“Do what makes you happy.”
If you feel unsatisfied with your professional or personal life and think that you need a change but feel like you’re trapped is a clear sign that you need to make some changes in your life. But in today’s world happiness seems like it is a dream state and every now and then you wake up and you don’t feel like you want because life and stress happens. Happiness is not simple but it’s not hard either. You have to make you happy and you can’t depend on any one thing or person to fulfill that emotion for you.
What is happiness?
That is the million dollar question. What actually is happiness? The definition of happiness is different for everyone and there is not one formula that can get you there. Abraham Maslows Hierarchy of needs theory written in 1943 paper Theory of Human Motivation about core ingredients that people need to be happy. Basic needs warmth, water, food, rest, security and safety. Psychologically need the feeling of belonging, intimate relationships, friends, prestige and the feeling of accomplishment. Self Fulfillment needs achieving your potential.
The problem with the theory which I am not saying is wrong there are things that may be very difficult and conflict with other parts of the theory. Example, the job that covers the basic needs for shelter, food, security, water etc could have a direct impact on your freedom and self esteem. Don’t think of happiness as a singular thing but as fluid entity that changes continuously throughout your life. What may have made you happy at 20 years old is not the same things that make you happy at 40 years old.
So, is the pursuit of happiness an illusion?
Not necessarily. Happiness is constantly being redefined by you and only you. Sometimes you have to expand your definition — it’s not about the feeling you get when your needs are met and you have no worries about your finances or if your relationship is going well. You may have to find other passions that help you get the respect of others helping someone with things you have knowledge about finding a passion that motivates you and move you emotionally. Giving helps to reaffirm the humanity that resides in all of us. It provides a sense of purpose and belonging.
There are a few simple things you can do to start giving more:
Listen. When you are talking with someone listening is an art. conversation gives you an opportunity to connect with a person. And once you connect with that person to be more comfortable with you and can provide much more information to you.
Volunteer. What is important to you? Is there a cause that you can provide a contribution? Do you have the skills or the time to give?
Be kind. Make it a purpose to be kind to others. Speak to people even if they may not speak back. Don’t allow people to affect your kindness. Help a co-worker acts of kindness is contagious and it creates respect when you willingly give to others selflessly.
Become a mentor. Our successes and what the things we accomplish always had someone that helped us along the way so extend the the same hand to someone that may need knowledge that you can provide
By giving, you’re creating connections with those around you. Life becomes more fulfilling when it’s not all about you. You will find that people will gravitate towards you when you create your own happiness.
When you engage in actions that transcend your own search for satisfaction, you make your life meaningful. You become part of a community. You assert your humanity. Moreover, you can be happier and more fulfilled.