Plan for happiness: Crafting a strategy for a fulfilling life

PEDDLER OF HOPE - George Royeca - The Philippine Star

In a recent conversation, a dear friend and mentor of mine offered words of praise for my viewpoints on the informal sector. It was, however, this same mentor who pointed out a recurring monotony in my write-ups. With his insight in mind, I’ve decided to pivot slightly, still leaning into my entrepreneurial spirit, but focusing on a subject that intrigues us all: happiness. The goal? To tackle it with the same intensity and methodical approach that would guarantee its highest probability of achievement.

By the end of this, I hope to shed light on something my mentor imparted: while real estate, stocks and similar assets appreciate in monetary value, there are those assets that, though depreciating monetarily, can significantly boost life and even the pursuit of business as sources of motivation. Their intrinsic worth is immeasurable.

He said, “George, real estate and stocks might appreciate in monetary terms, but there are assets in life that, while possibly depreciating in pure financial worth, motivate us to strive with unmatched fervor.” These words resonated with me, beckoning me to step aside from my usual discussions on business and the informal sector, and delve into the richer, deeper terrains of life.

In our relentless march towards success, we often become ensnared in pursuits that, though seemingly essential, can overshadow the heartbeats of genuine joy. Be it the pressure of looming deadlines, the endless chase for fleeting connections or the ambition for promotions, we risk becoming entrapped in a race where the finish line seems perpetually out of reach.

Yet, imagine a life where, amid our aspirations, we never lose sight of the moments that genuinely make our souls dance. The warmth of a child’s first steps, the shared triumphs with a partner or the fulfillment of watching someone grow under your guidance – these are the treasures that money simply cannot buy.

The pursuit of happiness should be more than a side quest; it should be the core of our journey. Success isn’t solely measured by the weight of one’s wallet, but by the depth of one’s experiences and the richness of one’s heart. For a parent, success might be a child’s laughter; for a teacher, it’s the success stories of their students. And for the entrepreneur in us, it’s the realization that our ventures not only bring prosperity but also make a difference in the world.

Planning for our joy and purpose should be as meticulous as strategizing a business investment. Both require clear vision, deliberate actions and adaptability to challenges. And just as in business where we measure and adjust our strategies, we must regularly gauge our emotional well-being, ensuring we’re on the path to true happiness.

So, how do we begin to plan for happiness? Start by setting aside time for introspection. Understand what truly brings you joy and set deliberate intentions to incorporate them into your daily life. Allocate ‘me-time’ just as you would schedule a crucial business meeting. Invest in relationships, pursue passions and remember that it’s OK to take a break.

Additionally, celebrate small wins. While it’s great to have long-term goals, it’s the short-term achievements that provide the momentum. Maybe you picked up a new hobby, reconnected with an old friend or simply spent an unplugged day with family – these are achievements in their own right.

Lastly, embrace adaptability. Just as in business, where changing markets and consumer needs require us to pivot our strategies, in life too, our definition of happiness might evolve. What brings joy now might be different five years down the line. And that’s OK. It’s all part of the journey.

Just as businesses review financial statements to track progress, assessing your emotional well-being regularly allows you to make adjustments and stay on track. It also takes time, patience and the ability to learn from mistakes to build a successful business. Similarly, your path to happiness may include setbacks and learning experiences, but the result is peace of mind and sanity.

In closing, let me offer you this simple yet profound metaphor: Just as a tree’s true value isn’t in the timber it provides but in the shade, fruits and oxygen it offers, our lives’ worth isn’t merely in our tangible assets. It’s in those invaluable moments and experiences that help us appreciate life’s true essence. After all, some of the most precious assets in life aren’t those that appreciate in value, but those that allow us to appreciate the very essence of living.

In the vast tapestry of life, amidst its uncertainties and challenges, there lies a promise: the promise of a life filled with joy, if only we choose to embrace it. Life, as beautifully unpredictable as it is, offers us the canvas to paint our masterpiece.

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