Do what makes you happy! The internet is full of lovely illustrations of this quote. There are also numerous resources both on and offline that explain the reasons why you should do what makes you happy. Check out this article by Debbie Dickerson or this collection of TED talks on happiness.
It is a charming quote indeed; a great piece of positive thinking. (By the way, for those curious, this quote is actually part of a phrase written by author Rachel Ann Nunez.) It is an important set of words that remind you that life is what you make of it, and it’s in your hands to make it a happy one.
I’m all in for the “do what makes you happy” philosophy. I’ve said it before:
The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal. We all want to be happy in life. We all deserve to be happy. We all must do everything in our hands to achieve happiness. – MJ @Bloggeretterized
There’s no way that you can feel happiness and all the positive feelings it brings into your life if you do things by obligation or by force. It’s like the Spanish saying: “A la fuerza, ni la comida es buena”. I don’t know if there’s an equivalent in English but the literal translation would be: “If you force it, not even food is good.”
If what you do doesn’t make you happy, life becomes a hard quest. What is worse is that you won’t be the only one unhappy, but everyone around you will get at some point “infected” or affected by your unhappiness.
There’s a quote by Alexander Kjerulf that I like and embraces the do what makes you happy philosophy perfectly:
When you’re at Meh, you’re only a shadow of what you can be. You’re using only a small fraction of yourself. You’re not infecting people around you with your energy and happiness. You’re not coming home every day with the knowledge that “I rocked”.
I don’t want to go through life feeling Meh. I want to be happy. I, like any other person in the world have big aspirations and big dreams. But in the end, it is the simple things in life that make me happy.
Some of the little things in life that make me happy in no particular order are:
- Coffee and Chocolate. A good cup extra-large mug of joe, a freezing cold coffee granita, instant coffee sprinkled over cookies and cream ice cream, a warm cup of hot cocoa, brownies, lava cakes and silky smooth dark chocolate. Simple decadent pleasures in life that make me happy.
- Coloring. I’ve enjoyed coloring ever since I was a little girl. I’ve been coloring as an adult way before it became the IT thing. I even have a coloring app. I’m glad that now there are adult coloring books available. And it’s not only the action of coloring itself, but also the smell of the crayons is indescribably good. Coloring soothes my soul and makes me happy.
- Crochet. It is a very ironic hobby for me to have. I mean crocheting scarves and blankets and stuff to keep you warm is not something you would be doing living at sea level in a weather in which temperatures average 35°C. Regardless, crochet is a wonderful hobby. I like how it combines logic and math. It so fascinating to see how with twists and turns you can create wonderful useful things. Having a crochet needle and yarn in my hands makes me happy.
- Playing the piano. I took piano lessons as a kid. I stopped during my college years. Now that I’m older, I’m always looking for time to squeeze in a little piano playing in my days. I’m no concert pianist, after years of not playing I feel like I’m back to when I was starting to learn. On the days I play, once I start, I can do it for hours. I wish I could do it daily. It’s so magical that reading little dots on paper while stroking the piano keys produces music. Playing the piano makes me happy.
- Reading. Booklovers of the world, what can I say about reading that hasn’t been said already? I’ve been reading since I was 4. Reading takes me to faraway places and into the lives of people I would never visit or meet if it weren’t for books. Reading brought me back to life. Reading makes me happy.
- Cooking. I’m not a bad cook. I started doing it when I went to college. I never had proper cooking classes and I don’t remember having anyone in my family teach me how to do it. I cook from having been around great cooks in my life: grandma, mom and an uncle. It’s like watching them infused me with their cooking knowledge. I love cooking shows and cookbooks. There are too many recipes out there, more than I will be able to try in my lifetime. Cooking is heaven for the senses. Sweet or savory, cooking makes me happy.
- Blogging. I don’t know what it is about putting your thoughts out there and letting them fly away to faraway places that I like so much. I just know that it makes me happy.
I’m going to stop the list here. As you see my friends, it all comes down to the simple things. The big BUT in my “do what makes you happy” mindset is that smiley faces don’t pay the rent. As much as these things fill my life with pleasure, contentment, joy or make me feel fortunate, they aren’t enough for my survival. I don’t mean to be a happiness party pooper but I must face reality. Doing the things that make me happy would make me a happy content woman in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women world. I might have been born in the wrong period of time! Hahahaha My quest is figuring out how to make those simple things work for me in a way that they not only make me happy but happily help me make a living.
Are you doing what makes you happy? Does it help you make a living?