I’ve been watching my happily self-directed pals.
I’ve noticed common elements that bring them satisfaction.
Convenience – my self-directed pals create this via simplicity, routine and living in a beautiful location. I need to watch myself because I tend towards complexity, travel for its own sake and constant variation in routine. All of these add stress and increase the probability for hassles to pop up.
Mantra: everything I need is at home
Remember: explore locally, travel less, create space in my schedule
Control – Related to convenience, in my first career, I tried to outsource as much as possible. This “worked” but if carried it to its logical conclusion then there’s nothing left to do other than “be happy,” “be rich,” or “be fast.” The “being” that we long for is usually a reflection of our values.
I’ve been lucky to realize that achieving my goal of “being” didn’t bring much satisfaction.
It was a mistake for me to believe that happiness lay in getting rid of everything (jobs, responsibilities, obligations) that wasn’t “fun.” I’m more satisfied with the un-fun items in my life.
Remember: satisfaction comes from the opportunity to do my best work while serving others
Quality – It is interesting to watch families that have no limits on their spending. The families that get it “right” don’t focus on prestige. Instead, they focus on achieving value with a solution that is fit for purpose.
Consider: before spending money I ask, will this make a difference? Before spending time I ask, is this my situation to fix?
Mantra: if in doubt then wait
Under the radar – I have a craving for recognition that’s subdued in my wise buddies. Perhaps they have learned the danger of being skewed by unearned admiration?
Mantra: work to be worthy of respect
One final thing that I’ve noticed that correlates to happiness, independent of income: near daily outside activity in beautiful surroundings.
Mantra: live the life I want for my children
Remember: base my family in a location where we don’t need to leave