Have you ever asked yourself;
“What makes me happy?”
“How can I be happier?”
“How do I answer to the question, ‘what makes you happy?'”
I mean, it’s only natural to ask ourselves these questions.
More often than not, we are more bothered about finding the next opportunity to make money or whining about a slow growth with business, inability to make things work, losing opportunities and more.
Over the years, we have planted our happiness on what we can achieve. We are literally spending most of our time pursuing material things that we believe can make us live a good life. These things make us forget to enjoy life.
It is great to shoot for the best, but then, we shouldn’t suffer. Stop going through hell hoping to reward yourself in the future — you need to unlearn this, we all need to.
What makes me happy?
Do you know?
You are likely to go speechless if you ask yourself “what makes me happy?” or when anyone asks you “what makes you happy?” Not surprising! There are so many answers until you have to give a response!
I threw the question at myself and I wasn’t able to give a genuine answer without pushing in career and money.
Why is it so difficult to answer such a simple question?
For a minute, I didn’t know what to say to myself, and the next minute, I was ready to fix in just anything that might make me happy.
The closest answer I could think of was achieving a goal. But this achievement births a new goal and the cycle continues. I don’t want my happiness tied to my achievements – not anymore.
Sometimes, we feel meeting our financial goal makes us happy, but in reality, we reward ourselves with another financial goal.
Why is it difficult to know what makes you happy?
“What makes me happy” is one of the hardest questions to ask yourself and here’s why; YOU ARE HUMAN, and humans are insatiable.
What makes you happy at this moment may not move a muscle the next. So, the answer to the question “what makes me happy?” is subjective because we never have the right answer.
We may not have the right answers for what makes us happy, but we can navigate to a more comely side of life, away from our jobs and career expectations
What is the best answer to “what makes you happy?”
There is no definitive answer to “what makes you happy.” It is a simple question with a not so simple answer. However, for some people, it might be:
- Spending time with loved ones.
- Experiencing new and exciting things.
- Achieving personal goals.
- Lending a helping hand to others.
Even with the above hints, I couldn’t craft a better answer.
Here’s why we can’t answer properly to “what makes you happy;” happiness is a complex and nuanced emotion that is different for everyone.
While I may not have the right answers to the question, I developed 5 habits that will give me an edge, helping me maintain peace with happiness.
1. I learned to take care of my physical health by getting enough exercise and good food.
2. I spend time with people I love and enjoy being with — whether it’s via call or physical meet, which I recommend.
Spending quality time spent with those we care about is essential to our happiness. This may sound cliché, but being around the people you love is everything.
3. I take more time off to reflect on my happiest moments. Sometimes, we need the nostalgia. Reminiscing about beautiful memories take us down that happy lane.
I make some of these moments into poems because I enjoy writing. Revisiting them often gives me little happiness boosts.
4. I have made it a mantra to remind myself not to tie my happiness to the things I hope to achieve. While this is not an excuse to stay lazy, it’s an opportunity to give yourself permission to be happy. Being happy is a good thing and we shouldn’t deprive ourselves of living.
5. I enjoy staying indoors, but I must confess; confining yourself to a spot does more harm than good.
There’s something about getting some fresh air; it helps us release stress and feel better. I have made it a habit to leave the comfort of my room and step outside even if it’s for a few minutes.
10 qualifying answers to “what makes you happy”
Finding purpose and meaning
Finding purpose and meaning is a crucial aspect of happiness. When answering the question, “What makes you happy?” It’s important to delve deeper and think about what gives you a sense of purpose and fulfillment in your life.
Taking the time to identify and pursue activities that align with your values and passions can help you lead a more meaningful and happy life.
Achieving personal goals
Achieving personal goals is one of the key factors that contribute to a sense of happiness and fulfillment. Knowing what makes you happy and setting specific, achievable goals is crucial to this process.
Goals provide direction and purpose, allowing you to focus on what truly matters to you. When you achieve a personal goal, it can boost your confidence and sense of accomplishment, leading to increased feelings of happiness.
It’s important to remember that setting unrealistic goals or striving for perfection can actually have the opposite effect, leading to feelings of stress and disappointment. It’s essential to set realistic, attainable goals that are tailored to your individual needs and desires.
Cultivating positive relationships
One of the key factors contributing to personal happiness is cultivating positive relationships. Humans are social creatures, and we thrive on connection and a sense of belonging.
According to research people with strong social connections are happier, healthier, and more resilient than those who lack social support.
Cultivating positive relationships involves investing time and effort in building and maintaining connections with family, friends, colleagues, and other people in your community.
Building good relationships can include regularly reaching out to loved ones, making time for social activities, and actively listening and showing empathy when interacting with others.
Helping and giving back
Helping and giving back to others is one of the most rewarding experiences that can bring happiness and fulfillment to one’s life. Volunteering your time and resources to a cause or organization that aligns with your values can give you a sense of purpose and contribute to making a positive impact on the world.
Whether it’s through donating to a charity, helping out at a local homeless shelter, or mentoring a child in need, giving back can provide a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of selflessness.
Helping others doesn’t have to be a grand gesture; even the smallest act of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s day and boost your own happiness in the process.
Learning and growing intellectually
When considering the question, “What makes you happy?” One of the most fulfilling answers is undoubtedly learning and growing intellectually. Engaging in activities that challenge the mind and expand knowledge can bring about a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
This can include pursuing higher education, reading literature, attending seminars, or simply engaging in thought-provoking discussions with others. The benefits of intellectual growth are manifold, including improved critical thinking skills, greater creativity, and a broader perspective on life.
Engaging in hobbies and interests
Engaging in hobbies and interests is an effective way to promote happiness and wellbeing. Research shows that people who do activities that they enjoy tend to be happier and experience less stress.
