Are You Happy?
This is a question we are asked countless times throughout our lives.
Are you happy?
The answer isn’t always easy to come by, because happiness is an elusive descriptor, one we maintain to understand, when really, it means something different to everyone. Therefore, the search for happiness or “finding your bliss,” as Joseph Campbell put it, can spur a lifetime fraught with discouragement and frustration. Why? Because finding happiness is actually finding yourself. Without this self-awareness, we have no hope of discovering what true happiness means to us.
Finding yourself, and by extension, your bliss, is something most young students today are struggling with, as they strive to marry their singular bliss with what the world needs.
So how can you find yourself, and in so doing, find happiness?
This quaint but poignant video by New Age Creators gives a simple solution: Create a Happiness Journal.
The concept is simple: every day, write down one thing in your journal that made you happy that day. Be sure to write the date, too, so you can look back and see what made you happy on December 3rd or April 5th. Eventually, this small daily act will rewire old neurological pathways in your brain connected to past traumas or negative reinforcements, so that not only will you begin to see more happiness in the world, you will experience more happiness, and will also begin to recognize patterns of what things bring you the most joy.
After all, if helping people brings you the most joy, you may wish to explore a career in helping others using your singular talents, be it through personal relations, healthcare, or lobbying for climate change, to name a few. If you find the most joy in peaceful, solitary moments, you may wish to explore a path that will allow you to work quietly, like an artist or tech developer. If slacklining gives you bliss, well, you may just be the next grand performer of Cirque du Soleil.
This is the first step to finding yourself: discovering what brings you joy, then exploring how to take this gift and transform it into something the world needs.
“Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else.” - Joseph Campbell