Family, God, and gratitude — the three things that make me happy. For this post I’ll be grouping these three things into broader categories with other specific thankfuls: My surroundings, having a purpose in life, and gratitude.
Before we get going, I would like to give you some insight into how I came up with this magical triad. No, I did not pull them out of thin air. They were the most prevalent topics in my gratitude journal, which I’ve had for eight months. Without further ado let’s see what makes me happy and why.
Under this category falls family, friends, and music. The interesting thing about family and friends was that when something was happening in my life, good or bad, and they supported me through it, I mentioned them more times in my thankfuls. When I decided to quit playing club soccer my family helped me decide what to do. The next couple of days there were a lot more thankfuls for them and for the teammates I had on the team. Looking back at my lists, I now realize how many people have helped me along the way.
My family and my friends help me through a lot, and I can help them as well. This kind of altruistic relationship is very important. It helps you be a happier, more expressive person because you know you have support to fall back on. It also helps you feel needed. If your family and friends need support, you can help them.
Having good, healthy relationships has helped me become a more optimistic, supportive person.
Music is the next thankful. It may come as a bit of a surprise to some, but music is almost as important to me as my family and friends. Listening to music helps me allow my mind to drift off and relax from the stresses of life. It’s just you and the artist, nothing else you have to worry about. There isn’t even a certain genre of music you have to listen to, you can listen to whatever you like!
Another big plus of music is you can have your own private singing/dance party! Sing or dance your troubles away!
Having a purpose
God, my blog (this!), and success are the top things that give me purpose, not the only things! Having obvious purposes in life motivates me to get things done. They create a desire to fulfill that purpose, whatever it is.
God is all over my thankfuls. My whole journal is devoted to thanking him for what He has blessed me with. Having Him in my life allows me to carry on through the hard parts because I know he has a great plan for me. I don’t have to worry about what is going to happen to me: it is in His hands, not mine.
Whenever I need advice, help, or comfort I can turn to God, in prayer or in the Bible. The fact that I can talk to him anytime and anywhere I want to gives me a special kind of comfort I can’t get elsewhere.
Believing in Jesus gives my whole life a purpose, the purpose of serving him, doing good, and helping people. If I had none of the things I have or will mention in this post, I’d still be happy as long as I had God. It’s a magical kind of thing you just have to experience for yourself.
Blogging is another source of happiness for me. It gives me the purpose of showing my audience (you!) how they can live life to the fullest. I love to read the feedback I get from my readers, whether in the comments here or on Twitter or Facebook.
Writing posts every week also allows me to meet a weekly goal, and meeting goals feels amazing! It shows me I can do whatever I want as long as I put in the effort. It’s also nice to look back and see that I have posted twenty articles (now 53)!
Success was everywhere in my thankfuls. It outnumbered every other one by A LOT. I don’t write about only major successes, but also small ones, like getting out of bed at a decent hour or writing a blog post or if I met my weekly goals.
A lot of people seem to live under the illusion that all successes take tremendous time, money, and effort. I have found, however, that it can apply to anything, big or small. In fact, a lot of the little successes eventually build up to become large successes. An easy example of this is schooling. The little successes might be completing homework assignments, getting A’s on the tests, and A’s in the class. As a consequence, you may rank high in your class (#1), get into a great school, and/or find opportunities you hadn’t ever thought of. These are the large successes.
Another part of success comes from the psychological impact small achievements have on a person. Simply completing smaller tasks helps motivate me to reach for larger ones. For example, on Bills with Luke Scorziell, I asked my teacher to do an interview on the Start School Later Bill in California, this, could be considered a local success, aided by the smaller successes of my previous episodes. Even larger, was what this local success motivated me to achieve. While at Boys’ State in Sacramento, California, I approached multiple State Senators and Assemblyman to ask if they would like to interview on my podcast. A few have agreed and are being scheduled, this would never have happened if I wasn’t willing to start with relatively small goals.
A lot of my successes haven’t been big, but acknowledging them shows me that I can achieve what I set out to achieve.
I set out to do well at a debate championship: I got 12th place as an individual team. I made a goal to do well in my first speech contest: I got 2nd place. I set out to write a blog: I started and now have more people than I could’ve imagined reading it! (Be sure to subscribe!!)
Once I started succeeding in the small areas, I felt ready to reach for bigger things, and so far I’ve met my goals. That makes me happy, and gives me the motivation to keep doing what I’m doing.
I have already written a post about how great gratitude is, but I’d like to touch on it here too. Believe it or not 100% of my the thankfuls in my journal are about being grateful!! Yes that was a joke, of sorts.
On the serious side, just acknowledging all the good around me helps have a positive outlook on life. I no longer dwell on the bad that has happened to me, but focus on the good. Trust me, it’s a great way to live.
There is so much good in the world, you just have to change the way you look at things. The way I’ve done that is by writing three things I’m grateful for everyday. It is a great place to begin, and my advice to you is to do just that! It’s the best way to start feeling happier immediately!
So now that you see what makes me happy, tell me what makes you happy! Just leave a comment or Tweet to @TheEdgeofIdeas! Thank you for reading, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor for happiness! While you’re here at TheEdgeofIdeas.com be sure to look around a little, and feel free to subscribe!!