What Makes You Happy?

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I have been asking this question to people for a while. Now it is your turn!

Before reading any further, take a minute and ask yourself this question:

“What Makes Me Happy?”

You might realize that you have never asked yourself that. Maybe you are so used to putting other’s needs in front of your own that you never take time for yourself. I really want you to take a minute and really think about the question.

Please do it now. It’s totally cool. I’ll wait.

Okay, welcome back. If you can’t think of something right now, that’s okay.

The interesting thing about this question is that you will keep thinking about it. It might seem strange, but you really will.

If you need to take a day or two to ponder this question, to really dig deep to find what makes you happy, that’s GREAT!

You can continue reading or come back after you find out YOUR answer to this question!

Still, with me, let’s continue …

Focus On Yourself. It’s Okay To Be Selfish

This question is personal to YOU. After thinking about this, you would be surprised at what is going through your own head.

Some common things I have seen include:

  • Asking someone close to them, ‘What do you think makes me happy?’
  • Hearing the reply, “I’m happy when my wife is happy.” Yes, that might be true, but you need to be selfish and really dig deeper to determine what makes YOU happy.
  • Replying with the question back to me, “Well, what makes you happy.”
  • Another and most common, “I don’t know.”

The one piece of advice I can share with you is to focus internally, focus on yourself. Stop thinking about what others think, what you think you should answer, and it’s okay to be selfish with your answer.

Stay away from thinking about what makes your dog happy, your boy or girlfriend happy, your neighbors happy, and so on. The question, again, is for YOU to answer and only you.


Being Happy

Being happy is many different things. It can mean a lot once you really start focusing on the question and answers.

Best of all, it can include MANY THINGS!

Such as:

  • Drinking amazing coffee while reading an awesome blog (thanks for being here).
  • Sitting still and listening to some music.
  • Being present in the moment.
  • Relaxing.

After focusing on this question, I started noticing how amazing the small and simple things in life make you happy.

One thing to remember, as it’s something I truly believe, being happy is a choice. It’s your choice if you want to be happy or miserable.

Life is short, and we should enjoy every single minute of it!

There are really tough and complicated things that happen in life. You cannot change situations, but it’s your choice on how you react to them.

Interesting Facts

Now that this question is in your head, something interesting is about to happen. You will keep thinking about it, and more answers will jump into your head at random times.

I had a friend come up to me a few weeks after asking him this question. He stopped me and told me he wanted to add additional things to his list! Which, of course, was awesome to hear.

As I said, you will keep thinking about this question. Is that really a bad thing?

A few things I have found fascinating are the three things I haven’t heard! I have been asking this question to people for over a year now, and the things NOBODY HAS MENTIONED:

  • Money
  • Their Job
  • Possessions (think house, cars, and so on)

There is a HUGE difference between what we think is important and what truly Makes Us Happy.


Now you may be wondering what the majority of people have mentioned. I’m sure a few of them are things that you have already been thinking about.

  • Spending time with family
  • Being around friends
  • Enjoying the sunset
  • Drinking a cup of coffee (or other tasty beverage)
  • Simply enjoying the present moment (this is harder than you think)

What if money was not involved?

I recently watched a YouTube video that relates to this question perfectly. As I mentioned above, nobody mentions the money!

I highly suggest you take the next three minutes and watch Alan Watt’s video below:

As we have been discussing this topic, you might change the question slightly. You might be thinking of the things that bring us joy. Again, that could mean many things. So what would you do if money was no object?

That could be an entirely different post. Maybe I should write about that. After watching the video above, I really got to thinking about what that would mean to me.

My Answer to What Makes Me Happy?

This is simple; it’s time spent with my family, friends, and time outdoors.

You might think that is a given. But, if you have read my blog, you know that I have had some very rough patches in my life, used to work a very demanding job, and went through a divorce.

One of the main reasons I started Wilde Escape was based on this question. It took longer than I want to admit, but it all came down to the two things I wasn’t getting. That was spending time with friends and not taking time in the outdoors.

This is also why I suggested taking some time to determine your answer at the beginning of this post. This became a HUGE eye-opener for me.

So what did I do? I started to change my mindset slowly. The biggest impact for me was changing how I thought about things. The biggest was being selfish and taking time to be outdoors. The other was making family and friends a priority in my life.

Since this change, after finding the things that make me happy, I feel a ton better. Not only that, but combining being with friends on a hike, camping trip, or bike ride is a double whammy!

Looking back over the last few years, I’m so thankful for having the ability to change things in my own situation.
I think you can too!


Now It’s Your Turn

At first, the question may seem very simple, but it can get pretty deep at a closer look. Maybe this will allow you to appreciate the small things or remember to take the time to enjoy the breeze outside and be present in the moment.

Take a minute to truly think about What Makes You Happy, and then leave me a comment below!

It’s been so much fun hearing what you all have to say. And it’s been fascinating that many of the answers to this question are the same!

Then, think about this, why aren’t you doing the things that make you happy and bring you joy?

Once you find out what they are, you should start doing them TODAY!

Don’t forget to share your answer to What Makes You Happy in the Comments Below!

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22 thoughts on “What Makes You Happy?”

