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David Trotter - Inspiration Rising Podcast

014: Two Ways to Increase Your Daily Happiness – David Trotter

Welcome to the Inspiration Rising podcast! My name is David Trotter, and we’re here to inspire you to rise up in your life, love, and leadership.

In episode 010, I asked you the question…are you satisfied with your life? I want to encourage you to go back and listen to that episode, because that will help you get clear about the level of dissatisfaction in your life.

As I said last week, life dissatisfaction is the result of living an unintentional life.

For me personally, happiness is rooted in two elements that I hold in tension.

  • Thankfulness for what I have.
  • Intentional growth toward what I want.

If you want to be happy in life (not momentary happiness – but deep down happiness), I believe it starts with a thankfulness for what you have in life. Once in awhile, I’ll post on Facebook about something I’m thankful for, because it’s powerful for me and for the people reading it. The last time I did that, I had a close friend say, “I love how thankful you are.”

I started laughing, and I said, “Anytime you see me posting about being thankful, it’s because I don’t feel very thankful in the moment.” Here’s the amazing thing that happens. I choose to be thankful by posting it on Facebook, and then people start liking it and commenting about it. You know what happens, I start feeling more thankful. I chose to be thankful, but there’s something about others seeing my thankfulness that makes me feel it even more.

By nature, I’m more of a critical person. I can see what needs to be improved, fixed, altered, or transformed way faster than I can move toward thankfulness. So, when I tell you about all the things I’m thankful for in this moment, I could also tell you about the need for improvement in these areas.

Yet, by focusing on the need for improvement, it doesn’t increase my happiness or satisfaction in life. By choosing to want what I already have, I increase the positive feelings in my life.

Let me tell you what I’m thankful for today.

  • I’m thankful for my wife of 25 years who is a saint. She loves me. She works hard. She’s thoughtful.
  • I’m thankful for my two teenage kids. Yes, I’m thankful for teenagers. They’re smart, responsible, and hard-working.
  • I’m thankful for my body and my health.
  • I’m thankful for my truck that carries me and stuff around. I love that thing.
  • I’m thankful for technology that allows me to talk to you.
  • I’m thankful for the opportunity to live in southern California.

I could keep going on and on, but I’m feeling happier about life already!

What are you choosing to be thankful for today? Try posting about it on social media, and see how it makes you feel!

The second key to my happiness and life satisfaction is intentional growth toward what I want.

How is it possible to want what I have (and be thankful for it)…and simultaneously want something more or different?

I can be thankful for the amount of money in my bank account while intentionally growing toward earning more.

I can be thankful for the body that I have while intentionally pursuing greater health.

I can be thankful for my wife and kids while intentionally seeking to develop a closer relationship.

See how that works?

If I’m just thankful for what I have without intentionally growing toward what I want, I will be bored. Some people can be satisfied like monk, but that doesn’t work for me. I need to see growth, transformation, and working toward possibilities in order to feel happy and satisfied.

On the other hand, if I’m not thankful for what I have and I’m constantly pursuing what I want, I’ll be miserable. I have lived this life before, and it fueled my workaholism back in the day.

So, those are the two elements that generate happiness and satisfaction in my life.

  • Thankfulness for what I have.
  • Intentional growth toward what I want.

If you only have one of those, you’re missing out on the other. Everyday, I think about both of these things. It requires me to be intentional about thankfulness and intentional about growing toward what I want.

Let me know if this resonates with you. Take a screenshot of the episode, post it on Instagram, and tag me @insporising or shoot me an email at david@insporising.com.


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thank you!