The question “What makes me happy?” tends to bubble up when going through a life transition. There seem to be many variations of the definition of happiness, but the consensus seems to be that happiness is when your thoughts and actions match, it’s an emotion where a person has feelings of contentment and satisfaction, and it can be experienced from any good activity, food, or company.
I was recently at dinner with a friend, and they asked ME “What makes you happy?” I can’t recall the specifics of the conversation, but the question completely took me off guard. I wish I could have seen my face as I’m sure it was a WTF look. Good question, but I was completely stumped.
First of all, I’m not sure when the last time I was asked that question in such a direct way and I did not have a quick off the cuff answer.
Over the last several months I’ve spent a considerable amount of time working on what I’d like this next phase of my life to look like and in retrospect I have been focused on doing things that make me happy. Every day, I complete my daily journal in the Isn’t She Amazing workbook, and I’m living life with more intention which does have a direct correlation to my happiness. So, I am subconsciously focused on my happiness, but how to answer, “the question.”
This past week, I’ve asked the women I’ve come in contact with that question, and I’ve received the same pause and WHAT??? Look on their face. It seems that many of us spend so much time focused on making everyone around us happy and I’m assuming that many people think that it makes US happy to make THEM happy, but does it?
I’ve spent the past week really contemplating that question and I’ve concluded that it’s the small things in life that make me happy. A walk with a good friend that includes stimulating conversation, a good belly laugh, a big hug, solving a technology problem that I’ve been struggling with, spending time with my family, walking on the beach and feeling the cool water on my feet, a good night’s sleep, and hearing a favorite song are some of the small experiences that make me happy. Yes, it really is the small things that matter the most to me.
I recently read the phrase “your happiness does not depend on me” and it’s so true. We are each responsible for our own happiness and we can’t expect someone else to make us happy.
So, what makes YOU happy? Is this something you have taken the time to consider? I challenge you to REALLY think about what this question means to YOU.
Action Step: Write a list of 20 things that REALLY make YOU happy.