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Prompt #2 - Your Happiness Essentials
Find out what really matters
We are happiest in life when we focus our time and energy on the things that really matter to us. But what exactly are those most important things? How do we know what we truly value versus what we only think we should value?
Working through these questions through pictures instead of words allows us to scratch behind the surface. To dig a little deeper, and identify our true must-haves for happiness.
So this week, let's create some art that shows us what it is we truly value.
The Activity: Your Happiness Essentials Collage
You can do this digitally if you prefer, or go classic with paper and glue stick.
Step 1: Collect the pictures
Find pictures that feature things/people/concepts that are important to you and that make you happy. You can go through your own photos, cut out images from magazines and newspapers, or find photos online. You can also cut out words that matter to you.
Only pick images that really stand out to you and that instantly spark joy, as Marie Kondo would say.
Step 2: Collage away
Find a piece of paper, at least A4 or A3. Cut out your pictures and arrange them on the paper as you like. Don’t aim for visual perfection, just follow your instincts and do what feels right. Once you're happy with your arrangement, glue the images on the paper. You can then decorate your collage with pens, paint, stickers, washi tape, or whatever you like.
Quick version: Instead of making a full collage, you can also collect your images on a Pinterest Board.
Step 3: Reflect
Take a step back and look at your work. What story does it tell about your happiness essentials? Are there recurring themes that are emerging? What are the things that matter?
It’s also important to notice what is NOT there. Are there things you spend a lot of energy on, that are completely absent from your collage?
Once you have identified some of your happiness essentials, you can make more room for them in your daily life.
Maybe you value learning and discovering new things, so instead of a random movie in the evenings, you can watch a documentary, or do an online course on a subject that interests you. Or, if you find that watching Anime is one of your essentials, then make room to binge some more of it!
The point here is not to optimise ourselves or make ourselves ever more productive. We want to find out what really matters to us so we can lean into those things even more, and stop wasting time on some of the other stuff we keep ourselves busy with.
Here are some of the themes that stand out for me in my collage:
Family, plants and nature, the water, creativity, all sprinkled with a certain kind of playfulness.
Notably absent are images representing status, captial-T-Things and possessions, and personal or professional achievements.
Now that doesn’t mean that I will go and quit my job to live with my family off the grid in the wild somewhere. But it does mean that I know exactly what to choose the next time I'm torn between working through lunch because I’m stressed, or taking the dog out for a nice long walk to the water.
I’ll print and hang this collage above my desk as a reminder, and I hope you enjoy your collage just as much.
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