Discovering Happiness by Doing the Things You Love

Have you ever noticed that you are usually happiest when you are doing something you enjoy? For those of you fortunate enough to know what activities you enjoy most, congratulations! I applaud you. Many of us aren’t as lucky. We need to experiment quite a bit before we find something that excites us. I have to admit, for many years I didn’t understand the value of discovering my true passions. As a result, a lot of my interests and hobbies were based on what those around me liked. It wasn’t until much later in life that I found activities that have shaped me into the person I am today. Take a look at this step-by-step process to help you discover your true passions:

Step #1: How Do You Know If You Like Something:

  1. You find the activity fulfilling and it makes you happy. When you’re smiling, laughing, and enjoying yourself it makes you feel good inside.
  2. You want to participate in the activity even if nobody you know is involved.
  3. You look forward to the activity and you get that excited feeling in your stomach when you anticipate doing it again. You know a hobby is beneficial when it perks you up or gets you through a bad day.
  4. You find you’re able to see the positive aspects of the experience even if you’re not the “best” at it.

Step # 2: Turning Likes & Interests Into Something More Meaningful:

  1. Make a list of everything you enjoy doing. Take time to think about the activities that make you “feel your best.”
  2. List your strengths and talents.
  3. Think outside of the box.
  4. Be open to trying many different types of activities.
  5. Ask for help. You may need to ask a relative or teacher for assistance.

 

Likes/Interests: Strengths/Talents: Smart, Creative, Helpful
Dogs
  • Take your dog or a neighbor’s dog for a walk or teach the dog a new trick.
  • Raise awareness or donate to a local animal shelter.         Check out this site www.ourchildrenmakingchange.org
Food
  • Look at cookbooks from the library and try a recipe.
  • Bake a treat for your family or someone who needs a pick me up.
Art
  • Volunteer at a local arts center/camp.
  • Make creative labels and organize your room.
Running
  • Train for a 5k (check out local races www.active.com)
  • Join a running club at school or in your community.

Additional Benefits of Finding Something You Enjoy Doing:  

Time management-When you find something you love to do you will want to make room in your life for it. You will need to manage your time and responsibilities in order to make time to try new things or continue doing the things that make you feel good.

Building Confidence-Stepping outside your comfort zone by trying something new helps to build confidence. Even if you decide you don’t enjoy the new activity, you should give yourself the credit you deserve for trying.

Adding to the quality of your relationships-It’s very special to be able to share your likes and interests with the people in your life. Also, when you have a stronger sense of self and you feel happy, people will gravitate toward you and want to spend time getting to know you. Creating a feeling of independence-Often, we look to others to create our happiness. This can be tricky if friends are busy or a relationship ends. Having multiple outlets for staying active can provide a feeling of independence.

There are many benefits to having a strong sense of your likes and dislikes. Start today to discover your true self. Say to yourself or out loud: “THIS is who I am! THIS is what I am good at! THIS is what I like to do!”

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