Look for the Happiness Drain and PLUG IT!

You've heard of a time suck?  Something that wastes your time and just sucks it down the drain.  Time management people teach you to watch for the little things that suck your time that add up to a total loss of productivity.

So, I'd like to encourage you today to watch for the Happiness Drain.  These are the tiny little things that drain away your happiness and joy in life.  These thoughts are spurred on by the edutopia article, Teach Yourself How to Be Happier

I think that to me one of the most important things I do is to guard my joy.  You know that you tend to become like the people you are around (this is why spouses start to look alike over the years!)  We mimic one another's facial expressions and phraseology without even realizing it (thus the spread of common imspeak and emoticons among teens in common groups.)

So, ask yourself – are there relationships that are sucking the happiness out of my life?  Are there people who are never happy and they are just killing me?  You know that there ARE people who you can move away from and there are those who we must love unconditionally.  (I put my husband and family in the UNCONDITIONAL category so when they are down I GOTTA listen.)  But I'm talking about the category of people in your life who you do not HAVE to be around.

This would be places you go (beauty shops, groups, etc.) or people who you hang around.

Ask yourself these questions:

Does this person (or group of people):

  • Talk about positive things as much as negative?
  • Teach me new things?
  • Make me laugh?

And perhaps to me the biggest question of all is:

Do I like myself and how I act when I am around these people?

If not,  take a look and see if you can find a way to reduce contact (if you cut off completely then you risk offending them) and replace it with positive things that buoy your attitude:  listening to music or inspirational books, reading and learning something new, laughing, making a new friend, or being kind to someone who needs it.

We cannot control everything but there ARE things that we can control.  If you see that a whirlpool is stirring in your life that sucks your happiness into its vortex of doom every time you get near it — time to paddle elsewhere!

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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1 comment

Shell Belle October 27, 2009 - 6:43 pm

I really needed this blog today! Sometimes people need a wake-up call to stay away from “Poison People!”

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere