“What makes me happy?” This is a question we should all ask ourselves regularly. If you feel like you are stuck in life, this may be a question that you need to ask yourself. Feel like you have no social life and live to work and then do nothing at home? Feel that you are at a dead end job and don’t know where to take your efforts and care where they will be appreciated? Then, you should definitely take some time to reflect and look at this question.
Ultimately, there are two reasons for this question. One of those reasons is grander in scale. Meanwhile, the other reason is about the smaller but still significant affect to your life. Let’s look at both sides.
Career & Life Goals
In order to truly know ourselves and find the best paths for ourselves in life, we have to know what we want. One way to figure out what we want in life is to know what makes us happy.
During the Winter break of my last year in college, I was a wreck. I realized that the end of those beautiful and protected years of education were coming to a close and it was time to go out into “the real world.”
But what would I be doing? I had no idea. I was graduating with an English degree, of all things, and had no real plan of a future other than wanting to write for a living. I things like, “how to find your perfect career,” “Great careers in writing,” and “What does Oprah say about finding your dream job?” I eventually widdled down all the advice into two sections: Find a way to make a profit off your passion and find a way to serve others with your passion.
But in order to do that, I had to look down at myself and really think about what my passion was. What did I enjoy? What did I like and feel empowered in? I thought and I thought and I eventually came to watching/absorbing entertainment/media. I thought, how can I make a profit from that, serve it to others, and using my writing skills? I then came up with a blog to review and discuss entertainment media. That eventually lead to writing for other sites and publications, and I’m still going to this day.
The key to finding my path in career was asking myself first, “What makes me happy?”
But how else can this question affect your life? Well, it can also better your social and romantic lives too.
As stated earlier, do you feel like you aren’t as social as you like? Feel like you spend too much time in the house and you want to change? This step is the way to start that change. Start asking yourself, “What makes me happy? What brings me joy?” Do you like to paint? Do you love football? Do you enjoy reading the bible? Are you a dog lover?
After asking yourself this, consider scheduling activities connected to these things. If you like to paint, take up a class. If you love football, join a neighborhood league or go watch a game at a sports bar. If you like reading the bible, go to church or join a bible study group. If you love dogs and animals, volunteer at a rescue shelter. By building a life around the things you love, you bump up your social life and bring joy into your life.
As for how this can affect your romantic life, check out the words of relationship coach Amari Ice in his book, Lasting Love At Last:
“If you don't make yourself a priority in your life, how can you expect a lover to make you a priority in his life? If you don't have enough time for yourself, how can you expect someone else to have enough time for you or be able to make time for doing things for himself that give him joy? By doing this exercise you're showing yourself that you are a priority.”
He later adds, “There's a saying that you'll find the love of your life by living your life. That means love doesn’t come find you when you’re waiting. It finds you when you’re living. And it’ll find you even faster when you’re focused on doing things that make you happy.”
He then concludes with, “We also say people should treat us the way we want to be treated and, sure, that's valid. The reality is that people treat you the way you allow them to treat you. You will only be able to allow people to treat you the way you treat yourself. So #TreatYoSelf!”
What sparks joy in your life? It’s time to start focusing on that. You deserve it. You are worth it. And, it will bring so much good to your life.
If you feel like you’re in a rut in your career, social life, or life in general, ask yourself this question. Then, use that as a guidepost to a better life.