What makes you happy? It’s such a simple question yet I found it initially a bit of a puzzler. What makes ME happy? Who knows, I’m alright, I’m generally quite upbeat. Initially I wanted to reel off a list of hobbies that you might put on a CV or profile:
- I’m Paul and I like Swimming… (Although the goggles make my eyes puffy)
- Badminton… (When I was 8)
- Running… (That makes me look fit)
But then I just cheated and looked back to my old journal from when I did it briefly in January to get some ideas. Shortcut. Must solve this problem. Must take it seriously. Must complete the task.
The cheating didn’t help, it felt like a rehash of old ideas and I suddenly felt a bit stuck. Who can I ask to tell me the answer? I knew that the best thing was to revert to type and procrastinate and do it later, the answer would surely hit me at my job interview or on the train. I had of things to do and this would take time.
It wasn’t just me though who couldn’t answer these type of questions – My Dad said yesterday that he had been asked by his yoga teacher what he wanted to get out of it and he said, “I’ve no idea, I just like it, we shall see”. He clearly wasn’t taking it seriously as he wasn’t even thinking about it, I judged, secretly, whilst still managing to maintain an open and welcoming expression.
So getting into bed and reaching for my Serious notebook to write the gratitude diary, very seriously and diligently to get the best result out of it, (very seriously you understand,) I suddenly thought how my dad was completely happy not to know what he got out of his yoga, just that he liked it was enough. If it was enough for a 70 year old man who tried to balance on one foot in a canine position for an hour and a half, maybe it was enough for me, just to like something and not have anything attached to it. So Gratitude and What Makes You Happy merged into one and by doing one list, I made the other.
I got an amazing card from a friend today for no reason other than she thought of me and sent it; I sent the world’s worst picture of me to a friend in my new cycling helmet, which had us in stitches (can anyone look good in a cycling helmet?); I felt amazing after yoga and had a great work meeting. For me, I think what makes me happy is a list that will evolve with my gratitude list.
Instead of quantifying it, I’m going to experience it. Seriously, you understand.
Hey Paul, tis I again. There’s a big thing about just being and enjoying it… Because!! I love the fact that you come up with this very same conclusion. You don’t need a purpose to enjoy something in order to enjoy something. I’m gonna go and have a cuppa. Not for any other reason than I enjoy it…….. surely that’s reason enough!! Milk and sugar? Namasté
Wise words indeed! I’ve followed ur advice and now sitting outside at a coffee shop just because and counting the positives. I had a doughnut as well. ;)
Aww.. man… I feel like I’m missing out on caffein and sugar. I may have to put the kettle on and eat some left over Easter egg.
Paul, I’m loving your posts. They are hilariously written (I hope you don’t mind me saying that) but also so true!
It’s really easy to see these daily tasks as work or chores – something that “must be done” – and for us to miss the enjoyment in the moment. And even though these lists are really for ourselves rather than anybody else (although I’m very appreciative that you’re sharing some of your day with the Happynesshub) it’s so easy to want to present ourselves in the most positive and “sellable” light, thinking about how we come across to others.
But it’s not about others. And you don’t have to do these daily tasks in order to pay the bills. It’s about discovering more of who you are and hopefully enjoying the progress along the way! It certainly looks like writing your thoughts down is helping you come to a new realisation every day. And after the 21 Days, hopefully some of these tasks will come a little more naturally to you.
Paul you just make me laugh. That’s it.
Yet there’s a BUT. There is wisdom in what you say. My happy activities are often the things I am grateful for and land up in the diary! xx