Monday, February 17, 2014

Happiness Formula

Happiness formula = Do YOUR best and feel good about it. |

Unhappiness formula = Compare yourself to everyone else.

I read this simple, yet profound statement this morning HERE (one of my favorite blogs).

Let me ask you this:  have you ever had the experience of having a really solid run, or an amazing day with your kids, or a breakthrough at work – and then you talk to someone, or go onto Facebook or read a blog and all of a sudden you no longer feel so stellar about your day? You’ve probably just been part of the unhappiness formula, i.e., you compared yourself to everyone else and got in a stupid funk.

Why do we do that? Why isn’t it enough to be just do our best and feel good about it?

True, you could say that when we are really secure with ourselves, we are not brought down or affected by the external stuff. But, who is really secure with themselves anyway?

I think there has always been this FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) epidemic. There has also always been this FONBE (Fear Of Not Being Enough) epidemic. Yet, in the age of social media, it has become far too easy to be constantly exposed to what others are doing – their successful children, their amazing vacations, their PRs at every race, their perfect marriages, their extravagant meals out.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not blasting social media – I am very much a part of it, and I see the benefits. But, like everything, you have to be able to take it in doses of moderation. You have to be able to filter. You have to make sure that it is not swallowing you up, sucking your time and sending you into a dark hole of FOMO and FONBE.

I think we all need to find peace in who we are and own it. Own that maybe we will never live up to the ideal lives that we perceive around us (which we know are not really that ideal behind closed doors), but acknowledge that we are okay and enough anyway. It’s all about perspective and attitude.

So, if you are having moments of doubt that you are enough, instead of berating yourself – ask yourself, “Am I doing my best?” Only you truly know the answer. If you are giving your relationships, your job, your running, your children, your health, your community and yourself the best that you have to offer, then that is all that truly matters.

I am waxing all poetic because I turn 47 on Saturday. That means I am that much closer to 50 freaking years old so have to stop messing around and become an old sage.

SUAR

56 comments:

  1. No way you're turning 47. You look like you're about 37. Happy early birthday to a fellow Pisces!

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  2. This is great! I just gotta be me!

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  3. I love this post. I've lost friendships due to unhealthy competition, and it took me a long time to learn that being happy with my own accomplishments needs to come first, before I can truly be happy for others.

    It must be true that exercise slows the aging process! You do NOT look 47! ...But happy birthday anyway!

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  4. I have compared myself to people on FB but I know it's useless. There will always be people with more money than me, more time off to travel than me, having more fun than me... I just have to be happy with what I have. And I think I am.

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    1. YES. I do think that is the point. We all need to focus on what is "right" in our lives instead of thinking about what we don't have. Which one makes us happier?

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  5. I love this! As an avid social media user, runner, and blogger it is so easy to compare yourself to everyone else. You have to keep in mind that everyone is different and has different schedules. You just have to do the best you can and if people don't like it well then that's their problem :)

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  6. Stop hiding in my closet while I'm talking to my teenage son about life! I said almost the same exact things to him about perspective, attitude, and owning who he is. Yay, I'm smart like you!

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  7. Oh no! I'm going to be 50 in April and I'm not nearly as wise as you... unhappiness formula at its finest ;)

    I think it was Teddy Roosevelt who said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." My all time favorite quote.

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    1. Yes, that quote is the absolutely best. Really sums it up nicely.

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  8. Happy birthday! I turned 44 2 weeks ago.

    Great post and something I've been working on myself.

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  9. This is a GREAT reminder for us all. I think that social media makes it so easy to compare ourselves, but instead we should use it as a way to ENCOURAGE one another!

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  10. Wow! It's almost as if you'd talked to me yesterday! I was having a breakdown from my race from yesterday... And you came up with exactly what my friends told me but i feel your pep talk has more meaning since you are a runner!!! Thanks ! It's a perfect timing!
    Happy birthday it's true you look younger !

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  11. Happy Birthday! I am also turning 47 - in 2 months - and yes, it is CRAZY-scarily close to 50. It is really hard believing I am approaching that age already. But luckily I feel better than I ever have, so it makes it a little less painful.

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  12. Thanks - I really needed this post today. You have a knack for the right words at the right time

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  13. This is a sage worthy post for sure! It's easy to get sucked in but I try to keep perspective. At a race this past fall I was ecstatic that I broke 1:30 and, my "friend" who crossed seconds before me, starting pissing and moaning about how much her time sucked. I celebrated anyway :-)

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  16. Great post! I love the advice! I love your blog and I also read www.6500feetfit.com

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  17. Hahahaha, I'm 52 and 50 wasn't scary at all! There is all this hype about turning 50 so we dread our birthdays in our late 40's. Each birthday seems to draw the "OMG, I'm only three years away from 50."

    Eh, there isn't anything you can do but to choose to be happy about it. And you don't look 47 and I don't look 52 (I'm still that 12 year old hiding in my sisters' closets reading their diaries.)

    I love the link to the website, definitely needed that today. Thanks!

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  18. Thank you so much for the reminder of the Unhappiness Formula. I've definitely done that, where I've been so proud about 9 miles and read someone's blog and feel awful about it!

