Today marks an incredible accomplishment for me. I say it’s incredible because I believe that any accomplishment, small or big, is always amazing and a reason for fanfare. Celebrating our small wins keep us motivated and driven towards our bigger goals!
So what makes today any more special than yesterday or tomorrow? Today is the one year and two week anniversary of this blog! I have been writing my thoughts and my experiences for one whole year and you have all been putting up with it and sharing your own experiences and stories with me, relating and asking questions. And from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you. Thank you for coming on this journey with me, thank you for giving me inspiration and thank you for all of your continued support. It means the world to me to know that my words have been able to help people, and provide perspective during times when it can be difficult to stay grounded and motivated.
I started this blog with a completely different aim in mind. It was meant to be the springboard into a career in coaching, and as you know from my post a while ago that has changed slightly (significantly). Despite this shift in my career journey, I plan on keeping this blog around as a space to communicate my thoughts and speak on issues that are important to me. I love writing and it brings me great joy, and I really want a space that is truly my own where I can write the content I want to, freely and without censorship.
A big part of why I took this time after university to explore my career options was to get to know myself a bit more. I wanted to make sure that whatever I decided to do, would bring me happiness.
A nine letter word that is incredibly loaded.
Whenever I think about happiness, I’m always faced with a mirage of follow-up questions: What is happiness? Are we ever truly happy? Is it achievable?… I end up going down this endless rabbit hole that never seems to provide any real answers, just more questions. It can leave us all feeling a little frustrated, and disenchanted about the whole thing.
I think the mistake a lot of people make is waiting around for happiness to happen to them, even when we don’t even know what would make us happy. We expect it to fall on our laps without any conscious effort, or figuring out what we truly value. It’s a trap designed to have us waiting and waiting until the day we die and ultimately, never achieving the happiness that we want. I will be the first to admit that this was me in the past. I wanted to be happy (who doesn’t?), but I never took the time to understand what would make me happy and what I needed to do to make it happen.
We are in charge of our own destiny, which means we need to create our own happiness.
We need to find out what we value in our lives. Is it the relationships we form and cultivate, having financial security or spending time doing what we love. Achieving happiness is a journey, and it’s a personal one because everyone values different things. Money might not be at the top of your list, but it might be for other people and it’s important we don’t judge others for what they need in their life to be happy and secure. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can definitely help you get there – an unfortunate consequence of the capitalist consumer driven society we live in. For me, I don’t need to be rich but I also don’t want to be struggling, so having some financial security is one of the things I value.
One thing I’ve learnt on this journey to happiness, is that it’s way too easy to adopt ‘mistaken happiness’. What I mean by this, is wanting things you think you’re supposed to want, in the hope that it will make you happy because everyone says it will. Things like wanting children, getting married, a well-paid job. You don’t need to have children to be happy, marriage isn’t for everyone and a job that makes you happy will always be better than a job that pays well but makes you miserable.
Don’t get bogged down by these expectations! Listen to yourself and drown out those external messages because you are living your life, not other people.