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10 Things That Make Me Happy in My Career

With the year almost over, I wanted to share some things I learned this year that make me happy.

As you know, I can often get into a shame-filled, depressive state, where I think nothing in my life is well. But I’ve realized lately that joy doesn’t have to be a big thing – joy with a capital J. Instead, if I spend time focusing on the small things in life that make me happy, I actually feel a lot better most of the time.

So, I have put together a list of 10 things that I have realized make me happy in my career. Here you go!

  1. I am happiest when I am creating something.
    It doesn’t matter if I am working on a storytelling piece, creating a new workshop or writing this blog, when ever I am creating something I feel fulfilled and sense of peace.
  2. I am happiest when I am learning new things.
    As a teacher and performer, this is crucial for me because I want to keep evolving as an artist.
  3. I am happiest when I am collaborating.
    It doesn’t matter if I am working on a one-person show or teaching a class — if I am working with others to do it, I have more fun than if I’m working alone.
  4. I am happiest when I am happy for other people’s success.
    I have been working on this one for years, and this year I’ve worked a lot on letting go of jealousy, and guess what? I can say I have been sincerely happier for other people’s success this year than I ever have before.
  5. I am happiest when I am not on Facebook.
    I notice when I am not scrolling through Facebook and comparing myself to others, I feel better about myself. Who would have known?
  6. I am happiest when I am teaching.
    Over the years I’ve enjoyed teaching improv more and more. And I can honestly say, when I come home after teaching, I’m almost always in a good mood.
  7. I am happiest when I get good night’s sleep.
    I am not the only one this is true for. There have been many studies that say that getting a good night’s sleep has a big effect on your mood. I hope I can get to bed even earlier next year.
  8. I am happiest when I am enjoying the process and not focused on the results.
    I know, harder said than done. But when I am having a good time with the process and not focused on the results, I get lost in the moment and I seem to be more creative. And yes, I have more fun.
  9. I am happiest when I am helping others.
    Nothing makes my day more than when someone call me with a crisis and we can talk about it and come up with some solutions. It’s 10 minutes that I am not thinking about myself, and after I talk to them, I always feel great.
  10. I am happiest when I am having conversations.
    It doesn’t matter if I am talking to the cashier at Trader Joe’s or talking to an old friend on the phone or going over my day with Lauren in bed before we go to sleep at night. I love talking to people.

What are some things that make you happy? Share them in the comments below.

Surprise! I’m Happy

Something weird has been happening to me lately: I wake up and I feel successful.

I have not changed my diet. I am not getting enough sleep. And I am still not famous. But still, I feel successful.

As you know, for me, this not a normal feeling. And you could see why I would be uncomfortable with my life going well.

Well, I am not. I am actually enjoying it.

Putting up “World’s Greatest Dad” has really helped with that. For someone who has always wanted to do stand-up since I was a kid, this is the closest I have come to fulfilling my dream.

I also feel grateful that I get to teach to some really incredible people, who appreciate my style of teaching.

And I get to write a blog that people read.

I get to interview the best teachers and improvisers and artists for my podcast, but I’ve stopped putting pressure on myself to do it every week, and now I only do it when I feel like it.

I get to improviser at least once a month.

I have a great family with Lauren, Betsy and Coco the cat.

I have lots of friends.

For today, I love my life.

I know that this too shall pass, and sometime soon, I’ll go back to feeling miserable and like what I have isn’t enough, but for today, I just wanted to get it documented that I am actually happy so when Betsy gets older and she gets to know me better and she says something like, “Dad, are you ever happy?” I’ll have proof that for a couple of days in my life, at least, I was happy.

Hurry! There’s still time to sign up for Jimmy’s Art of Slow Comedy Summer Intensive, happening Aug. 10-11. Sign up by Saturday to save $30!