Happiness is a funny thing. We never quite catch what makes us really happy but if we do, by the time we figure it out, it probably doesn’t make us happy anymore. Confused? Don’t worry, I’ve been through those cycles too. I can not only relate to how you’re feeling but can also assure you that there is an answer to that burning question – “How to find what makes you happy?” The answer is legit and its the secret sauce to finally understand what we really need, desire and deserve.
Let’s quickly summarize this for you. Here are 10 ways to find your path to happiness:
- Write down your happy feelings.
- Try different things.
- Find your “happy hours”.
- Forget the herd, follow your soul.
- Decode your “happiness” journal.
- Find your talents.
- Use your time machine.
- Find your purpose and beliefs.
- Find out what makes you unhappy.
- Stay optimistic.
Why Should You Do What Makes You Happy?
The answer is simply that you should do what makes you happy because well, it makes you happy! No rocket science, right? Wrong! While everyone knows it makes sense to do what makes them happy, they don’t do it either because they don’t know what makes them happy (I’ll help you with that in a minute!) or because they prioritize other things above their own mental wellbeing. If you belong to the latter community, don’t worry. I’ve been there too and it took me a hard lesson to realize that my priorities were all wrong. Don’t worry! It doesn’t have to be hard for you because I’ll help you right here, right now.
If you ever lose sight of why it’s important to be happy, here are some reminders to help:
- Being happy makes you look at everything from a positive lens.
- You’ll enjoy a boost in your confidence levels which will help you do more of what you love!
- You’re more productive when you’re happy.
- Being happy improves your relationships.
- A happy mood means better mental and physical health.
These are just a few of the universal benefits that being happy bestows upon us. There are plenty of other benefits that depend on your individual life. It could mean anything from being a better leader to serving your guests better.
Whatever your life may be about, happiness has a way of seeping in and affecting it. Know that unhappiness too has the exact same ability. This is why its so important to be happy but how do we find out what brings us happiness? Not keeping you waiting any longer. Here we go!
10 Ways to Find Out What Makes You Happy
Now when we know that finding happiness can change our lives for the better, let’s dig deeper into how to find it. These tips can help you find exactly what makes you happy. No matter your age or the phase or situation of life you’re in, following these will help you get back on track with your inner joy.
1. Write Down Your Happy Feelings
I’ve always been fan of writing down my thoughts. This activity not only helps me detangle my mind but also brings in more clarity about where I am with myself right now. And when these thoughts and feelings are happy ones, sharing it in my own safe place can be a liberating experience.
We often find it easier to write about things we don’t like. As humans, we LOVE cribbing and thats alright! I do it all the time in my diary too to keep the negativity out but to bring the positivity in, I also share with my journal, my happy times.
Met a friend after a long time and loved that nostalgic chat over a cup of tea? Write it down! Spent some ”me” time on a Sunday reading works of Oscar Wilde at the local library? Your diary needs to know it! This is going to help you find what your soul truly desires when it comes to happiness. We will know how this works, shortly. For now, put paper to pen or finger to phone. Whatever works!
2. Try Different Things
Its easy to sit and wonder about why we’re not happy in life. But do we really go and try different things? Do we get out of our comfort zones to explore a new place, a new activity, a new adventure or even new people? Trying out new and different things can surprise you. Think about it for a moment.
Let’s say, you hated cooking without even trying it out. You probably just saw your mum cook and assumed that you won’t like it. One day, you try it out and voila! You’ve never loved anything more than this before! It makes you so happy that you could do it all day.
It can happen and does happen but if only, you’d get out of a caged notion about yourself. Don’t presume your likes and dislikes before even trying things out. Don’t define yourself before you find yourself. Set yourself free and go all out!
3. Find Your Happy Hours
Believe it or not, at some hours of the day, you’re happier than you are during the other hours. It’s not the same for everyone, if course. It’s a lot like seasonal moods. For some, mornings are all nice and magical while others are night owls who find more meaning in the shadows of the night.
