A man on a couch

(MVH) – Minimum Viable Happiness

I knew today was a disaster by 7:19 AM. I’d left my laptop charger at the office. Normally I wouldn’t care, but this morning, I was the parent responsible for getting kids out the door and taking my second oldest to a dentist appointment. Recently, his rock band won a local battle of the band’s concert, and in celebration, he and the drummer smacked heads knocking out his two front teeth. Lovely.

Getting out of bed was a real winner. Everything ached 300% more than the standard “old guy” amount. From there, the day continued to rot. I couldn’t find my book, my dress shirt had unexplained stains on it, and there was nothing to eat for breakfast. It was the kind of morning where you decide at 7:19 AM that the train can pass you by because you’re going back to bed and will try again tomorrow.

When I finally got to the office at 12:15 PM, I couldn’t focus. Should I tackle my emails, record a YouTube video, or read a book? With so much time lost, reading felt like an indulgence that would have to wait, so I opted for the “emergency” emails because that’s always the highlight of the day.

Three messages in, I was angry because responding to email is like trading hickeys with a vampire. I know what kind of work fulfills me, and it’s not found in the inbox – it’s writing this post every day. So I closed my email and opened my blog. It was hard at first. Every word was emotionally bloated, but eventually, the brain turned on.

Writing this daily post is what I call my MVH or Minimum Viable Happiness. It’s the one small thing I can do each day, that despite all the crap, will ground me and make me happy. If the car blows up, the water pipes explode, and the kids knock out their teeth, at least I did my MVH. I can go to bed knowing that I’ve done my work, that I’ve made a dent.

You have an MVH as well. What is it? Let me know in the comments below. What’s the one small thing you can do each day that will add up to a meaningful life?

Hmmm, it looks like today’s going to turn out alright after all.

Until tomorrow, read slowly, take notes, and apply the ideas.


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