Happiness is in the Doing

This is a guest post by Joely Black.

La Xtina on Flickr.comI’m not going to attempt to define what happiness is. In personal development circles alone it seems an incredibly contentious subject, at least as far as my own experience goes. I can only present the story of how I suddenly discovered what it means to be happy. I’ve been pursuing happiness for a long time, or at least a sense that I feel at peace with myself and what I’m doing in the world. To feel happiness at a time like this in my life was a real surprise.

It didn’t have anything to do with a major achievement, a goal completed. Just over two weeks ago, my friends who own a restaurant offered to host a tweet-up and launch party for the podcast release of my next book, Amnar: The Inheritance. This was the first time I’d ever put on an event, and I had no idea if anybody would come, or what I’d have to do to make it happen.

Happiness Through Activity

Over the two weeks that led up to the event, I spent all day, every day, often working late into the evening, working out the details. I was also preparing to launch the preceding book, Amnar: The Awakening, on Podiobooks.com. There were recordings to be done, connections to be made. Technical work needed to be done, promos produced, fliers printed.

Other than making arrangements with my PR representative to get pieces into the local papers, almost all the work I did for two weeks was spontaneous. I had no idea when I got up in the morning what would happen during the day. I kept Twitter open all the time, picking up connections with established authors and gaining their support. There were pitches made to blogs much bigger than mine. In short, if an idea came to me, I would run with it and see what happened.

Halfway into this, I had a call with my coach, Jon. I said straight out, “I’m happy. I’m really happy doing this.”

It wasn’t just writing, although I did manage to get some headway on my current book during those two weeks. It was everything I did. I ended up attending all kinds of networking events, arranging meetings with local business support leaders, getting interviews with major bloggers and writers who were interested in my work. All of it depended on one thing: me being present and prepared to jump when offers appeared.

This is, to me, happiness. When the tweet-up was held, we had enough people to fill the bar area at my friends’ restaurant, and my reading went down very well. A friend who happens to be a professional photographer did lots of promotional shots and we got into the local events listings. At the same time, I was preparing to launch myself on Podiobooks.

The Joy of Doing

I realised it wasn’t the achievement of the goal – that has always left me a little cold – but the joy of doing. I’d easily get bored just writing all day, day after day, but being constantly on my toes, making things happen, and getting things done, never quite knowing what will happen during the day, what will work out and what won’t. Being fully aware in every moment, so I could pick up on all the new opportunities out there waiting to be grabbed, is exciting and thrilling.

It didn’t end with the tweet-up and launch party, either. On Monday 20th, Amnar went live on Podiobooks and I arranged interviews with Podioracket and was interviewed by Jonathan Fields. Tonight I’m going to the Manchester Film Cooperative after meeting with a business support person this afternoon. It feels odd to say that I’m happy, considering how financially insecure I am right now, what a ‘struggle’ my life should be right now. But I’m happy, living an adventure that changes every single day.

We all have our own keys to happiness, but going hunting for it isn’t the answer as far as I can see. It’s enjoying the moment you’re in, what you’re doing, whatever those circumstances might be.

About Joely Black

Joely BlackJoely is a writer, artist and general lover-of-life. She has been all over the world, written seventeen books in the last five years, has a PhD and is the creator of a huge world known as Amnar. Besides being a writer, she helps writers and artists find their way back to their creativity when it all gets messy.

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8 thoughts on “Happiness is in the Doing

  1. Hi Joely

    I couldn’t agree more with what you are saying here, that happiness comes from the journey of reaching your goal and not from the goal itself.

    I wish you well in your promotion and your new book
    .-= Steven Aitchison´s last blog ..Self esteem tablets =-.

  2. Lori Hoeck says:

    This made me think of a quote I found in another blog just a few hours ago:
    “Working on your dream far in advance of actualizing it puts a spring in your step; it gives all your present day activities more meaning.” ~ Jodie Sloane of joydiscovered.net
    .-= Lori Hoeck´s last blog ..Five traits of a narcissistic ‘crazymaker’ =-.

  3. Joely Black says:

    @ Steven – It’s definitely the way I’ve come to see it.

    @Lori – That’s such a great quote. I think that’s probably why I’ve kept going at it for so long.

    It’s paying off too, with Amnar doing very well indeed on Podiobooks.com and lots of promotion happening. But it’s always nice to be doing more things.
    .-= Joely Black´s last blog ..Answering listener questions: Is Arandes modelled on the Patrician? =-.

  4. Joely, what a great post! I love reading anything about happiness and I completely agree with the points you’ve made here. Happiness is about doing! 🙂
    .-= Positively Present´s last blog ..stop wanting and start being =-.

  5. Working in the flow….how sweet that spot is.
    Interesting…after you stopped trying to control everything and how it was to happen you became aware and started following your instincts which led you to just where you are supposed to be.
    Congrats on the Book, what an accomplishment. Congrats on finding your flow!

  6. Alex Fayle says:

    @Steven
    I’m a big believer in the journey as well – if I were waiting the 20 years I’ve given myself to become a successful author, I would spend the next 20 years very unhappy.

    @Lori
    That is a great quote (and echoes what I just wrote to steven…)

    @Joely
    Congrats on the downloads! Woo hoo!

    @Positively Present
    Glad you enjoyed the post. I too enjoy having Joely writing for me.

    @Elaine
    Yes, let go of control and get into the flow of it all – something I work on every day. 😉

  7. David says:

    If you’re interested in a new approach to boost your happiness based on the latest positive psychology research, check out our iPhone app: Live Happy (there’s also a Free Trial version); it’s based on the work of Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of “The How of Happiness” and provides a unique method to create a personalized program to increase your happiness.

    You can also learn more about the iPhone app on our Facebook page.

  8. Alex Fayle says:

    @David
    The How of Happiness is on my wish list for books to read – thanks for the links – if I had an iPhone, I’d definitely check them out! 😉

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