There’s so much talk these days about what makes people happy. Its on the news, in advertisements, at work, in self-help books, and all over the Internet. It has to do with daily activities, work, relationships, money, what we do with our days, the list is endless. We are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us that we too can be happy. if only we have this, do that, or live our life in a certain way.
It takes a lot of different types of people to make the world the place it is. We all have our roles to play. Because of the people I know, the time I spend on-line, and because I have a blog, I am constantly hearing how I can make my blog friendlier for search engines, how I can grow my blog, sell things on my blog, all in order to make a lot of money.
For the sake of full disclosure, I sometimes get a commission for some of the things I refer, but that is not the reason I suggest certain things. I refer things that I like, admire, respect, and think will be helpful to people. If I earn something from it that is a bonus for me. I write my blog because that is what I feel drawn to do. Some ‘bloggers’ tell me I need to make more money off of my blog to make it ‘worth it’. I can say that the feedback I get from my blog makes it worth it, and it makes me happy. But, I’ve had people tell me that I could be happier if I just did it their way. Thing is, I am truly happy now.
I hear all the time that self-employment is the way to go. We hear “be your own boss” all the time. We are told if you have to answer to someone else, whether it be in an office, or on a construction site, you cannot possibly be happy. Work for yourself and you will never have to deal with a boss who’s a jerk again!
This isn’t always the case though. A lot of people I know are really happy to be working for someone else. They go to work, they come home, they enjoy their life. A lot of them even have nice bosses and positive work environments. Some make really good money, some make average money, some make very little money, but if they (you) are happy, what difference does it make.
Working for yourself isn’t always the end-all-be-all of wonderful things. There have been many times over the past 6 years since I quit my day job where I wasn’t sure if I had enough money to make the mortgage, never mind feed my family. For a lot of people, this type of stress would make them very unhappy.
I know a handful of wonderful women that are stay-at-home moms. When I was in my 20’s and was working my way up the corporate ladder I truly did not understand women like that. Didn’t they have any goals? Didn’t they want to be successful? They seemed happy, but how could they truly be if they weren’t working, making an impact in the world. Of course I know better now that I am a mom too. I work at home and I know just how precious the time with my son is. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Now, rather than wonder about women like that, I admire them. It takes a special type of person to be able to truly embrace being a parent.
I lived alone for most of my adult life until I met my husband. I was 38 before I truly allowed someone into my life and into my living space. I was (usually), very happily single. Some people couldn’t understand how I could possibly be happy on my own. Well, I’d had a few disastrous relationships and I truly was happy on my own. I made plenty of money to support myself, I had a lot of friends, lots to do, a great job, a pretty good life.
Now I am happily living with and sharing my life with someone that I respect and adore (as he does me). Now I have people asking me how I can possibly be this happy when I have to share the life, and moods, and habits of someone else. I have some women acquaintances that are constantly complaining about their husbands (or boyfriends) and they just don’t understand how I could be happy.
I started reading a book by Jack Canfield (The Success Principles, How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be), and I have to admit, that I am almost finding parts of the book to be depressing. This is just me personally, this I know. Everything is a matter of perspective, but it is really making me think. Could I be more successful? Could I write a best-seller, or do more readings, or send the audition tape to the person in California who asked me to? Why yes I could. With enough determination and hard work I could pretty much do anything (as could you).
But do I want to. Do I need to. I don’t think I do. Not today. Next week, month, year or decade, I could decide I want to head in one of those directions. But right now when I think about it, all it does is stress me out. I like being with my family, I am a homebody by nature, I feel happy and successful. Right this minute I don’t want to go anywhere. Except for maybe my trip to Phoenix for the Celebrate Your Life Conference in November. I am looking forward to being inspired and having a weekend away, check it out, maybe you could go too.
Reading that book almost made me feel like what I was doing wasn’t enough. (I can’t stress enough that this is my perception and my baggage that was creating that feeling for me). If you are feeling like you are stuck and want more out of your life, then this book is an amazing tool for acheiving success in your life.
I guess my point for those of you that are reading this is that you need to do what makes you happy. Not what some book, or society, or your friends, or family, or anyone else says. It is your life, and if you are happy, continue to embrace that and don’t worry about what the neighbours or anyone else thinks.