Welcome to the Monthly Happiness Report of October, 2014! During this month, I learned where I was going to be working for the next 2 months of my career. I continued my traineeship and started working on a project as a full time engineer. You might have guessed it: this month is mostly about work. In the meantime, I continued running and enjoyed the occasional soccer match. Let’s have a look at how these events affected my happiness!
But first, I want to comment on the length of this Monthly Happiness Report. It is shorter than average. I don’t want these reports to turn into glorified journals. No, I want to cover exclusively what has affected my happiness, and how I tracked it throughout the month. I try to provide just the right amount of context during these posts. Sometimes, I think the happiness data needs a little more context than usual (for example, when I traveled accross the South Island of New Zealand). If so, I will detail my activities with more context and pictures. I try to provide just the right amount of context that is required to fully understand the happiness data. If you feel like I could be doing a better job at this, please let me know in the comments! 🙂
“I don’t want these reports to turn into glorified journals”
Below table shows the average happiness ratings for this period.
These numbers were very constant for me. They were in the high 7’s and have been that way ever since I started.
The chart below shows my happiness ratings during October, 2014:
My happiness was again quite constant throughout the month. The only turbulence (in lack of a better word) I experienced in happiness was at the start, where my relationship had a brief negative effect. This is not strange to me. Even though I initially didn’t believe it, I now know that every relationship has its ups and downs. Me and my girlfriend are not any different. It’s normal. I always try to remember that as long as the good far outweighs the bad, things are all OK.
“We didn’t bash each other’s brains in or something”
Mind you, we didn’t bash each other’s brains in or something. We just sometimes disagreed with each other, which then sometimes led to irritations. We don’t explode in each other’s face. Luckily, my girlfriend and I are not that kind of couple.
Just two days after our initial fit, my girlfriend had a direct positive effect on my happiness again.
The table below shows all the happiness ratings for October, including the factors that influenced it.
The chart below shows all the factors that had a positive influence on my happiness during October, 2014.
The biggest contributor to my happiness in October, 2014 was my work!
I know, right? Crazy.
I had just started working at a big marine contractor, and I actually liked it. Yes, I considered myself very, very lucky.
I started the previous month as a trainee. The job was exciting and interesting, and the traineeship was filled with a great program. However, my manager told me early on that I should be ready for another period abroad, rather sooner than later. I had a 90% chance of going to a project far, far away, and I was going to find out just where it was at the start of October.
It had caused some stress during the previous month. I was anxious to find out where I was going to work. Also, my girlfriend and I had only just finished our long distance relationship, and were not looking forward to another period apart. I didn’t know if I was ready for another adventure overseas.
But I got lucky.
“My girlfriend was just as much relieved”
I was sent to work on my first project in my own country, the Netherlands, for 2 months starting right away. I was very relieved that I was going to be able to stay in the Netherlands. My girlfriend was just as much relieved.
However, the project was still located on the other side of the country. Even though Holland is a minuscule country, driving to the other side takes about 2 hours. It was far too long for me to commute on a daily basis, so I moved to the housing provided by the project. I would stay there during the weekdays and drive back home on the weekends. It was actually a great setup.
Living alone on the weekdays was something that I easily adapted to. I’m an introvert, and can easily entertain myself, without requiring a minimum amount of social interaction. I enjoyed my quiet evenings, by just watching series, running, playing guitar and exercising. Day in, day out. I’m not saying that I want my entire life to be like this, just that it didn’t bother me as much as an extrovert would probably have. Ahhh… the perks of being an introvert! 🙂
“I felt motivated and inspired to do my best”
Also, I liked the work on the project right away. It directly had a positive effect on my happiness. It’s not like my happiness was through the roof or anything, but feeling valued in a great team of colleagues definitely influenced my mood. I felt motivated and inspired to do my best, and was trusted with a fitting amount of work! I don’t think it could have been any better.
As I’m writing this post (on the 21th of June, 2017), I am still working for the same company. I have experienced great periods and feel lucky to have landed this job straight out of college. I have also experienced some not-so-great periods, but what can I say..?
They don’t call it work for no reason, I guess.
Anyway, October 2014 was a good month for me regarding work!
As I mention in my personal info page, I played soccer since I was a little kid. I was still actively playing soccer in October, 2014. At that time, I was a midfielder in a local team. I am very passionate about soccer, and it has a great potential upside for my happiness. A good, intense match can have a huge and lasting positive effect on my happiness. I was in a nice team, and everybody in it was about as competitive as I was.
Over time, however, the positive effect on my happiness slowly faded away. I found out that it did not make me happy enough, and I eventually decided to stop.
But that was not yet the case in October, 2014.
Soccer made me a happier person on 4 days. In the meantime, it only negatively influenced my happiness on one day. That’s a ‘Happiness Ratio’ of 4, which I’ll gladly take any day of the year.
In the meantime, my relationship and running were steadily keeping my personal happiness up. I have covered these factors multiple times in previous Happiness Reports, so will leave it at that.
I will eventually analyse these factors and my happiness in my ‘Happiness Through…‘ post series. These posts will detail the precise effect that these factors have on my happiness!
Negative happiness factors
There were some negative factors decreasing my happiness during October, 2014. The chart below shows these factors.
Just like any other random month, my relationship had a negative effect on my happiness during a couple of days. Four, to be exact. The month started with an argument, which we quickly worked out. In addition, living apart during the weekdays caused some irritations on a couple of days. But it was nothing too serious.
The number of days in which my relationship positively influenced my happiness was still three times as much as the negatives. This means that my Happiness Ratio for my relationship was a solid 3 during October, 2014. It could have been higher, of course, but I was certainly not complaining!
I also caught a flu right after starting my job on the project. Luckily, it was not a major flu and I was able to continue enjoying my career on the project. It didn’t take long for me to recover, and after just a few days, I was up and running (literally) again. 🙂
That’s it for this month. If you have any questions about anything, please let me know in the comments below, and I’ll be happy to answer them!
Founder of Tracking Happiness and lives in the Netherlands. Ran 5 marathons, with one of them in under 4 hours (3:59:58 to be exact). Data junkie and happiness tracker for over 6 years.