Now, before I really get into the "meat" of this article, I feel that I need to do a little "disclaimer" on this - right here and right now.
You can't ALWAYS do "what makes you happy", nor should you. I know, I know. It sounds like I'm already talking just the opposite of what the title infers, but I'm not.
We cannot live a life that is oblivious to those that are around us. We cannot live a life that is totally focused on SELF, though it seems that many in our world have and are attempting to do just that.
One area that I really focus on with this is if you have children at home. I cringe when I hear someone say - while still having children at home (specifically younger children) - "It's MY time now! It's time for ME to take care of ME!"
I understand the feeling that may come at times but, friend, as long as you have those children at home you have the responsibility to teach them, train them and raise them to be good, productive humans themselves.
Oh, I understand that it is not always easy and I know that it can get stressful and frustrating at times. But it IS a responsibility that you must fulfill.
I hope this makes sense. I hope you understand WHAT I'm saying as well as WHY I'm saying it.
Here's another example: Someone may say that having more money than they know what to do with would make them happy. Cool. However, that same person CANNOT steal that money from everyone around them in order to make them happy.
Get it? Good!
Maybe we have all forgotten how to find the "little" things that can make us happy. Or, maybe we just have allowed ourselves to become so "busy" that we just have lost sight of those things that are around us every day that make us happy.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
Being surrounded by your children? Your grandchildren? A quiet house? Time away? A walk? Reading? Traveling? Time with friends? Going to live events such as concerts or sporting events?
I don't know what it is for you, but remind yourself what it is that makes you happy. And then, if situations allow, DO MORE OF THAT!
Sure, even as a parent, there are ways that you can find and enjoy those quiet times and find some "alone time" in a way that will not neglect your family. You may have to get help from a spouse or a friend. You may simply have to steal those moments away as they come and not let them slip by. But it CAN be done!
So many times people will say, "I'm just too busy! I can't find time to do those things that make me happy!". When, in reality, we have allowed ourselves to fill our lives up with "busy-work" that is not really necessary. Make sense?
When it gets down to it, we're often not as busy as we like to think, we're just not disciplined enough to prioritize things in our life and even allow some things to just simply go undone.
When my three boys were at home, I LOVED being a Dad! I absolutely loved it, even when they became teens and there were the normal "issues" that come along with helping them develop. No, it wasn't always easy. Yes, there were times that I felt I was at my wits end. But, still...I loved being a Dad and I really miss those times. If you wish for a quiet house, be careful what you wish for. It WILL come and, often (like me), when it does, you wish it weren't so quiet.
Now I get to enjoy being "Poppa" (grandpa) and I absolutely LOVE every time I get to spend a day or two with my "babies" when they come to visit.
So, again, what is it for you?
Listen to me...you need to find MORE than just one thing! For example, I love when my grandbabies come to visit but I cannot allow THAT to be the ONLY time that I find something happy! Know what I mean? It's up to me to find joy and happiness in things that take place EVERY single day.
Here's the kicker: Maybe instead of trying to FIND something that will make me happy, perhaps I can focus on DOING something that will bring happiness to someone else and - guess what? - in return I will likely find happiness myself.
That's usually the way it works, friend.
So, in the midst of "doing more of what makes you happy", perhaps more happiness will come when you do more to bring happiness to others.
Think about it and, until next time, whatever you do...