Correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel as though the world around us is constantly dictating what “should” make us happy. I don’t think anyone does it intentionally but it happens. The culprits? Parents, friends, television, instagram, twitter, the government…practically everyone. They tell us that we should enjoy certain foods because they’re “healthy”. We should listen to whatever music is popular at the time. We should keep up with fashion and beauty trends. We should pursue practical careers. We should enjoy partying because that’s what 21 year olds do. See my point?
But, where do we draw the line? When do we stop focusing on pleasing those around us and start doing the things that make us happy? It’s a question I’ve struggled to answer for the majority of my life and I’m only now learning how to take a stand. Sometimes we have to put ourselves first.
Now, in no way am I saying to stop caring about others. Quite the contrary. Being there for the people we love and helping them discover their own happiness will bring unbelievable joy. I promise. But, sometimes it’s necessary for each of us to take a step back and decide if we’re living the life that we want to live. Because if you’re not doing what makes you happy, you’ll never truly feel fulfilled.
Personally? I love helping others get healthy and witnessing them discover strength they didn’t know they had. I love speaking in front of groups of people. I love being outside in the sunshine. I love spending time with my family. I love spending hours on end at Starbucks. I love cuddling with my kitty. I love doing my makeup and getting my nails done. I love going out to dinner with my friends and just being silly. I love being in front of the camera. I love falling asleep early and waking up at the crack of dawn. I love being a vegetarian. I love exploring. I love exercise. I love writing. I love meeting new people. I love reading corny romantic novels (Nicholas Sparks, I’m lookin’ at you!). I love sharing my thoughts and opinions and hearing what others have to say. I love smiling.
Maybe those aren’t things a “typical” 21-year old would have on their happiness list, but that’s what makes me unique. I can guarantee that no two people’s lists will look the same and that’s where the beauty lies. Finding what puts a smile on your face and then dedicating your life to doing those things will make you feel more fulfilled than you ever could have imagined. It’s a journey and I’m only dipping my toes in the sand right now but, let me tell you, it’s the most liberating things I’ve ever experienced.
My Happy List: (photo style)
Just a little glimpse into the moments that have made me smile recently. In order to truly build bliss in our lives, we need to embrace every second that we’re given. Stop wishing for tomorrow, stop dwelling on yesterday and focus on the things that make you happy right this second. You deserve that.
What simple things bring you the most happiness?
Here’s to smiling like there’s no tomorrow…