Here are 5 questions that will help you recognize the signs for countless opportunities to find happiness, but we often pass them by without realizing it’s what we’ve been waiting for all along.
1. What do I have in my life that I am truly thankful for?
Gratitude is most helpful as a discipline. When things are going well, gratitude is an easy and natural response. Gratitude is most helpful and life-enhancing when it is needed most. When you most feel the burden of your circumstance, look around, notice the good, and offer a verbal appreciation of gratitude. It will immediately shift your focus from the bad to the good.
We’ve all got a lot to be thankful for. But most of us take these for granted. For example, just the fact that we are breathing and alive right now is going to go unnoticed by most of us. But when we fall ill, or worse, when we’re on our deathbeds, only then do we realize how important each breath was.
2. Am I spending my time with the right kind of people?
There’s an old saying that goes, tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are. Take a look around you. Are you surrounded by the right kind of people? Do they make you happy? Or are they dragging you down into a downward spiral?
There are few things more affirming in life than the realization that we are known and loved by another whether that be a parent, a spouse, a friend, a mentor, or a child. Whether they live close or far away, remember their faces. Whether you have spoken with them recently or not, remember their voice. If you are loved, you have all you need for joy.
3. How much money do I really need?
Money is important, but not that important. Sure, when you have loads of money, it’s easier to buy the things that can make you happy. But did you know, that having money doesn’t automatically translate to happiness? There are a lot of unhappy, but extremely wealthy people out there. “You have to take a look at how you want your money to be, because it does not buy happiness,” Smith says. “How much money do you need to be happy? Or are you satisfied with just enough?”
4. What am I doing to make the world a better place?
Whether you paint, landscape, manage people, or answer telephone calls to provide customer service, thank you. Your work matters to us. Though you may not always see it, you make our world better and improve our society. Don’t view your job as just a paycheck, after all, there is no dollar amount worth the sacrifice of your life. Instead, view your work as a contribution. And be reminded that we are grateful for it.
Make it your legacy to leave the world a better place than when you found it. Do whatever it takes to make a difference in someone else’s life. Trust me, you’ll feel a whole lot better about yourself at the end of the day you will find happiness that you are looking for.
5. Am I living the life I want to live?
Ah, the million dollar question. Are you truly living the life you want for yourself? Or are you living it because that’s what others expect you to do? Only you know the answer to that. If you truly want to find happiness, you need to love what you’re doing and live the life you want.
That question comes from Becky Lynn Smith, author of Designing Your Ideal Life: Create Your Blueprint for Success and Happiness. “My best advice is really about living your own life, not someone else’s version of your life,” Smith says. “You need to be really sure what’s important to you before embarking on a path. Give yourself permission to explore.”