Remember, there is no right or wrong here. It’s all about what time of the day or night makes YOU feel elated. Find it and utilize that time to do something you love because that will be the most productive time for you. So, how will you find which hours of the day make you happy?
- Maintain a mood journal. Divide it into four types of mood and four parts of the day. Simply tick the one that matches your mood during that part of the day. Done!
- Check after a week and then after a month. You’ll see a pattern which will help you understand your happy hours in a day!
Here’s an example to help you get started with your mood journal:
4. Forget The Herd, Follow Your Soul
While it’s good to have some kind of inspiration from other people, imitating them does more harm than good. Someone else’s life is a result of their journey, their experiences and their responses to situations. Each one of us is almost as unique as fingerprints! We are different, what makes us happy or sad or successful is different too.
While two people can have similar likes, they’re not the same person. If you keep following the herd, your true calling and happiness will never catch up with you. Pause and reflect. Are you doing something because everyone’s doing it or are you really into it?
So, if someone comes running to you saying ”let’s enrol ourselves in a programming course. It’s what everyone is doing and they’re all sitting in Silicon Valley with big paychecks.”, don’t jump at the opportunity. Think and evaluate. If you really like programming and it makes you happy, go ahead. If it doesn’t and the creative field drives you instead, tell your friend that programming isn’t your cup of tea because you love writing scripts and are enrolling yourself in film school instead.
Bring out the best in you by doing what your heart and soul desire the most. Pave your own way based on your inner voice. Become the happiest version of yourself because you owe it to yourself.
5. Decode Your Happiness Journal
Let’s go back to point #1 and #3 for a moment. We have the happy feelings written down in the journal and we have our mood journal or chart too. What use are these if you simply keep filling them up? What you’re putting in every day into these amazing diaries is data. Standalone data is useless until you analyze it and plan what to do with it. You have to use that data to find out what makes you happy!
How and what are you going to do with your happy feelings and mood charts?
- Your happy feelings over a few months will tell you what you like doing the most. Do you like social activities? If so, why? Is it because you like to have more people in your life? Figure yourself out! You’re an interesting person, a book you’ve never read properly. Read it, find yourself there and let’s go.
- The mood charts – do they say you’re the most elated in the evenings? Now, do the things from your happiness journal from point #1 during your happy hours from point #3. Maximum productivity, maximum happiness!
By analyzing your journals, you’ll not only maximize your happiness quotient but you’ll also reach new levels of self-awareness which is a key to unlocking your long-term happiness.
6. Find Your Talents
Remember what I said about trying different things in point #2? Here we will talk about finding your talents. They’re similar but not the same thing. For example, if you’re an introvert who likes to stay indoors most of the time, trying different things could include going out with your friends for a coffee. That’s not a talent. So, what are we talking about here?
Ever been really conscious of dancing in front of someone? Stage fright? Fear of big crowds staring at you like they’re waiting to laugh at you? They won’t. They’re human, just like you and me. They’ve had their awkward and embarrassing moments too. And even if they do laugh, you can join them too! Take it with a pinch of salt. It’s okay, you’ll continue honing your skill until they stop laughing and start clapping. This should motivate you, drive you and help you achieve what you so desire. Happiness!
A real-life example
How do I know all of this? Here’s a real life example – ME! I used to actually take meds before going on stage. I couldn’t stand still or even let a word out. It was so hard for me to participate in singing competitions. I used to cry and hide. I didn’t want to be found. That’s what I thought until I realized, I didn’t want to find me. When I started finding my talents, I started to do away with my presumptions. stopped self-rejecting and waiting for people’s validation. I started singing, writing, dancing because I loved doing these. I did it for me.
What you should do to find your talents
Get confident! That’s the first step to doing anything at all. Don’t you want to just do what you love? Something that makes you happy? It doesn’t have to just be a fantasy, it can be and is very much real. Confidence is your superpower.
- From singing and dancing to creating music, playing sports, storytelling, photography, do everything that gives you joy. Forget how it turns out. Nothing perfect ever made history.
