Tiff Lin’s Happiness Project
I must acknowledge my Enneagram Type 7 – fear of anxiety/missing out on new experiences/impulsive escapist attitude
“Sevens attempt to control their level of anxiety by keeping their attention occupied with ideas and possibilities that excite them. They keep their mind full of activities that they can look forward to, positive experiences that they know they will enjoy. Every time anxiety rears its head, Sevens are ready with a new adventure, a new book, a workshop they plan to attend, or an exciting new relationship. As long as they can keep their attention occupied with positive expectations, Sevens can hold their pain and anxiety at bay. They do not want to deal with their anxiety or examine its causes in their lives because doing so draws them inward, making them more anxious, while extroversion pulls them outward, toward the environment, repressing anxiety, at least temporarily. They discover that the distractions which their activities provide repress anxiety whenever it threatens to erupt into consciousness, but that they need to keep searching for exciting activities to keep themselves safe from their inner distress. They therefore throw themselves into more and more experiences to avoid having to face anxiety or any feeling of unhappiness…”
The problem is that the more Sevens fill up their minds anticipating the fun they will have in the future, the less they are in touch with whatever experience they are having in the present
The more anxious they get, the more they distract themselves by anticipating the future and the less their experiences serve to quell their anxiety. Sevens keep fleeing outward into the world of experience as they try to outrun the fear and hurt inside them. But the more they flee, the bigger the thrills they need and the harder they are to sustain.
Well…folks, I already knew this about myself. But knowing is half the battle. Knowledge is nothing. Action is everything.
and i’ve had just the SLAP TO REALITY that i’ve needed to take myself seriously.
The truth: ITS BEEN OVER A MONTH SINCE I’VE WALKED.
As of May 28, I’ve been in the hospital for a total of 15 days bedridden and went through 3 surgeries and got pumped with IVs in 6 different places. I’m currently still going to the hospital everyday for hyperbaric oxygen therapy to repair cells/quicken the healing process. I’ve placed myself willingly under house arrest for a total of 3-4 weeks.
I’m at the point where I don’t really want to talk about it because this has been the story I’ve repeated over and over again…to 6 different doctors and to the rest of my worried friends and family from Taiwan and the US.
The main point is- that i’ve learned (the hard way) that I do things to myself without understanding consequences. I think I’m invincible to pain but then I learn that the human body has a funny way of catching up to you before you realize it.
But i’ve grown stronger in a way. Mentally speaking. Anyway, these are just some insights that I’ve taken from reading a book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben that led me to seek out truth in my own process.
I am happy, but I want to be happier/more grateful/less anxious about future/more appreciative of the present.
I’m excited by the environment and respond strongly to my surroundings, throwing myself into the world of experience with enormous vitality. But is this childlike wonder/excitement sustainable?
Living a life of paradox
I want to change myself but accept myself
I want to take myself less seriously but also take myself more seriously
I wanted to use my time productively but also have time to wander and play
I want to live in the moment but not worry that day-by-day is going to waste
So how do you change without having to change at all?
- Be yourself
- let it go
- act the way I want to feel
- do it now
- be fair
- enjoy the process
- lighten up / cheer up / be silly
- do what ought to be done
- no comparisons or calculations
- there is only love
- forget the past
- spread joy
- never bother with people who don’t matter
- stay in touch
- life is fleeting
- create something that wasn’t there before
- stop collecting useless crap
- make mistakes
- Give thanks: for the ordinary and the extraordinary
- create something that wasn’t there before
- Choose not to take things personally
- This too shall pass
- I am already enough
- What do I really, really, really want
- Keep it simple
- If you can’t get out of it, get into it
If I had to pick 10
1. Be Tiff Lin – be comfortable with yourself and know your limits
2. Do good, feel good – when you do a good selfless deed, you feel it lift you up
3. Don’t make promises you can’t keep
4. Always arrive on time – it’s a sign of respect and is the first step towards being true to your word
5. Inspire and be inspired – teach and learn simultaneously- share/exchange
6. Life is simple- don’t overthink/assume – you can’t predict everything
7. Listen to others and accept them for who they are despite their differences= everyone has a story
8. Be more patient and generous with time – small steps equate to big changes
9. Be a powerhouse of energy for others to follow- mental/body/spiritual
10. Enjoy the moment for it might be your last
Secrets of Adulthood
1. its okay to ask for help
2. do good, feel good
3. its important to be nice to everyone
4. people don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think
5. what you do every day matters more than what you do once in awhile
6. consistency and routine and healthy daily habits count more
Why study happiness?
Happiness can prepare you for adversity- to develop the self-discipline and the mental habits to deal with a bad thing when it happens
Happiness can prepare your mind to be mentally strong
Having now being forced to be indoors during recovery, I have to find other alternative options to substitute what once made me happy (expressing myself through movement/activity/constant stimulation/meeting strangers and hearing stories) and to find another way to be constantly stimulated (drawing, writing, painting, poetry, reading, decluttering, personal projects)
MIND OVER BODY BETCHES!
I’ll dedicate a post on each. It’s been fun in a way. Learning that with focus I can do quite a lot.
Everyday is hard. Every morning I wake up, I have to remind myself that happiness is a choice. And put myself through “my process”
But it’s still been a learning journey and that’s all I can ask for of myself. at this present time.