There are many different things that can make us short-term happy and just as likewise miserable. For example, we often think money will make us happy, but the reality is that it can’t offer true happiness because money doesn’t have any real substance or value beyond what we give to it. There are three things that I think every person needs to be happy. We could all add our own small things to this list, of course, like for me board games would be top of the list of things that make me happy. I love playing games late into the night!
This post is sponsored by Random House. All opinions are my own.
3 Things You Need to be Happy
1. A Friend – Our very nature has made us to desire to have loved ones around us. It doesn’t matter if that someone to care about is a significant other, a best friend who lives down the street, someone you can call up to gossip with every few months, or even a pet you hold dear. It’s the simple companionship and knowing that we are not alone. I’ve often felt myself whenever I’m feeling down or depressed that I need to reach out and start making friends and connections. Even though I’m happily married, the more people we have surrounding us, often the better. It’s a simple fix to get together with a friend or two and laugh and talk and forget your worries. Everyone needs at least one good friend.
2. Learning / Growth – If we aren’t learning and progressing, aren’t we receding? We naturally forget the things we don’t use or old memories we no longer care to hold onto. I’ve taken language classes for both Spanish and Sign Language, but care barely recall any of the words and really struggle to carry on any type of dialogue. We can lose our skills, talents, and knowledge really quite quickly, too. In just about 6 months after each of these language classes, I had easily forgotten the majority of what I worked so hard to commit to memory. If we aren’t moving forward and learning, I think this is the quickest way to become unhappy without even being able to pinpoint why. We all need to have our minds challenged and growing.
3. A Purpose – If we’re just bumping along on the road of life with no direction, goal, purpose, quest, or reason for existing it’s really hard to find joy in our accomplishments – realizing we aren’t focusing towards something specific to achieve. I noticed this in my own life with our finances. We had no plan for our money and every month it came in and went without any specific purpose or plan. After listening to a motivational speaker, I got fired up and together my husband and I made a plan and pushed through our goals surpassing every goal we made much quicker than our outlined time frame. There was no stopping us, it was completely transparent to us what we wanted to achieve and our path to get there and any additional sacrifices we could make we did – because we knew where we were headed and wanted to jog instead of walk to the end goal. Our goal was being debt free, and once we made it there we again became complacent with little direction to do with our finances. Having a purpose gives us the motivation and desire to push and work hard towards something we really want.
I started reading this really fascinating book by Chris Guillebeau called “The Happiness of Pursuit“. In his book, he details his own quest to visit every single country on earth. While it’s interesting to read his own perspective, the book really drew me in as I started to hear the stories of all the other unique and interesting quests others from all over the world had started in their own lives. It really does’t matter what it is that we focus on in our lives, as long as we have something that drives us forward and pushes us to be successful in our own right.
There was one part of his book that really stood out to me. The idea that we can’t get caught in the simple and tedious nature of every day life or the every day actions of our own purpose and cause those moments to let us fail. He shared:
“…What anyone who has ever climbed a mountain has learned: The path to the summit consists of repetitive movements, but it is precisely the arduousness of the task that makes the accomplishment an epic one.” – The Happiness of Pursuit, pg 139.
Isn’t life really those little steps we take day after day that build who we are and our own unique purpose? I think of what I learn church week after week – that it’s the very tiny basic building blocks of action that make up everything that is your testimony. Daily prayer, study, devotion, meditation – whatever it might mean to you – that is what forms our very beliefs. Sometimes we laugh and joke about these “easy” answers towards developing a testimony while at our church meetings, but really those seemingly simple steps are the most difficult daily steps to take unless it’s something we are committed to.
If you love reading self-help books to inspire and motivate you, you will really enjoy The Happiness of Pursuit to help you discover what it is in your own life that you are passionate about and discover a purpose that can propel you forward to accomplish something amazing!