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  19. 47! So young. That's when I conceived the goal to do Ironman. I remember 47. Things were pretty good then, and only get better. Really. No, wait, you have teenagers for a few years. THEN it gets better.

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  20. Will turn 55 in a few months and honestly, I haven't thought about "the number" in years. I stay active, surround myself with the people I love, and try to stay in the present. I wasn't always this way...." the fifties" are a good decade - you'll see...

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  21. Happy early birthday! :)

    And thank you for the continued support.

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  22. We've lost the acceptance of the imperfect. Sometimes, your life has imperfections. You have to embrace them, accept them, and either celebrate your individuality or work to improve things that need to change.

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    1. You are absolutely right. I think it is a wonderful thing to be "imperfect" and to share vulnerabilities. To me, this is what bonds us and brings us closer.

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  23. I wish my wife was only 47, back then she was still running PR and kicking butt... So it's a great age and nothing to be scared of.

    Now I'm going to post a couple of drunk 'selfies'

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  24. Wonderful post!
    I turned 49 last Friday. And I love being that young!

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  25. This couldn't be more true. I especially love the eCard! Not having any children and being that most of my posts on social media are running related or evenings out with friends that involve wine and cocktails, I've had several friends that have blocked my posts and defriended me. It seems that most of them have children and are highly bothered by the content of my posts. I find it peculiar that because I'm not posting about my fabulous kids who excel in everything and my perfect wonderful husband that my newsfeed is hidden by many. Well I think I will just go with what my wonderful fabulous husband insists. My "friends" are jealous that they don't run and have the freedom that we do. Don't get me wrong, I have nephews and friends children that are wonderful. I enjoy keeping up with their lives via social media but I'm refusing anymore to be timid or ashamed to post my running related drunk vacation photos. =) PS. Happy early 47th! Looking forward to seeing a drunk vacation photo.

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  26. This post comes along at an opportune time for me - last week I was on it so much (being snowed in during the Southern Snopocalpyse) that I could tell it was getting toxic for me. I'm on day 4 of my FB fast and feeling very 'clean'.

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  27. I've found myself in the competition trap. FB and Instagram in particular are triggers so to speak. I'm going to try to give those up for Lent. I'm partly doing it for God, but I just want 40 days of freedom. Freedom to believe in what I'm doing regarding MY running, my writing and everything else. I'm going to see how I feel without all the comparisons and I have a feeling life will be better. I'm not giving it up forever!! But, I want to use those 40 days for me, myself and I. Not to cheer on everybody else. Not to have jealous feelings for everybody else. Just to experience what life was like pre-drama if you know what I mean. :)

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  28. Great post! I stepped back from reading a few blogs that honestly made me feel more crapoy then good. Inadequate. And we'll I am worth more then inadequate that is for sure. Behind every perfect blog is a story that will make your jaw drop. I have learned to do my best to blog as authenticly as I can. Sometimes I edit because I am too authentic. Anyway awesome thoughts and I will be writing that little quote out to remember to love my not so perfect life and to continue to be authentic to me. Cheers to you!

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  29. I turn 50 in November, which feels weird to me because I def do not feel old. I loved my 40's though, it seemed that everything amazing happened during that time. It is funny that the light bulb finally goes off as we approach mid-age, we realize we have limited time and we need to make the most of it (first marathon at 45... woot woot!). Anyway, I looped myself out of Facebook and I really do not miss it at all. I found that It really made me sad a lot of times and very disconnected to my "friends" since looping myself out, I am forced to make actual contact with people (what a concept!) and find myself having more of a social life with my friends. I guess social media has it's place but you are right, need to take it in small doses.

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  30. How funny that right after I read this, on msn.com, this was one of the featured stories: http://msn.foxsports.com/olympics/story/violinist-vanessa-mae-completes-giant-slalom-run-021814. It is a skier who knew she'd come in last but set a personal goal for herself, wanted to be an Olympian and make a charitable donation! We should all take after her, too.

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  31. I think it's always a bit of an up and down for me. I go through phases where I'm perfectly content with me no matter what anyone else is doing and then moments where I start to compare...i think there is some good from comparison as it helps us decide where we want to go, so it's going to happen occasionally.

    What's amazing is at 47 you have inspired so many!!

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  32. 50? It's just a number. But it does get easier to qualify for the Boston marathon. See you in LA with the other 24,998 runners.

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  33. I love this...and it's also important to remember that what's on social media isn't necessarily reflective of what's really going on their lives. I've known a few people that look like everything's stellar from facebook, but in reality their world was falling apart.

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  34. Happy Birthday!! My b-day is also this Saturday, I turn 44.

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  35. Comparing oneself to others is human nature and makes us better...or makes us "give up". I do what I love and love what I do and really don't care what others are doing except for my competition in my next race! :0)

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  36. Man, i don't believe you turn 47. I don't know you, you don't me, but Happy birthday! I liked so much your post.

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  37. When you are 60 and still running/doing tris we will talk!

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  38. Happy Birthday, your blog really inspires me!

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