What Makes You Happy?

Have you ever looked at what truly makes every individual happy? Isn’t it amazing that people place a high stock on having a certain amount of material possessions, or wealth, or status, or success in order to feel happy?

I know that happiness for me has always come from within. I want the people around me to feel comfortable, and if that means that I spend less time talking and more time listening, that’s what I do. Seeing people achieve their dreams makes me happy. Hearing about victories in their lives makes me happy. Sharing a laugh or a good cry can also make me happy. If you think you are going to gain happiness with others doing all the work around you, I believe you are approaching this from the wrong frame of reference.

As a child, getting the chance to play in a game with my older brother and his friends would make me happy. Acceptance I think when you begin the socialization process allows you to understand the give and take within relationships. Even though I didn’t have a lot of girlfriend relationships in my high school and college years, I felt very comfortable being friends with the opposite sex and as a result, being around people made me a happier person.

I believe it’s important to take stock with where you are, and if you want to lead a happier life, look at what seems to be dragging you down and see if there are ways you can cut down on this or eliminate these aspects all together. There is a second part that needs to be put into play though- I think you need to search for new avenues of happiness. Maybe you will start throwing yourself into a style of books you enjoyed as a child. It could be a completely new hobby or craft. Possibly starting a walking group with a friend or two.

Whatever the case, really look at what would give you pleasure, energize your world and get the endorphins rushing. Don’t let others influence what would make you happy- this exercise really has to come from your own personal interests and desires. I truly believe that no one else in this world can completely make you happy- happiness has to start from within the individual and then blossom around others.

I’m gaining new insight about happiness thanks to a wonderful book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. So far I’m seven chapters in and I love the mix of real life blog entries and commentary as well as her personal quest and research she’s done and applied to her own life. She chronicles the successes as well as the stumbling blocks, especially in terms of her husband and two daughters. Two lines so far stick out from her personal secrets of adulthood: 1) You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you like to do. 2) Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I’d love to hear from the readers about what makes you happy when it comes to life? For me, it’s my family, my friends, my wonderful job, the gifts of my five senses to enjoy reading, writing, reviewing, interviewing and bowling- and hundreds of other aspects small and large. I don’t take life for granted and I’m thankful everyday for the people who want to be around me. I hope that I’m able to brighten their worlds as much as they brighten mine.

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