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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 taking a few minutes, you might realize that you have never actually 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.
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 come back after discovering your answer to this question!
Still, with me, let’s continue …
Finding Your Happiness
Something that I have found over the last few years is 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.
There are, again, many people that 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. You may be surprised at what you might have after giving yourself some time.
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 responses 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, 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.
Stay away from thinking about what makes your dog happy, your boy or girlfriend happy, your neighbors happy, etc.
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
- Enjoying a cup of amazing coffee
- Remember to appreciate where I am
- Sitting still and listening to some music
- Learning about medication and being present in 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. There are many things you cannot change 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. 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.
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 possession (such as their house, car, or clothing) make them happy!
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.
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 not one person 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:
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 be thinking about 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 a few of them are things you have already been thinking about.
Even though we all have different life experiences, we all agree on a few things.
The biggest ones that I have found are spending time with loved ones, being around friends, and doing things that make you feel productive were all popular answers.
It seems that everyone has their idea of what makes them happy, and it’s something that can be shared with others. Spending time with loved ones is always an excellent way to spend time, and it’s also 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 that I have had some very rough patches in my life. 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 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 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, 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 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.
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 email about what you all have to say. And it’s been fascinating that many of the answers to this question are the same!
Don’t forget to share your answer to What Makes You Happy in the Comments Below!