  1. I am impressed how being happy can affect so many other areas of our life. It’s can make us more productive, enables creativity and gives us a better life style. But a lot of people just haven’t had time to weigh things in the balance as you have. Being able to close our eyes and be grateful is what we should all seek for.

    • I could not agree more, but my question for you is, What makes you happy? It would be great if you felt like sharing.

  2. Thanks for your wonderful insights. Happiness is definitely an inside-out job and present moment experience. Divine selfishness means self-love which equates with a harmonious life full of gratitude and service. We benefit others automatically as a result of taking care of ourselves so we are able to be of service. Happiness is the journey and not the destination. All the best.

    • I like what you said, “Happiness is the journey and not the destination.” That is so true. Thanks for the comment, but I am also interested in learning what makes you happy if you would like to share.

  3. Great post and good question I have not thought about until now reading this article. For me at present health and strength first, then money would make me very happy, cause I have noticed when I don’t have money to do the simple necessities, I am very sad and unhappy.

    I notice this each time when I cannot pay my bills or even have leftover to treat myself in doing something special for me at least once per month, not even week.  

    This article gives me something to think about, and in the meantime to make my financial situation better so I can put some joy in my life.  

    • Thanks for the comment, and let me know what your answer to the question is. I really like the health and strength one. I think that when you have both of those, including a strong worth ethic, the money will follow.

      As for treating yourself, heck yeah! That’s needed and is a good thing. Even if for only a few minutes, I have found taking time out can bring happiness.

  4. Being with my husband and our beloved pet on a vacation at the beach and if we don’t get to the vacation we are blessed to live near the ocean so we take him for long beach walks. I’m at my happiest when I’m there with them:)

    Im sure I have a few more moments and they always include the rest of family and nature.

    Thank you for asking the question and making us ponder!

    • That’s the best! I love being at the ocean, and it’s even better with a dog (I don’t have one, but I have adopted many over the years). Thanks for sharing!

  5. It makes me happy when I can go to the forest in the fall, especially picking mushrooms in the fall. I usually find myself most alive.I feel at home in the woods, I am present, and I think easy and naturally good. Even though I know it is backbreaking work. First, it takes a lot of time to pick the mushrooms and then put them in. However, I go and do it over and over again because it gives me immense joy. When I put homemade mushrooms on the Christmas table, people praise that it has come out exceptionally well this time.

    • That’s awesome, and thanks for sharing! I have friends that do the same thing, and I understand it’s tough work. But being in nature, the sounds and smells are amazing. I like your last line, “Came out exceptionally well this time.” Practice makes perfect!

  6. I won’t get too…philosophical…? as I am tempted to get, here. I will say that I don’t chase happiness, or think too much about it. I do things that make me feel purposeful. I think about what my legacy will be, and sort of work backwards, in a way. If by happiness you mean selfish indulgences to satisfy my carnal desires, those really don’t make anyone happy. They often do the opposite, ultimately. This will sound boring, and maybe even a tad self-righteous (and it’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the little selfish indulgences), but self-discipline ultimately makes me happy in the long run. The satisfaction (and rewards) of overcoming temptations and stretching myself beyond my comfort zones. One example… standing (as an introvert) in truth and against tyranny and injustice! 

    Ok, and watching Youtube with a bag of chips…:D

    • I understand and totally get it. Building our character is extremely important. But having the things that make you happy, even if you realize it’s pushing yourself out of your comfort zone or relaxing with a bag of chips. It all works out in my eyes.

      We cannot always be in the “On” mode. There has to be time spent to decompress. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 

  7. I think what makes me happiest is being around my friends. I am a musician and over the years the happiest times were when I was working out with other musicians, preparing for productions, and meeting for special occasions. It is mainly centred around music, but not exclusively. I had amazing days at boarding school, enjoyed my working days teaching and later working with an insurance company and directed and performed with community choirs and bands. At the age of 68, I am still in touch with many of these people. I just love people.

    • That’s amazing. It’s so interesting how people we meet along the way can become lifelong friends. I also think many of us can agree the music is a very large part of life. 

      Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hello there! This is a great post! The question you asked is a very underappreciated question. When asked, it really stumps us at times. It’s pretty amazing to know that nobody ever mentioned those things (money, job, etc.) when asked what makes them happy. At the same time, I think if one were to be asked what they think will bring them happiness, I feel like they would mention money, job, etc. It’s like those who are unhappy tend to look for happiness in the wrong areas when in fact it is much more simpler and closer than they think. Thanks for creating this post.

    • People tend to leave out things like money, job, working, etc., only when I ask the “What Makes You Happy” question, without any other information. I realize that when I provide them this post or talk about what others have said, that’s when I hear something along the line of money makes me happy. 

      Okay, I understand. But if you go deeper, the actual money isn’t making you happy, and it’s with it provides you. Such as time. Time away from work, being able to be with friends and family, your health (such as heal care and even being able to buy health coverage), and so on.

      Thanks for the comment!

  9. Great post Eric, thank you. 

    Many think all they want is money and that it will solve their problems but of course it doesn’t. Happiness can’t be bought because it comes from inside.

    People spend fortunes and endless time in the pursuit of happiness without ever knowing they had it all along.

    What makes me happy? The life I have, my family, friends, my home and my work. I am exactly where I want to be, doing what I love and always learning and growing my spirit. It’s my perfect life.

    Love the video.


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