Alright, I’ll be honest–I love talking about happiness. So I’m going to keep talking about it. In my last post, I had some really great feedback from CollegeCandy readers and I wanted to touch on a great question that was asked:
Having a happy life is important, but what if you don’t know what it is that will make you happy? What if you can’t pinpoint it? How do you figure it out?
This is such a valid question and a difficult one to answer in your 20s. During this age, we are constantly trying to do our best and flounder to make everything better than the last thing. That being said, I can’t promise that I’ll answer this question correctly (I’m a little bit of a do-your-best-don’t-let-anyone-down-or-embarrass-yourself kind of girl). But I will share with you what I have done to pinpoint what makes me ultimately happy. In list form (because that’s my favorite)…
Trying New Things
This is the experimental part of finding happiness. I went through a large part of this process in college. I volunteered, joined clubs, met new people, tried Karkov, really. . .explored. With these mini life experiments, you can discover what gets your heals clicking. And I will warn you, this doesn’t always work right away. I experimented and found that I enjoyed Advertising. Then–when I put it to the test via The Real World, I didn’t feel the same way. And that’s OK. Just start over and build a new hypothesis for yourself. Ugh, why am I bringing science into this?
Going Back to the Good Ol’ Days
Remembering what you enjoyed when you were a youngster is a natural and easy step. When I close my eyes, I see myself at around a ripe age of seven–writing short stories and running around the yard 50% convinced I was a horse. Did that have anything to do with Advertising? Nope. Now, all I want to do is write about my experiences and compete in horse shows professionally. Boom! I have officially discovered happiness based on a teeny little seven year old memory.
Write Down How You’re Going to Get There
This step allows you to visualize where you see yourself and decide if you like it. I’ve written down how I want to accomplish things and then I see myself successful in them, I base if I want to continue–with the feeling in my chest. I’m a pretty emotional human being, so this may be easier for me than others. But no matter what, you will feel something. It could be a tightening of the chest…a distant heart flutter. However, ignore the sharp pain in your chest. That’s probably just gas.
Treat Success Like the Cherry On Top
Instead of treating your happiness discovery like an extra excuse to start doing something IMMEDIATELY to contradict it or one up it (deciding you need to do something even BETTER or more extravagant), treat your decision like the cherry on top. The extra perk that you will take a moment and enjoy. Just…relax. Being happy isn’t a to-do list that will be accomplished in one week. It’s a series of small moments of clarity that can be accomplished every day.