Do You Keep Happiness "In Place?"

Six weeks ago our youngest son bought us a new chandelier — something that goes better with our remodeled great room.  When we took down the old chandelier, however, we decided it was still in superb condition.
So we polished it up, and hung it… in the master bedroom.dscf6377
And ever since then, we’ve been getting the strangest reactions from people who have seen our room or heard that we hung a chandelier in such a place.
Very odd looks.  Statements like, “you did What?!”
Yes, we did something very unconventional with lighting.  And now we LOVE how much softer and fuller the lighting is in our bedroom.
But this experience has me thinking about how often I see people segment their life and put things in different places based on “how things are supposed to be.”  They hold a story that ‘this belongs here’ and ‘that belongs ONLY there.’  For example:

  • Chandeliers should only be hung in a dining room or kitchen.
  • White should not be worn after Labor Day (that was one of my mom’s rules)
  • I’m not allowed to get angry on the job
  • Real men don’t cry (or wear pink)
  • Happiness is only for weekends
  • There’s no place for joy in the workplace
  • Less desirable emotions (like fear, sadness, anxiety) must be stuffed down
  • We can only use Grandma’s china for special family occasions
  • Talking about death or aging will cause those things, so they can’t ever be discussed
  • Happiness is not important enough to take up space on meeting agendas

When you look at that list you might think, ‘I don’t hold any of those beliefs!’  Perhaps true, but everybody has their stories about what’s proper and what’s not, and what can be talked about & where.
I’m not saying any of those ‘stories’ are right or wrong or good or bad… just that they are stories.  Recognize you made them up; and you can make new stories when the old ones no longer work.
My wife and I challenged the story about chandeliers, and made a new one that worked better for us.  I wear pink after years of thinking it was ‘not right.’  and of course I believe that there is absolutely a place for happiness at work!
What stories do YOU hold about What goes Where?  And which stories do you want to rewrite?



Read more articles like this one in: About Happiness, Everyday Happiness

Comments 2

  1. I purposely mention my kids, and the occasional”nonwork” stuff with clients and colleagues, because I want them to get to know me. And sometimes sharing that, helps them decide to
    go a little beyond “work” stuff with me (in addition tomutual “Agh! Snow!!” griping.)

  2. So you don’t subscribe to the story that “there’s no place for
    Personal at Work, eh? Love it. I just saw one of Wm Arruda’s
    videos on Branding, reminding me that a core aspect of Branding
    is to be genuine. When you show up as a ‘whole person,’ you
    are SO doing that! (Plus it’s my 13th Principle of Happiness!)

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