out.

Here, of course, we also get to the point where the same “things that make happy” – and that are the same for everyone – actually become extremely diverse, depending on who you are and what exact situation you are in. In other words: It will be a challenge to write.

Still, all theory and test results and no examples, no stories, doesn’t make for an interesting and engaging read. And, on the other hand, looking at environmentally-minded people is one of the best antidotes against the perception that they are all depressed about the sorry state of the environment and recycle and re-use out of penance. Rather, there is a lot of experimentation, fun, and “goodness of living” going on.

Really, in interacting with our world, trying to live better for us and as part of Earth, there is no end to the pleasure and adventure we can find!

If you’d like to share your story, by the way, I’d love to hear from you!
Contact zhang [dot] schmidt [at] gmail [dot] com


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