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Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

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The way we spend our time can be divided into three categories, or jars:

  1. The Necessary Tasks Jar.
  2. The Voluntary Tasks Jar.
  3. And the Happiness Jar.

Every day, we spend some time filling the Necessary Tasks jar. We fill this jar with useful tasks, like earning money, housework, buying groceries, and paying bills.  We then fill another jar with Voluntary Tasks.  These are things that we do for others that we may not enjoy, but we do them anyway.  This jar gets filled with tasks like chauffeuring children to activities, cooking involved family meals, and doing family members’ laundry.  Those jars are very important.  If we don’t fill them each day, our households won’t run properly.

However, we often forget to fill the third jar – The Happiness Jar. This is the jar that we fill with activities that make us happy.  Is your Happiness Jar sometimes empty at the end of the day?  We all have days like that.  Between doing all the Necessary and Voluntary Tasks, time flies by on some days, and before we know it, it is time for bed.

That is why each day we have to make a conscious effort to fill our Happiness Jar. Most days, I fill mine by going to ballroom dance class with my husband and daughter.   Between the music, the dancing and the camaraderie among the students, I always leave the ballroom studio happier than when I entered.

Music is another way that I fill my Happiness Jar. This week, I had the pleasure of participating in an orchestra practice at my church.  Our church isn’t large, but we are blessed with a lot of musical talent.  So, about 15 of us, including both string and wind instrument players, met to practice Christmas music for an upcoming church service.  It was a time of fun, fellowship and music-making.  At the end of the evening, my Happiness Jar was filled to overflowing.

The challenge for each of us is to not let the day go by without filling our Happiness Jar. That takes some planning.  Obligations so easily can take over our lives.  So, we have to be strategic about how we spend our time.  Ironically, many of us probably need to pencil happiness activities into our schedule.  Otherwise, people will fill our schedule with those Necessary and Voluntary Tasks.

Another approach is to transform our Necessary Tasks into Happiness activities. One way to do that is to do work that you love.  That isn’t easy.  It is hard to find work that we are both good at and that we find enjoyable.  But if you are able to do so, you’ll spend 8 hours of each day filling your Happiness Jar.

This week, consider how your time is being spent. Are you doing enough activities that bring joy to your life?  Or are the Necessary and Voluntary Tasks consuming all your time?  Try to find ways to achieve balance between how you are filling your three jars.  God blesses us with each day.  At the end of the day, hopefully we’ve done all we can to make sure that our Happiness Jar is filled.

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

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