Here's What To Do When You Have No Idea What Will Make You Happy

I think about happiness a lot.  I wonder what it really is.  I wonder if I'm actually very happy and I just don't know it.  I wonder if any thing "out there" will make me any happier than I already am.  I wonder if making changes in my life will result in more or less happiness.  One of the strangest things that I've noticed about happiness is that I'm usually happiest when I'm not thinking about being happy.  I'm happy when I'm in the moment, when I'm living my life to the fullest, and not analyzing or brooding over whether I am happy or not.  

I read something about happiness yesterday that really struck me.

It was an article by Brianna Wiest at Soul Anatomy about emotionally intelligent people and things that they DON'T do.  

"They don't assume to know what it is that will make them truly happy.  Being that our only frame of reference at any given time is what's happened in the past, we actually have no means to determine what would make us truly happy, as opposed to just feeling "saved" from whatever we disliked about our past experiences.  In understanding this, they open themselves up to any experience that their life evolves toward, knowing there are equal parts good and bad in anything"

Just think about that for a minute...  How many of us are out there, frantically searching for what will finally, once and for all make us TRULY happy.  I know I've been guilty of that in my life.  But looking at it this way opens up a new way of thinking:  if we have absolutely no way of knowing what will truly make us happy, then the only sane option is to just embrace where we are and see where that takes us.  Wow, this takes the pressure off, doesn't it?

This week has been a roller-coaster of a ride for me.  I've been doubting and questioning lots of things, wondering what direction to go, what to focus on.  I've set sky-high expectations for myself and others that can only lead to disappointment.  But I'm realizing that all of the analyzing and planning I've been doing is totally and completely pointless and ridiculous, and all I really need to do is embrace where I am, and fully engaging with what I am doing.  Just DO and stop THINKING about the doing.    

How enlightening to think  "there are equal parts good and bad in anything".  To me, this means that one of the most important things that we can do in this life is cultivate our ability to find and focus on the good in any situation.  The negatives will always be there, no matter what changes we make or different things we try.  We just have to learn to Re-Frame a situation or circumstance to be able to see the positive.

What about you?  How do you define happiness?  Are you able to find and focus on the positive in any situation?  Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!

Till Next time,


© Haley McManigal 2015

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