The older I get, some of the most simple life knowledge a human can grasp once again is presented to me, and I discover all over again what is rather profound, wondering how I ever thought I had fully grasped the total knowledge when put in front of me earlier in life. It’s been happening a lot lately, and I am seriously worried and wondering if I have ever heard or learned it before. Crazy wanting to move in and stay for the duration of my life? Yikes.
I recently came across a statement by young English actor Tom Hiddleston that sparked as wisdom to me. I knew the concept he was presenting, but it resonated with me once again at this important phase of life.
“If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in your life, you will soon be in the negative. Know when to close the account.”
In a past life I was VP of Curricular Development for the conservative Franklin Covey Company. Difficult culture at best for an out and outspoken gay man, but I felt the content inside the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People extremely powerful. So much so that I, for over a decade now, have called the seven habits my Life Operating System or LOS. One of the most powerful metaphors inside the book is the concept of the Emotional Bank Account. We all make deposits and withdrawals in all of our personal and professional relationships. Just like a bank account, and one minor or major withdrawal from another person can take great time and several deposits to regain trust and mutual respect. It is also a behavior that has to be genuine, authentic, real, and not a manipulative practice otherwise it is quickly revealed as false or insincere. It’s really cool when a personal or professional relationship, or even an entire work or organizational culture, can understand the concept and be truth tellers with one another. Life, effectiveness, work and productivity, time, and most importantly love seems to flow so much better.
As you can tell the idea of an emotional bank account directly connects and correlates with Tom Hiddleston’s statement. The most important part of his quotation is “know when to close the account.” To some this may seem harsh, but allowing toxic people to continue to make regular withdrawals from your relationship then you’re quickly left with nothing left for yourself, nothing left to give to others who are making deposits in your relationship, nothing to recharge your spirit and soul, let alone your patience and persistence.
Knowing, really knowing the people to have in your life that are driven by an abundance-thinking mindset is essential to happiness. I hear a lot of people from the queer community saying “if I only could do this,” “if I could only find this,” “if I could just get so and so to see things this or that way, I’d be happy.” (or at least happier.) The list goes on and on. You’ve heard them.
I choose happiness, is YOUR choice. No one else can achieve this for you. Sure you can work with others to attain aspects of happiness, but your perception of that word, feeling, perspective, strictly belongs to you.
So are you truly happy? Do you even know what it means to be happy and what it takes to achieve happiness? The people in your life have a lot to do with getting to YES regarding this question. There are important questions for anyone who is seeking happiness to ask themselves. The following are a few tips that I suggest you consider to create happiness in your life.
- Understand what it is that will make you happy. Everyone has unique requirements. Make the list, live with it, think about it often, and celebrate your individuality. Don’t worry about whether or not your desires are comparable to those in you life.
- Make a plan for attaining goals that you believe will make you happy. Your mood will very likely increase as you pursue your goal because you will feel better about yourself for going after something you value.
- Ah ha—surround yourself with happy people. It is easy to begin to think negatively when you are surrounded by people who think that way. Conversely, if you are around people who are happy, their emotional state will be infectious.
- When something goes wrong try to figure out a solution instead of wallowing in self pity. Think, turn it around.
- Ponder daily the things that make you happy. Make this behavior a focus. Gratitude floods.
- It’s also important to take some time each day to do something nice for yourself.
- Finding the humor in situations can also lead to happiness.
- Maintaining your health is another way to achieve happiness. Exercise has been known to release endorphins that give you a feeling of happiness.
- Finally, it is important to understand that you deserve happiness. Mindset, mantra, meditation.
Another Hiddleston quote I came across, or it was put quite intentionally put in my path this past month; it ties all that I have tried to say in this column together quite effectively. I am a new Hiddleston groupie.
“We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize we only have one.”
Keep your emotional bank account full and healthy. Make happiness a real focus in your life.
Be well, catch you in August.