Hobbies can take many forms, from creative pursuits like painting or writing, to physical activities like hiking or playing sports. Making time for hobbies and interests also provides opportunities for social connection and the development of new skills.
Practicing gratitude and mindfulness
Practicing gratitude and mindfulness can greatly contribute to what makes you happy. Taking time to reflect on the things we are grateful for can help shift our focus from what we lack to what we have. This can help with the way you see life and ultimately keep you happy.
Mindfulness, on the other hand, involves being present and fully engaged in the current moment, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. This can help reduce stress and anxiety, leading to a greater sense of peace and contentment.
So, when someone asks you the question “What makes you happy?”, practicing gratitude and mindfulness should definitely be on your list of answers.
Living a healthy lifestyle
Living a healthy lifestyle is one of the key factors that contribute to overall happiness and well-being. Engaging in regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep are just a few of the habits that can lead to a healthier and happier life.
Exercise, for instance, releases endorphins that boost mood and reduce stress. Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients can improve physical and mental health, while getting enough sleep can improve cognitive function and mood regulation.
Investing in mental health through practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and therapy can help manage stress and anxiety.
Overall, prioritizing a healthy lifestyle can not only improve your physical health but also enhance your mental and emotional well-being.
Feeling financially secure
Feeling financially secure is one of the most important things that makes us happy. Financial stability means having enough money to meet your basic needs, pay your bills on time, and save for the future. It also means being able to handle unexpected expenses and having a sense of control over your finances.
Financial security can alleviate stress and anxiety, allowing you to feel more confident and in control of your life. It can also provide a sense of freedom and allow you to pursue your passions without worrying about money.
While the definition of financial security may vary from person to person, having a solid financial plan and sticking to it can help you achieve this important aspect of happiness.
Having a work-life balance
Having a healthy work-life balance is essential for overall happiness and well-being. It involves setting boundaries between work and personal life, and making time for activities that bring joy and fulfillment outside of work.
It’s important to prioritize self-care and ensure that work doesn’t consume all of your time and energy. You can achieve this by setting realistic goals, delegating tasks, and practicing time management techniques.
When work and personal life are in balance, it becomes easy to be productive and creative at work.
Work life balance can also improve our relationships with family and friends, and allow for personal growth and development.
What is the best answer to “what makes you happy at work?”
A common question interviewers ask during job interviews is “What makes you happy at work?”
The interviewer is hoping to learn about your work habits and what kind of environment you thrive in.
The things that make us happy that can vary from person to person, but here are a few things that makes me happy at work that can give you an idea:
For me, it’s important to feel like my job makes a difference in the world. I enjoy being able to use my skills and talents in a way that is helpful and fulfilling. I want to know that the work I’m doing is contributing to the client or company’s success and making a positive impact.
I also need to feel like I’m growing and learning. I’m not the type of person who can do the same thing day in and day out. I need to feel like I’m constantly expanding my skillset and knowledge base.
I feel happiest when I am working on projects that matter. Whether it’s fighting big fights for a cause I believe in or simply helping make a difference in someone’s life, if the work is meaningful to me then I am happy.
I need to feel like I am valued and appreciated by my colleagues and superiors. This means being given feedback in a way that feels helpful and not belittling, as well as feeling like my opinions and ideas are respected.
This means setting realistic goals for myself (e.g., no more than 40 hours workweek) and allowing myself time to relax each week. When these factors are all met, I am generally very happy at work.
Just as I mentioned above, I also need to feel like I have a good work/life balance. I wouldn’t be happy at work if I feel stressed and overworked. I need enough time off to recharge both mentally and physically and enjoy my life outside of work.
If an employer can provide a work environment that meets these needs, most employees will be happy, engaged, and productive.
So, whether you are being interviewed for a remote or in-office position, the interviewer is looking for certain things that will make you happy.
Although the six things mentioned above are important to each individual, every person has their own unique set of needs and wants that make them happy at work.
Some people find meaning and purpose in their work by helping others or making a difference in the world. Others need to feel like they are constantly growing and learning so they can keep up with changes in the industry. And finally, everyone needs time to relax and have some fun outside of work.
Can we ever figure it out?
It’s hard to pinpoint what makes us happy, but we can never truly figure it out?
What we can do, however, is make small tweaks in our lives that will lead to a Happier You.
I would never have thought that asking myself “what makes me happy?” will have me in gridlock. It’s a relatively simple question, but it’s okay if we do not have answers we think we have.
We don’t have to figure it out, we only should walk towards happiness and work with it. I don’t have to wait for a sale, job or deal to be happy. Even the little things matter.
How not to make happiness transactional
How do we make being happy transactional?
While this may not be intentional, waiting until you reach a goal to pay attention to yourself is the worst thing we do to ourselves.
If you do anything daily that makes you unhappy, stop and ask yourself “why?”. Once you have an appropriate answer, change your routine. If it’s a shitty job, a side hustle or anything else, think about your mental health and happiness.
I have been trying to unlearn a lot of my bad habits and it irks me to say that one of my bad habits is planning and never executing. It’s one thing to want something and another to work for it!
In the end, happiness is something that we should all strive for. It’s not something that we should wait to be given to us, but something that we should work towards every day. Anything within your power should not control your happiness but enhance it.
I’m sticking to this whole new mindset. “happiness is not transactional.”
Happiness, they say, is a state of mind and finding genuine happiness come from within. If we make it a reward for labor, we are only going to be opening a door for anxiety and depression.
We must avoid transactional happiness. I want to live in the moment and enjoy life as it comes and hope that it stays fair to us all.
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