“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.” – Lucille Ball
You deserve to be happy. Not because you’ve done something special, or because you were born into a certain place and time – you deserve to be happy because every person does. This is an intrinsic right, one that is a part of all people, no matter what their past might include or what kind of life they might have come from. The potential for happiness lies within us all.
Pilates is a system of exercise that’s not just about changing the body, it’s about empowering the spirit and taking control of life. One of the reasons that Pilates has becomes so popular is because it teaches us not only to learn to love our bodies, but also to learn to take control and find our way.
Today’s world offers information and opportunities that are unprecedented in history. We have more of a chance today to find happiness than at any other time before. Though the world is full of problems, the knowledge is here for you and for me to grab hold of our journey and to create the fulfillment that we deserve.
That’s all very easy to say, but actually getting there isn’t so easy. The world is a weighty place. Depression, anxiety, coping mechanisms and the pressures of life can build up layer after layer of gunk that keeps happiness from coming into our lives. It can feel nearly impossible to just be happy. Why, even when life seems to be going beautifully, does this stew of mediocrity or inaccessibility seem to just keep hanging on? Figuring out which changes to make in order to fill in the things that aren’t falling into place is no small task, but there are some wonderful ways to reset yourself and begin take charge of your own happiness.
Questions to ask yourself when seeking happiness
Just getting started is a challenge, but once you get going on the path to finding out what makes you happy you’ll discover that it’s something that just flows along, easily and wonderfully enriching your life.
Here are five questions to ask yourself to get you started on figuring out what makes you happy. Either go over these simply as you read through, or for even better results grab a sheet of paper and record your answers. Putting them down on paper will really help you to solidify what you’re feeling and to make the whole process more concrete, which will make it much easier for you to pursue your happiness.
Another important note here is that there are truly no right or wrong answers here. Be open to your answers and honest with yourself. There’s no one looking over your shoulder or checking to make sure that what you’re writing is “correct”.
If you had unlimited resources (time, money, etc.), what would you do with yourself?
The fantasy of being overwhelmingly wealthy is one that just about everyone finds themselves indulging in from time to time. And there are most certainly people on this planet who have seemingly every luxury and accommodation that could possibly be out there. However we all know that wealth doesn’t equal happiness, nor does the time that it can buy you.
So if you weren’t impeded by the constraints of finances and the time that you currently use to pursue the money that keeps a roof over your head and food in your mouth, what exactly would you do with yourself? How would you make use of your time? Given unlimited possibilities, what would you choose to do?
Given sixty seconds to describe yourself to a total stranger, what would you say?
Knowing who you are is a core part of figuring out what makes you happy. Think about this question long and hard, and don’t just jump to the normal answers that revolve around what you do – think about who you are. A great way to tackle this question is to come at it from the angle of determining what you would tell someone who you were embarking on a relationship with rather than what you might say in a job interview. Think about the things that are important to you, the aspects of yourself that you most highly value.
Who would you be if you knew you could fail?
Fear plays a central role in why we aren’t happy. Figuring out who you would be if you could let go of fear will tell you a lot, because it will key you into who you could be. Assuming there were no risks at all, no chance whatsoever that anything could stand in your way – what would you love to pursue? This could be in terms of relationships, education, career, personal accomplishments, anything at all. In fact it’s a great idea to think about this question from a variety of different angles in order to really understand it.
What are your core personal values?
What are the 4-5 values that are most important to you in life? Think about this question in terms of your ideal life, and don’t be held back by any limitations that you might feel because of actions that you’ve made. In this exercise, remember that you’re free from mistakes. When you’re able to figure out exactly what values you find to be the most important, you’ll then be able to figure out what your priorities should be. Think about things that are good, desirable, useful and constructive in life. These serve as guiding principles for your journey towards happiness.
What aspects of life make you truly happy?
Most people aren’t happy because they find themselves chasing the wrong things. If it’s family that really makes you happy, then you’re not going to be happy with your life if you work long hours or travel a great deal. Here’s where the hard part comes because, unlike in previous questions, here it becomes obvious that you don’t have unlimited resources. However realizing what your priorities are is a great way for you to realize that you’re free. You’re free from restrictions, free from demands. There is always a way, always a path. You might have to think well outside of the box, to extend your view and take chances in order to pursue that happiness.
Lots of people say things for their whole life like, “I’d love to live at the beach,” but then over the course of an entire lifetime they never make that happen. Why? If waking up to the sound of the ocean is really the thing that would make you happy, then there are most certainly ways to make that happen. That desire might be at odds with other values, like the desire to be close to family or the need to attend a certain college in order to move forward. These are tough issues that often leave us with a great deal many more questions than answers. However there’s a huge difference in seeing the limitations in life that are keeping you from moving forward and just blindly groping for fulfillment without any knowledge of why or how the process works or doesn’t.
Happiness truly flows from empowerment. Finding out what makes you happy is the first step on the path to getting what you want out of life. Then, download our 100s to Happiness app for 100 small steps–just one a day–that can help you on your path to happiness. Starting on your path is amazingly life changing.