What Makes You Happy?

Are you happy? When I was married happiness always seemed elusive. “I’ll be happy when” was a common thought.

*I’ll be happy when the car is paid off.
*I’ll be happy when the project at work is finished.
*I’ll be happy when the kids are sleeping through the night.
*I’ll be happy when the kitchen is remodeled.
*I’ll be happy when I go on vacation.
*I’ll be happy when I get my tax return.
*I’ll be happy when I get a promotion/raise.

I was almost happy but if things were just a little different, a little better I’d be happier.

After my divorce I wondered if I could just BE happy. What did it take to be happy? Surely it can’t be this hard to just be happy. I Googled “happiness” or “how to be happy” or something similar (yup…honestly). I read what Gretchen Rubin wrote about her Happiness Project (before she turned it into a book in 2015). I read The Pursuit of Happiness by Jennifer O’Neill.

And I started to form a plan. I was going to choose to be happy. I was going to work on things that would lead to real happiness.

It didn’t happen overnight. It actually took years of reading, thinking and learning to actually figure out how to be happy. But the thing about happiness is that it’s all in your mind. It’s your perspective of events.

I started to take each negative thought (“I hate my life”, “I’m so lonely”) and instead think something positive. I decided to do something about what I was thinking negatively about. I’ve always liked writing so in response to thinking “I hate my life” I signed up for an online writing course (my schedule with my kids kept me from taking a live class which would have been even better). When I started to feel lonely I got online and started looking for Meetup groups to join (if you haven’t heard about Meetup check them out online and I’ll post about my experience later).

I started pushing each negative thought into a positive action. What negative thought could you take action on today?

5 thoughts on “What Makes You Happy?”

  1. What a great premise and question… For background, I also recently went through a pretty nasty divorce, though there were no children involved. Especially at first, I struggled with a lack of contentment in just being by myself. I had convinced myself I was going to spend the rest of my life with someone else always around, and in doing so, I neglected the skills and mindset to just be happy with me… I constantly missed the company of someone else in my life. But I am working on that, and learning to love myself and be at peace with solitude. It is really a beautiful thing when you learn to control it and find a place in your life for it… So I guess the negative thought I would work on is the thinking that I am somehow not worthy of contentment unless someone else is around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “I neglected the skills and mindset to just be happy with me”. Exactly! So often we don’t learn how to be happy with ourselves. But it is a skill and it can be learned! Thanks so much for participating in the conversation! I’m glad you’re working on this and I am sure you will learn what you need to know to be happy. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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