TOPIC: What Makes You Happy?
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." —Mahatma Gandhi
I have found that I have been asking myself this question recently, "What makes me happy?"
Let's preface today's topic with a few main points of clarity. It is not that I am unhappy or feel lacking at all. To be fair, there are always things I will want out of life but am unable to have, or are outside of what I’m capable of obtaining. Yet, lately, I have been thinking a lot about what makes me feel joy. What makes me happy?
What makes YOUhappy? How do we know if that choice to put your happiness out there and up to the forefront is the right one?
Here are some things I have done that have helped me focus more on this aspect of my life.
Write It Down
I write things down that I love or want to do more often.
If you find something that makes you happy when you talk about it or see it, write it down. If you've ever done a vision board then you know that often seeing things in a visual format helps us plan for achieving them more methodically. If vision boards are not your thing, try using a simple planner or even a sticky note and put it where you will see it. If something made you happy that day, write it down. Post about it on social media. If it makes YOU happy it is possible that it makes someone else smile too.
I tell myself why it is important- either in a short sticky note only I see, on social media, or here in this blog.
This will likely only matter to you so put as much effort, or as little, into how in-depth you go here. Keep the explanation short and to the point. Why does that thing, action, or thought make you happy?
Last year this really hit home when I went to my first NHL hockey game. I went by myself because I always wanted to go and I didn't want to wait until some other reason happened that "allowed" me to go.
It was a goal. I figured out the logistics, and I made it happen. I made myself happy in that very action I took to write out plan and implement that trip from start to finish. It only mattered to me why, and that was more than enough. My why? I love the game and I wanted to see my three favorites play together (those trade rumors were real).
I posted about my trip on Instagram and Facebook not because anyone had expressed interest in what I was doing. More because I knew those memories were important to me.
I now have every game in my planner and have circled dates to try and get to. I’m making it intentional.
"Happiness is not something readymade.
It comes from your own actions."
- Dalai Lama
Make it Personal
It only matters that it is something that makes you happy...JUST YOU.
Here is the deal. People, well-intentioned ones at that, will always find a way to talk you out of something that they don't understand. The only thing that matters is that it is personal to you. If it is not harming you or others, and you are going into that action with all the information at hand, then choose what makes you happy every time. Only you can decide if making yourself happy in this way is worth any risk that may or may not come with it. Yes. Choosing happiness does come with some risks. We cannot always see or guarantee an outcome.
Don't second guess your joy. Let the negative sh*t go.
Often when we do find something that makes us happy we try to rationalize the ways it doesn't. Let's talk about that hockey trip. Yes, I was extremely happy I went and had a blast. Yet, there were times I second-guessed myself. Was I spending too much money? Was the timing right with all I had happening at work?
At the end of the day, I just had to tell myself to enjoy the moments, the memories and let the rest go.
Make it a Priority
Embrace the moments as they happen.
What makes you happy is ever-changing. Just tell yourself: I DESERVE THESE MOMENTS, and make them happen.
Make them a part of who you are.