“Growth itself contains the germ of happiness.” – Pearl S. Buck
Every Friday, OK, most Friday’s, I like to post a “secret” to being happy. Of course, they are not really secrets, at all; they are just things that I have learned over the past few years, that have increased my happiness quotient.
Today’s secret comes from the events of two weeks ago – I gave a presentation, up-front, speaking in public – to about 90 individuals at a weekend-long health and wellness retreat. I have been deathly afraid of public speaking in the past. I think it has something to do with my introverted personality, among other things, and it is not something that I say I enjoy. But I have made a decision to stop letting fear make MOST of my decisions, and so I accepted the engagement.
What I learned from doing it is the most important thing that I take away from the experience.
While I was preparing for it, when I didn’t concentrate on how scared I was and other random emotions, it was exciting. To be sure, there were a few nights when sleep eluded me and I was up at 2 AM working on the presentation, but I decided to embrace those nights of beautiful solitude, as I worked on a topic that I am very passionate about. While I was speaking, it became enjoyable. The audience was kind of enough to listen and be engaged with me and that made things a whole lot easier. Afterwards, peoples’ responses were kind and they seemed receptive to what I had presented. Gretchen Rubin speaks of this phenomenon in her book The Happiness Project. She states, “Many activities that I consider enjoyable are not that much fun while they are happening.”
I was proud of myself for doing something that I don’t normally do and there was a satisfaction in knowing that I had accepted the challenge, prepared, and delivered my best effort. That made me happy.
How about you? Have you found this to be true? Tell me about it.