Are you happy? In every aspect of your life?
Is there one area of your life that stresses you out more than others?
Consider re-evaluating your goals.
According to the documentary “Happy” there are two categories of goals and values that people create for themselves in life: intrinsic and extrinsic goals. Extrinsic goals focus on something external such as reward, praise and getting stuff.
The three main examples of extrinsic goals include:
Intrinsic goals entail psychological needs that all people have, but some people don’t see them as primary goals.
The three main examples of intrinsic goals include:
- Personal growth
- A desire to help
People with extrinsic goals consistently report dissatisfaction in their lives. They feel more stressed, and they experience more frequent depression symptoms. People with intrinsic goals are happier, healthier and live more satisfying lifestyles.
Writers aren’t business people. The profession may require some business-like work, but the core focus of being a writer is to grow through experiences, build relationships and help others with words.
If someone told you that you wouldn’t make a dime writing, yet you continued anyway, you’re an intrinsic writer. Not to mention you’re my type of writer.
How can you focus on intrinsic goals in your writing life to make yourself happier?
Accept criticism, and recover quickly from failures
Writing involves unending failures. Writers try to guest post and get rejected, they try to query agents and get rejected and they release books that receive poor reviews or low sales. Writers see their work as a baby, making it difficult to accept criticism or rejection.
The movie “Happy” explains that people who accomplish large successes such as winning an award, gaining millions of dollars or defeating a team in a championship game feel happy for short periods of time, but they return to their normal happiness level. If the person was unhappy prior to becoming a New York Times Bestseller, they experience brief joy, then return to that state of unhappiness.
Learn to accept criticism early in your writing career, or the sweet taste of success will dissipate. Bounce back from failures with a smile to remain happy your entire life, not just when you become successful.
Talk to a person every time you write something new
Foster relationships with people you know and people you don’t know. Every time you set out to write a blog post, short story, novel or poem, speak to someone. Enjoy their company, and stimulate your creative juices.
Pens and keyboards don’t make stories, people do.
The realism of your story increases when you interact with other people. Experience different moods, characteristics, opinions and situations. Incorporate your interactions in all your stories to connect with readers on a personal level, and increase your happiness in the process.
Give out help for free
I tend to believe that helping others is the intrinsic goal that most people forget about. Ask yourself how you can help others with your work. Give out free advice to build trust and friendships through your writing. Give your best writing out for free. This promotes your writing and helps other people. Word of mouth marketing from numerous happy people is more helpful than 50 eBook sales for $3 a pop.
After that, walk down the street and hand a homeless person some change, or open a door for a stranger. People who help other people live longer, feel better and make the world a nicer place to live.
Connect your life to your words. Experience happiness by crafting words that make people wonder how they can be happy too.
Let me know in the comments how you focus on achieving intrinsic goals. Is there any area of your life where you could improve?