How to do what makes you happy.
It sounds simple, but a lot of people around me seem to suck at doing what makes them happy. And I just don't understand why. Like, if you hate your job, find another one. If you want a boyfriend, go on dates. If you like staying home and watching Netflix, do that. If you like taking your fifteen dogs for a walk, out you go. Right? Am I taking crazy pills here? For me, I have multiple jobs that I enjoy, I have lots of time to paint, I exercise, I live in a house that I love with someone that doesn't annoy me, I have a partner who I love, I see my friends who bring me joy, and I see my family. Sure, occasionally I'm 'forced' into doing something that doesn't make me happy, such as putting the garbage out, attending an event that's not important to me - but that's important to someone I care about, or... gosh, I can't even think of something else that makes me unhappy. Because my life is entirely focused on doing what does make me happy!
Now, you might be thinking, Erika - what a privileged position you're in. Being able to do things that make you happy all the time. Good for you. The rest of us aren't so lucky. Some people have a mortgage to pay off and are forced to stay in the job they hate in order to pay the bills. Some people have to take care of their kids and can't make it to the gym. Some people can't hang out with their friends because they have to study. Yeah yeah. I know. I get it. Life is hard. But you know what? It's actually harder to do things that make you happy. It's easy to just get that pay-check from the job you hate and know that the bills are paid. It's a BILLION times harder to start your dream business and go out on a limb to do what makes you happy. It's easy to say you don't have time to catch-up with friends or family - it's WAY harder to actually put in the effort and find the time to see them. It's about taking responsibility for your own happiness/unhappiness.
Doing what makes you happy is HARDER. Most people don't realise this. They think the happy people have it easy. What they don't realise is that the happy people put in a lot of effort to be happy. You have to earn it, work for it. The human default is not happy. And don't let anyone tell you that you don't deserve to be happy - you deserve it. But you're not entitled to have it given to you by the universe. You've got to go out and grab it by the balls.
That's all very well and good, go out and do what makes you happy. But what if - and I know a lot of people like this - what if you don't know what makes you happy? You just don't know. You hate your job, your friends are meh, your family irritates you, you have no hobbies, no passions and you just - don't - know - what - to - do. What do you do? If you have no clue what makes you happy, then how are you supposed to do it? This boggles my mind, because I've never once not known what makes me happy. It's always super dooper obvious to me what I need to do. And I think that comes from a place of deep understanding in yourself, a place of self reflection. You have to get to know yourself in order to get what makes you happy. Just as you'd get to know another person, find out what makes them happy. Find out what makes you happy! Maybe you should ask the people around you, when do you seem at your happiest? Maybe you need to take a personality test, see what that says about you.
Get to know a little more about this person that you have to spend the rest of you're life with. Maybe you like mountain climbing? Maybe you've got a hidden talent for playing the harmonica? Maybe you're going to be the world's best parent? Maybe you should try paragliding? It's hard to figure out what makes you happy in theory. You just have to go out and give it a try! For instance, I used to do dancing classes at the gym as my cardio workout. And it was fine. I didn't look forward to going, and I watched the clock the entire time, but I felt like I 'had to'. Then, a couple of months ago, I was offered a free 5 week beginners boxing course. And I said count me in. I'd always been repulsed by watching boxing or any real sports fighting, so I didn't really know how being the one actually boxing would sit with me. As it turns out - it's the greatest thing ever and I absolutely love it! Which is something I wouldn't have predicted, or known about myself before I tried it. And I'm so glad that I did.
So, if you're doing things that make you unhappy - stop. And remember, this will be hard. And hard things are hard. But it'll be worth it.