What makes you happy?

What makes you happy?

How do you measure your life? If somebody asked you what makes you happy what would you say? 

And, are happy with your life for that matter?

People measure a successful life in various ways, but many seem to believe you have to tick certain aspects like having a career and a nice house to qualify as a successful person. The question is are those your standards or have they been imposed on you by peer pressure and the society in general?

Much of our lives revolve around money – it’s how it is and you do need to make money to survive. However, there’s a fine line between the money you actually need to live comfortably and the money you need to spend on various things that are nothing but status symbols and don’t contribute to your overall happiness in any way.

There’s nothing inherently bad in wanting to have more money except that people often sacrifice other parts of their lives to achieve material wealth.

Money over passion

One of the most common mistakes people make is choosing the wrong career. It’s a choice most of us have to make when we’re young and inexperienced, and it’s easy to be tempted by the promise of making a lot of money. A child with a passion for drawing will be dissuaded from choosing an artistic career and told to become something boring, like an accountant or corporate lawyer. Something that guarantees a good living standard, but brings no joy whatsoever. 

Sadly, many people will give up on their dreams and adjust to a tedious life. 

Something’s missing

Most people spend a third of their day working and if their job is unfulfilling they will need to compensate. When you have a busy life and a hectic schedule you don’t just stop in the middle of the day thinking ‘why am I not happy’?’

People don’t do that consciously but deep down something is missing. Often enough, the only way we know to satisfy that fundamental need to be happy is by buying stuff. 

Moving into a bigger house is exciting and keeps you happy for a time, but at the end of the day, it’s not enough. On the contrary, it makes things worse as you need to work harder at the job you hate to pay for that house and the new SUV and in the garage.

Who has time for simple pleasures?

Most people equate being happy with having a family and a couple of kids, but how many of them even take the time to appreciate what they have? They don’t call it the rat race for nothing, it is indeed a race and it leaves you little time to appreciate the simple pleasures in life. 

When was the last time you spent a whole day with your family, you know hiking, walking in the park, playing board games, or having a picnic in your backyard? 

No, people don’t do things like these often, because they’ve become accustomed to their busy lives and they’ve scheduled their kids’ lives carefully, driving them from one activity to another. Unfortunately, this is another thing we measure our lives by – raising successful children who grow up to have good jobs and be as unhappy as their parents!

So, are you happy with your life? If there’s one thing you could change what would that be? And, if there’s something you would change what’s stopping you?