I have been spending a lot of time on Quora lately. It's effectively a social media site but, one based solely on the premise of asking others anything on any topic and then having people provide answers to your questions. I enjoy looking through the questions, picking out ones I like, and answering them.
Today I answered the following question:
When is the last time you were truly happy?
It's kind of a sad question that implies that happiness is fleeting and elusive. Here is how I responded since I think that it's relevant in a broader sense.
I’m happy most of the time. I have made choices in my life that have made that possible. More on that in a moment… Beyond that I’m very fortunate to be healthy, which to me is the foundation that all happiness is built upon.
Just a year ago, I tended to be unhappy most of the time. The reason for this is that I had just struggled through a bunch of interviews to land a boring and dead end job with a company that I had little respect for and a role that was mind numbingly boring. Why did I do this?
I was ultimately let go from that job a few months later…most likely because my disdain for it was glaringly obvious. This wasn’t the first time I’d gotten fired but, since I’m in my forties, I was at a crossroads and had to decide if the answer to losing this job was simply to find another one like it.
I opted to go a different route. My focus was on creating a new path for myself. I got my coaching certification. Working with and helping people is something that I truly enjoy doing. The shift is now for me to fit work into a broader lifestyle vs. what I was doing before and working to eek out small moments of happiness on the weekends.
We all face choices in our lives all the time. Sometimes we’re not able to make the right ones because of pressure or uncertainty in ourselves. Just know that the choices we make or the ones we fail to make are what keep many people in a perpetual cycle of being discontent and unhappy with their lives. Take a step back and see where and how this might apply to your life.
Break the cycle. Create your own happiness.