Hawaiian Sunset

Beautiful photo courtesy of Karen Warner.

How do you “find” happiness?

You don’t “find” it, folks, you create it. The key is to realize what brings you joy and inspires your passion…and what doesn’t! Then, do more of the good and ditch the bad!

This soul-searching may take some time, but it is time well-spent. Once you figure it out and start bringing those things that bring you joy into your life, you’ll start loving life more than ever.

We all have gifts and talents, and we need to put them to good use. Think about the five “W’s” – Who, What, Where, When and Why:

WHO do you enjoy being around; who inspires you to be your best; who makes you smile? Whose life can you make better by helping them in some way?

WHAT activities, hobbies, or work are you passionate about? What work do you enjoy so much you’d do it for free? What do people tell you you’re good at? What are you excited to learn more about? What can you do to make the world a better place?

WHERE are you when you feel at peace? Are you at the top of a mountain or on a Hawaiian beach? (Both work for me!) Are you in a luxurious hotel or a rustic cabin? Are you energized in a warm, sunny climate or in a cooler climate?

WHEN are you the most productive? When can you fit joyful activities into your life? When do you prefer to sleep, work, play? Try to mold your schedule around your preferences.

WHY are you trying to live the way other people think you should live (or how you think others want you to live)? Why not start making yourself happier NOW? Why not start doing one thing every day that makes you happy?

I loved an article I read today by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nocodemus. In it they said, “Happiness, as far as we’re concerned, is achieved through living a meaningful life—a life that is filled with passion and freedom, a life in which we grow as individuals and contribute to other people in meaningful ways. Growth and contribution—those are the bedrocks of happiness. Not stuff.

“This may not sound sexy or marketable or sellable, but it’s the cold truth. As humans, we’re happy if we’re growing as individuals and contributing beyond ourselves.

“Without growth, and without a deliberate effort to help others, we are simply slaves to cultural expectations, ensnared by the trappings of money and power and status and perceived success.”

(Click here to read the complete article.)

The choice to be happy is yours; no one else can MAKE you happy. Best of luck to you as you create your own happiness!