How many of you actually take time to think about things you truly enjoy?
How many of you ask yourself before doing anything, “Will I enjoy this?”
Hm. Think about that… enjoyment.
ACTUALLY enjoying something.
What are things you actually enjoy? Hot buttered toast? A walk in the forest? A project at work? A vacation? An evening with friends or family? Curling up with a book and a cup of tea or glass of wine? Surfing social media? None of those? All of those?
Two years ago, I didn’t decide what I wanted to do by doing an enjoyment sniff test first.
That is… I failed to first ask myself, “Will I enjoy this?”
No, I didn’t stop to ask myself this simple question.
I just did what I thought I had to do. You know, responsibilities, obligations, and totally optional things that are just so-so. Or unpleasant, or stressful. I’d just say ‘yes’ out of habit.
My life is very different now though.
The Enjoyment Sniff Test
Now, I put most things through the Enjoyment Sniff Test.
Now, whenever I’m about to do something or plan something, I first ask myself, WILL I ENJOY THIS?
That simple. THAT’S the Enjoyment Sniff Test.
Why is this important?
Because darn it, most of us aren’t enjoying our lives nearly as much as we could!
But, interestingly, just asking that question, and then making an informed decision about what to do, will enable you to have more enjoyment in your life.
I learned a lot with my sniff test. I realized that I was saying “yes” to things that I didn’t really enjoy or want to do.
When I started focusing on my own enjoyment, my life became much more enjoyable. Go figure.
It allowed me to zero in on my life more. In a funny way, I got to know myself better by doing this.
I know, it seems silly that such a simple question could make a difference. But, it’s true. We often get wrapped up doing things, going along with things, making decisions with our brains on autopilot, and not really taking the time to choose things that make us happier.
Many of us are going through life doing things that we don’t actually enjoy — either out of obligation, guilt, feeling unworthy, or just not wanting to say ‘no’ or disappoint others (<– that’s a big one). And, that’s not Happy Sexy Millionaire stuff.
I mean, really, I found that I was doing a lot of things I thought I “had to do” when in reality I didn’t. I could actually add more things to my life that I truly enjoyed, taking out things that didn’t pass my Enjoyment Sniff Test. But since I never put a lens on it, I didn’t take time to think about whether I really enjoy doing all the things I was doing.
Pleasure Is a Priority
But making pleasure a priority, without guilt, is critical for taking care of yourself and being a Happy Sexy Millionaire. Experiencing more joy now is part of what attracts more enjoyment to you!
So, one day, I wrote down on a sticky note Do I enjoy this?
And I started reminding myself to ask myself that, about as much as I could. From foods I was eating, to ways I was exercising, to whether we should travel to a particular city. It sounds strange, but I was occasionally shocked by my answers.
When pressed, I realized that I did not actually enjoy many of the behaviors that I had been doing by default. So, based on the answers to this question, I started making changes, big and small. Some would even change my life.
If something didn’t pass the Enjoyment Sniff Test, I stopped doing it. Or I found a better alternative that I did enjoy. I stopped scheduling too many activities in my day, including both things I “should” do, as well as things I do for others. Remember, we got rid of that shitty word, “should.”
Great! Let’s Binge on Netflix and Cake All Day!
Um, no. Nice try.
Putting things through the Enjoyment Sniff Test does not mean you can just binge on Netflix all day, just because it (definitely) passes the test. It means that yes, I binge because it’s enjoyable, but it ceases to be enjoyable if I do it too much. I would feel like a disgusting slob if I did it nonstop, day after day after day.
We all have an inherent desire to explore and achieve and accomplish and grow. Doing something like binge watching a show or eating too much cake is not enjoyable. Heck, for starters your back or tummy will hurt (respectively).
Great! I Won’t Pay Bills!
Um, no. Nice try (again).
But paying bills doesn’t pass the Enjoyment Sniff Test either. Right?
There are things we do so we don’t end up on the street. And living on the street does not pass my sniff test. So, thinking long-term, paying my bills actually does pass the Enjoyment Sniff Test. Because paying my bills lets me continue sleeping in my nice, comfy bed.
Same with paying taxes. I hear that beds aren’t very comfy in prison. :)
But we can do more to enjoy these activities than just thinking about their long-term benefit. When we change our frame of mind about them, we actually DO enjoy them more. True enjoyment, not just “looking at the bright side.” I actually love paying my bills, now. This is due to my mindset about it.
When I pay my bills, I feel gratitude. I’m privileged to even have these bills! For example, paying rent means I have a roof over my head, in a world where not everybody does. When I realized this, I started to reinforce this change in mindset by saying — every time I pay my bills — “I love paying my bills.” (This simple stuff really works.)
Or, going to the gym. I’m gobsmacked every time I hear somebody say they hate going to the gym. “What!?” In a world where so many people are in poor health, it seems crazy to not feel energized and grateful during every single rep. To say nothing of how amazing a good workout feels. And, of course, the long-term results! In fact, I frame going to the gym with the phrase, “I GET to go to the gym (or workout).”
If this way of thinking does not come naturally, all you need to do is find a way to enjoy the gym (or finding a way to enjoy another form of exercise the gym isn’t your thing).
For example, I love doing cardio and lifting weights — beyond the benefits mentioned above — because it allows me to do TWO OTHER fun things while I work out.
1) I get to listen to podcasts and audiobooks while doing cardio, and
2) I do my Brain Manifesting Mantras during my strength training. Not only do both of these pass my Enjoyment Sniff Test, but they also help me manifest my dream life faster! Win Win!
But, this post isn’t about those things really.
My point today is that, for most things, you want to run them past the Enjoyment Sniff Test. You want to bring more enjoyment into your life and this is an easy way to do it.
I’ll bet that some of the things you do regularly do not pass the test, once you really think about it. It may be something small, like wearing a particular piece of clothing that no longer gives you joy.
Or it may be something huge.
I recently spoke with a couple who had dreamed for years about building a vacation home in the tropics. Well, a decade later, they had the house. But it had become a maintenance nightmare and they never traveled anywhere else, because they felt they had to spend time at that house in order to justify all they had put into it. But it no longer gave them joy. It had become an emotional prison of sorts. Why didn’t they just sell it? Because that would have meant the symbolic death of their dream. I understand.
But if they applied the Enjoyment Sniff Test to owning or visiting that house, they might realize it’s time to choose a new dream, one that makes them excited again, instead of depressed. And don’t get me started on all the lawyers I’ve met who can’t stand practicing law. (Just sayin’.)
Or all the who hate their jobs.
Start thinking about your life and everything you do in it.
From your job, to social activities, to the discretionary things you do outside your job to even the things you eat or the ways you spend time online (you’d be surprised how many people spend time on social media yet don’t really enjoy it).
See how many of them pass the Enjoyment Sniff Test. See how many things you can make more enjoyable, either by altering them a bit, changing how you think about them, or making sweeping changes and flat out saying no to them.