Finding Happiness: The Things That Won’t Make You Happy
I've always believed that the purpose of life is to be happy. For some this is much harder than for others. Some are naturally optimistic beings who appreciate the little things and live in the moment. For others (like me) it is a constant battle within.
I always believed that happiness could be found through external sources. However I found that this led me to the hedonic treadmill effect where I was constantly striving for something more and never stopping to appreciate what I had right now. The desire for the next best thing, that fleeting few hours/days of happiness is still so important to me (trying to change my way of thinking though!).
Here are some things I (used) to believe would/could make me happy but don't:
Making more money
I used to believe the answer to all of my problems was to make more money. I could afford to do more things, and be better off. Well this is completely wrong. If anything making more money made me less happy as it took me away from the things I would rather spent time doing like spending time with family and creating things. Money may be great as it pays the bills but I much prefer earning a bit less if it means more time to do what I want to do.
Finding a good paying job
Again this did not help me at all. I am lucky in my current job as I work with great people and do a variety of different tasks which keeps it interesting. However at the end of 2011 I left a full-time permanent job role as it just didn't make me happy. If anything it contributed to my anxiety levels and did not stretch my skills at all. It was one of the best decisions I ever made and even though I am no longer in a permanent job I am a lot happier.
Getting an appropriate education was always drilled into me at school. It seemed you couldn’t be a success or ever be happy unless you had a pile of degrees hanging on your wall. I started off studying law as I thought it sounded good and was generally interested in the industry. However little did I know that law was just not for me. I've tried and tried again to go back to it but cannot put myself through something that does not interest me. I am almost finished my journalism degree which again has been a waste of my time, money and energy. First off there are no jobs in journalism and secondly I have now realised that I don’t want to work in the journalism industry anyway. Most “jobs” are unpaid internships and even for the lucky few who do find a job, the pay is about half of what I am currently making. Besides I am pretty sure you don’t need a degree to be a good writer. After all, so many success stories have been from people who started off with nothing and didn't even complete a degree. Think people like Oprah Winfrey and Steve Jobs.
I have always had an issue with shopping for happiness (as many women do) but as much as that nice new bag will make you happy for a period, this won’t last until of course you find something else to buy. This will always be an issue for me but one I acknowledge and understand.
Things that do make me happy:
I have a new found love of yoga it is amazing. I feel so incredible after completing a yoga class I only wish I could attend a class every day! I also enjoy physical exercise but don’t enjoy boring things like running on the treadmill. Classes are always fun and I hope to go back to the gym soon!
Eating well (with occasional naughty things!)
After losing weight last year I made a promise to myself to stay healthy. I do eat bad things but try to mix it up. You totally notice the difference when you eat well as compared to eating bad. All that bloating, lethargy and yucky feeling goes away.
Spending time with family, friends and pets
I love to spend time with family and pets; they always make me feel so much better. If I could spend all day, every day doing this I would.
Creating things is one of the most important things to me. I love to create and have always been drawn to this. Whether I am creating a post for my blog, making jewellery or refurbishing furniture (my new hobby!) I am always eager to create something beautiful that people can enjoy.
One of the reasons I undertook a journalism degree in the first place was because I wanted to write. I couldn’t imagine a better job. However I also realised that writing to another’s standards isn’t for me and that I enjoy writing for myself. Maybe its more a hobby than a career but I think I prefer it that way.
I hope you like this post! I will also be doing a thank you post later this week to thank all of my wonderful guest writers last week. I will be away again for uni prac next week so there will be more guest posts for your enjoyment!