Why Challenges Make Us Happy

I’ve come to love challenges because that’s where the growth comes. And that’s exciting. So exciting that I’ve created challenges for myself to do lately, relatively easy ways to improve my life. If you’re feeling stuck and uninspired giving yourself a challenge can be a great way to change and energize your life. Figuring out what needs improving and then working at it, that’s the fun. When you take on new challenges or create ones for yourself you find you become less interested in the results. It’s the process that compels. We’re all happier when we stop worrying about results. And when you concern yourself with the work, the process, you usually end up getting some pretty amazing results. Like buying the freshest, best ingredients and creating a meal out of it… you end up with something unexpectedly wonderful.

Back to challenges. What I mean by challenges are these Happiness Series missions we create for all of us to do. The type of challenge, that should you choose to accept it, definitely improves your life. Here are 3 challenges I’ve been doing this past month.

The first one, the no-sugar challenge. I did this one with some friends at the gym I go to. I’ve a fairly low-sugar diet but… one could always improve, right?… and after the holidays I kinda kept in that zone of freewheeling festive eating. My eating a bag of chocolate chips every few days or so was a good thing to give up. We started February 1, and it’s been good. I’m not missing the sugar (well, except for 3 nights this week). It’s fun to check in with my friends and see how they’re feeling. One of them lost 3 pounds. And both of them feel better. When they cheated they noticed how bad they feel immediately after eating sugar. I’d like to continue doing this challenge for the rest of the year. And my friends are committing to limiting sugar (and artificial sweeteners) in their diets. If not totally, then at least using it more judiciously. So that’s cool!

The second one I’ve taken on is the “what else is possible?” challenge. Recently I attended a party hosted by Tony LeRoy, met his friend Gabriella Fry Chesneau , and learned how she uses the question “what else is possible?” to keep the energy of, as she calls it, universal gifting flowing. I was intrigued. I’ve been saying “what else is possible” 24/7 as Gabriella advised in her blog. Each time something “bad” and “good” happens in my life. And it kinda makes life feel like a game. I feel more in the flow, and when I’m not I say it anway. Because it reminds me that I have been in the flow, in the now, before, and I’ll be there again. It’s also made me alive to the magic in my life. The little gifts I receive all the time from the universe… I’m more aware of them and more grateful. So, what else is possible? More and more and still yet more. I’d like to keep doing this one for the rest of the year and beyond!

Spring is coming, perfect time to challenge yourself with something new

My third challenge is one devised by me for me. It’s the no-mean-words challenge. It finally dawned on me (after years of hearing this from other people, Happiness experts, friends, partners) that my constant denigrating of myself was bringing me down. It wasn’t helping. I always thought the harder and meaner you are to yourself the better you’ll be. Mistake. Not true. It actually held me back from being my truest, best self. So, I stopped. It’s been about 2 weeks now, and it’s amazing how much my day-to-day happiness has improved. It’s also alarming how often I put myself down. I catch myself all the time. I’m really glad to give this one up.  I feel lighter and happier. And guess what? I’m kinder to those around me. Lucky them. Lucky me. I’d like to keep doing this challenge for the rest of my life.

So what’s the point of all these challenges? The point is that if you do them with me, for the rest of the year, you will feel better. You will be happier. Your life will improve. This isn’t about spending more money or more time but working with what you’ve got now. Subtracting what doesn’t work, like sugar in your diet, mean words, and adding what makes life more fun, richer, better… like asking yourself “what else is possible?” all the time, in “good” and in “bad” times.

Do these challenges with me and let’s share the results with our Happiness Series community because LIFE IS FUN. Life is a game, and challenging yourself makes it that much more fun. What have you got to lose? Let’s all feel better now because Now is NOW.

 

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About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. After working in film, she realized that creating content for an online world that moves and inspires people is where it's at. She loves the immediacy and the vibrancy of working online. Tania created Happiness Series because she wants to empower people to live healthier, longer, more joyful lives through fitness, nutrition, stress management and integrative wellness. After years of research and practical application, she is excited about the newest project, Ageless Diet™. Ageless Diet is a lifestyle that promotes an Ageless You. Because getting older doesn't have to mean aging, and losing weight doesn't have to be hard. Happiness Series and Ageless Diet are going in new directions, bringing people together in beautiful settings with retreats and conferences. Books and a cooking series are soon to follow. Tania also recently completed her sitcom web/TV series pilot Employees Only, at http://employeesonly.tv.

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