You Should Do More of What Makes You Happy!

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Updated: 5/30/22

I’ve been asking people for a few years now: What makes you happy?
And now I want to hear from you!

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

“What Makes Me Happy?”

After a few minutes, you might realize that you have never thought about this.

Maybe you are so used to putting others’ needs before your own that you never take time for yourself. I want you to take your time and think about the question.

Do it right now. It’s totally cool. I’ll wait.

man looking at his watch

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

The exciting 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 dig deep to find what makes you happy, that’s GREAT!

You can continue reading or return after discovering your answer to this question!

Still, with me, let’s continue …

Finding Your Happiness

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Over the last few years, I have found that there is no definitive answer to this question, as everyone experiences happiness in different ways.

There are, however, some everyday things that may make someone happy, including:

  • Being productive
  • Enjoy the simple things in life
  • Spending time with family and friends.

It can also be helpful to find a few minutes for yourself every morning or schedule some time for activities that you enjoy.

Again, many people think finding what makes them happy is difficult or even selfish. Let’s discuss that next.

Focus On Yourself – It’s Okay To Be Selfish

I would argue that this is the perfect time for you to be selfish, especially if you don’t know what makes you happy.

It is time to put yourself first.

Take some time, even a few days, to write down the things that make you happy. After giving yourself some time, you may be surprised at what you might have.

Some common replies

Since asking people this question, I often hear close friends ask me, “What do you think makes me happy?”

This always makes me laugh, which is why I decided to write about this first.

Or the best one to date is “I’m happy when my wife is happy.”

Yes, that might be true, but I challenge you to dig deep and determine what makes YOU HAPPY.

Another example of a response is a blank stare or, “I don’t know.”

This makes me want to take time and dive into why.

If you are in the “I Don’t Know” boat. It’s time for you to focus internally, focus on yourself.

Start by not thinking about what others think and what you think you should answer, and it’s okay to be selfish with your answer.

The question, again, is for YOU to answer and only you.
Avoid thinking about what makes your dog happy, your boy or girlfriend happy, your neighbors happy, etc. 

sunset with man spreading hands out for happiness

Being Happy

Happiness is relative.

What makes one person happy might not make another person happy.

Taking it another way, being content is different for everyone. Some people may prefer a lot of activity and excitement, while others (like me) may find more peace and tranquility in a low-key lifestyle.

I like to focus on the small things, which I have found helped me be happier overall. And maybe, more importantly, more content.

After focusing on the things that make me happy, I started noticing how incredible the small and simple things in life are so enjoyable.

  • Take time to read every day.

    Two different faces, one with a smile, one with a frown, and the words "You Decide"
    It might be as simple as your perspective

  • Enjoying a cup of amazing coffee
  • Remember to appreciate where I am
  • Sitting still and listening to some music
  • Understanding that sometimes life happens
  • Learning about meditation and being present at the moment

Here is some tough love for you. 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!

Don’t take this the wrong way. There are really tough and complicated things that happen in life. You cannot change many things that have happened (or are happening).

But it’s still your choice on how you react to them. It’s taken me many decades to figure that one out.

Take All The Time You Need

Now that you have been thinking about what makes you happy, you will begin to realize something crazy.

This simple question will pop into your head at random times. You will also start coming up with a long list of things.

Here is a fun story. A friend approached 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.

The best part is that initially, his reply was, I DON’T KNOW!

After talking for a while, I told him that this question would become something that he would think about and that I wouldn’t be surprised if he came up with a few things.

We laughed, but I knew deep down he didn’t believe me.

This brings up another interesting point.

Many of the responses have been the same. But there are a few things I haven’t heard! Nobody says their job, money, or possessions (such as their house, car, or clothing) make them happy!

Wait, what?!?!

Even though we spend tons of time shopping and buying things, they don’t make us happy. They might be pleased at first, but that excitement fades with time.

I believe there is a HUGE difference between what we think is important and what truly Makes Us Happy.

woman looking happy during a sunset

Let’s Take A Moment: What if money was not involved?

I made a bold statement to say money doesn’t make us happy.

Often, people don’t like to take a stand on something that seems very obvious.

Remember, I’ve been asking this question for a few years, and no one mentioned money.

This is a great place to add a fascinating YouTube video that relates to this question perfectly.

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

As we discussed 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’m sure you will consider what that would mean to me.

I know I have!

So, What Makes People Happy??

By now, you may be wondering what most people have mentioned. I’m sure you have already been thinking about a few of them.

Even though we all have different life experiences, we all agree on a few things.

The biggest ones I have found are spending time with loved ones, being around friends, and doing things that make you feel productive were all popular answers.

Everyone seems to know what makes them happy, and it can be shared with others. Spending time with loved ones is always an excellent way to spend time and a great way to build memories.

My Answer to What Makes Me Happy?

You probably think it’s obvious, and you would be correct. It’s time spent with my family and friends and time outdoors.

You might think that is a given. But, if you have read my blog, you know I have had some very rough patches. I 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 wanted 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 outdoors.

Cheers with two bottles during a sun set

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 most significant 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, I feel much better after finding the things that make me happy. 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 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 at the moment.

Many things in life make us happy.

We have covered many, but I genuinely believe finding happiness is important to living a fulfilling life.

So now it’s your turn. What makes you happy?

Go, discover your answer, and then come back and let me know!

I’ve had a blast reading comments and emails about what you all have to say. And it’s been fascinating that many of the answers to this question are the same!

If you want additional ideas, check out the link below at and their 14 things that make you happy and enjoy life more. As you can see, I’m not the only one thinking about this.

14 Things That Make You Happy and Enjoy Life More – LifeHack

Jul 19, 2022 14 Simple Things That Make You Happy · 1. Start With a Good Dose of Gratitude · 2. Make Sure You’re Giving Back · 3. Laugh Every Day (It’s Better …

It’s time to start doing more of What Makes You Happy!

Don’t forget to let us know what you’re doing in the Comments Below!

many tents set up for epic camping with friends with a mountain view

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24 thoughts on “You Should Do More of What Makes You Happy!”

    • That’s super cool and awesome to hear. It’s shocking, I enjoy spending time with my Mum…small world. Thanks for the comment!

  1. Being in the mountains. Embracing friends and family in a warm hug. Singing. Dancing. Rubbing your head for good luck.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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. 

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. You really said all that makes me happy. I even agree with most of the comments too.

    Being outside is almost a way for me to reset. I love being with my family and love to share experiences with them, but time alone outdoors is what makes me the happiest.

    • Thanks for the comment. And yep, the outdoors is a perfect reset.

      I think I need a reset for this weekend! Any takers?


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