Happiness is The Meaning of Life
Are you truly happy with your life right now or are you masking your melancholy with a fake smile? Do you find joy and fulfillment in your job? If you answered no to either one of those questions, you are not alone. A study done at the University of Chicago in 2020, found that only 14% of the participants said that they were actually happy. This is less than half of the 33% who said that they were happy two years prior in 2018.
Finding happiness is the main objective in life. That theory is backed by most religions and spirituality, who all talk of a serene place in the afterlife. No matter what we call this final destination, it's said to be a place of eternal peace and happiness. Everything we do revolves around our own contentment, even if we are doing it to help somebody else.
We spend one third of our lives working so we should be spending that time doing something that we enjoy. In this article, I will talk about what we need to do, to find a happier and more fulfilling career. I have put this article together using my own research and experiences.
Finding What makes YOU happy
First off, we can never find true happiness until we know what that looks like for each of us personally. When you are determining this definition, it is imperative to be completely open and honest with yourself because happiness looks different for everyone. We are all influenced by our environment when it comes to our vision of success and the last thing that you want i s to be chasing someone else's dreams if it's not what you truly desire. For some people it would take a mansion and nice cars to feel fulfillment. Other people are simply just as happy living out of a van. That is why it is so important not to let anybody else’s perception of joy determine what makes YOU happy.
If you’re not quite sure what brings you joy, you must be willing to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Start by making a bucket list of activities that you would like to try. Then start taking some action during your free time instead of binge-watching Netflix documentaries (unless of course, Netflix makes you genuinely happy). When you find activities that you enjoy, stick with them. As for the ones that you don't enjoy, at least you can say that you tried!
Here are some activities and places that you could try to give you a head start on your bucket list.
- Jewelry making
- Visiting museums
- Visiting a lake
- Cross country road trip
- Visit another country
The list goes on forever as long as you never put a limit on your dreams.
When Happiness Seems Unattainable
We all struggle with limiting beliefs and a sense of "imposter syndrome". That is the voice in your head telling you "why would anyone pay me for this" or "I could never make a living doing that". One study determined that about 82% of all people admit to feeling like an imposter at some point of their life. Some of the most successful people like Albert Einstein, Serena Williams, Jennifer Lopez, Tony Robbins, and Tom Hanks have all admitted to having these feelings of self-doubt. These limiting thoughts will prevent you from being happy until you learn how to cope with them and dismiss them as they come into your head. Remember what Nelson Mandela said once, "everything seems impossible until it is done".
If you are part of the majority of people struggling with imposter syndrome, try these seven strategies from the American Psychological Association (APA) website.
- Learn the facts
- Share your feelings
- Celebrate your successes
- Let go of perfectionism
- Cultivate self-compassion
- Share your failures
- Accept it
Visit the APA website for more details on these seven strategies for coping with imposter syndrome.
Maybe you already know what makes you happy, but you feel like it’s not profitable. Because of that, you need to work a job that is preventing you from spending time doing what you enjoy. Well thanks to modern technology, monetizing our hobbies has never been easier. One of the richest people on YouTube is a kid who started making home videos at six years old, and all he would do is play with his new toys, enjoying his life. He is now 11 years old at the time of writing this and has an estimated current net worth of around $33 million, he has his own show on a major network, a video game, and still does what he loves every day. If a child can make their dreams come true, nothing can prevent you from making yours come true.
Do we stop pursuing our dreams if they are frowned upon amongst our family or peer group?
Not everybody in your life will understand or agree with all your choices. To be honest, in the beginning there will be a lot of people who seem to want to talk you out of your dreams. These people will come in the form of haters who are jealous of you for taking a leap of faith that they are too afraid to take themselves. They might also come as a concerned loved-one that believes your dream is “too risky”. No matter what their reason is, it shouldn’t affect your decision unless that person is already living the life that you desire. With all due respect, you wouldn’t ask your plumber to fix your car, so why would you take life advice from someone who is not where you want to be in life?
How to Transition Into my Dream Career
If the fear of losing your security is what’s keeping you from taking that leap of faith into your dream career, there is a way to make the transition more smoothly. You can start by sacrificing some activities of lesser value and practice your passion on your time off. Once you feel confident enough in your work, begin searching sites like craigslist or fivver, (just to name a couple) to find freelance or part-time work in that field. If your passion is crafting, you can sell items on mercari or etsy. If you want to monetize a hobby, you can create youtube tutorials, blogs, or even your own product in that niche. As the old saying goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Once you start earning an income, it is important to stay persistent and keep scaling your new career. Once you feel you are earning enough to support yourself, you can either cut your hours at that job you hate or up and leave it altogether. Worst case scenario, you can always find another job if you need the supplemental income and part-time at your current job is not available.
A more gradual approach like this could be a better option for those who have a family to support, fear of losing the security of their current career, or people who are still exploring what their passion is. There are endless career paths that you can take in this world, there is no need to settle for anything less than what you truly want and my goal with this article is to help motivate more people to feel the same. Don’t be afraid to stray away from the norm, ignore the opinion of others, and focus on what makes you happy. Remember that the greater the risk, the greater the reward.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.