- If you love doing it, you can go on and on doing it and that’s enough capacity for it to become your life.
- If you have a particular talent and gives you joy like nothing else does, hold it and hone it.
Practice during your happy hours! Cheers to happy times and happy memories. Your talent surely fits this scene.
7. Use Your Time Machine
If you’re wondering where this is coming from, then let me tell you that yes, you have one. It takes you to your memories and visualizes a future. Your brain! However, to be able to use it effectively, you have to get out of the foggy, untrue web of negativity there because that can obliterate your potential and reality. It can take you far away from the happiness you want to achieve. The good news is that you can rewire your mind to focus on all the beautiful things you’re capable of inviting in your life, the highest in the checklist is – Happiness! It’s easy, really. Here’s how you use it:
- Do this whenever you have any negative thought about yourself. Find a good memory from a time you did something that made you happy. Next, remove any self-rejecting or self-esteem lowering thoughts and replace them with memories of your past happy moments. You must know fully well that if you could do it then, you can certainly do it again.
- Are your thoughts too negative to visualize a happy future? Don’t worry. We all have a tendency to fear something we haven’t yet seen but, once we realize that we’re the creators of our own futures, we know that the steering wheel of our life’s car is in our hands. So, find some great Confidence-building affirmations and they’ll do wonders; provided you say them out loud regularly. Putting up sticky notes in your room is the best way to remind yourself of what you’re capable of achieving.
8. Find Your Purpose and Beliefs
Finding your purpose is like finding a motive. What do you live for? What is it that you really want to do or feel before you leave earth for your heavenly abode? You surely didn’t come here to just exist. There must be something, no matter how small, that you dream about. Not your destination, not your goal, but the motive and the purpose and the belief behind that goal.
Looking for an answer to why you want to achieve something, in fact, even asking this question might end up changing your entire direction! Remember point #4? When you ask the ”why” behind “what” you’re doing, you might just realize you were following the herd. However, it’s never too late to change your path. Finding your purpose and what you truly believe in can:
- Help you do meaningful work that resonates with your soul. You’ll feel happy and fulfilled.
- Keep you looking forward to the next milestone in your mission and in your vision for a happy life.
9. Find Out What Makes You Unhappy
Here’s creating some happy opportunities by means of negation. Stop doing activities that make you feel bad about yourself or frustrated, in general. Whether its a job that sucks or an overtly demanding friendship that questions your sanity. If its not working for you, move. I once read a quote:
And its true. By removing things, activities and people from your life, the ones that don’t bring you joy, you can cut out a lot of unpleasant moods and emotions. Its like flushing out toxins. Your body feels much better and healthier once the waste is out. Do the same with your life as you slowly weed out the unnecessary to bring the happiness in.
10. Stay Optimistic
Like I mentioned in point #7, you have a time machine. When you remember the good ol’ times and visualize your happy future, remember to stay in those moments for a while. Let the optimism take over. And regardless of what anyone else says, remember, there’s no such thing as too much optimism! Its always better to have your lens towards a positive outcome than fearing the worst.
At least, you’ll take that chance. At least, you have some chance at winning. Don’t rob that chance away from you. And even if you fail in the end, you have a lesson. You can learn and get back up and move on. Optimism does that to you. It lets you start from scratch, it helps you stay humble and it brings in an adventure in your life that you otherwise wouldn’t bet on.
Find Your Happiness
No matter the life we choose, no matter the work we do, what is the end goal? Happiness. Who doesn’t want to be happy? I haven’t heard of or known anybody who wants a sad and tragic life. While you can’t always control the situations in your life, you can always choose to respond to or act on them in a manner that aligns with your happiness. Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.
You define your happiness. Remember, its like fingerprints. Not everyone has the same things that make them happy. How to find what makes you happy? Follow these tips and believe that whoever you are, wherever you came from and whatever situation you’re in right now, you deserve to be happy. Go, find it.