We can stop trying to be someone we’re not. Happiness begins in that moment, when we look within and say, “I was not created to be her; I was created to be me”. Happiness is an inside job. You don’t find happiness by being the best version of someone else; you find happiness by being the best version of you. –The Happiness Dare
If you want to succeed at not being happy, I’ve got the guaranteed path to accomplishing that: try to live someone else’s life.
Spend your days comparing yourself to her. Wish you could be her. Do everything you can to be like her.
This will make you feel so unhappy. You’ll probably feel frustrated that you just can’t do it like she does. You’ll probably beat yourself up over the fact that you’re not as good as her. And you’ll stress over not measuring up.
Or, you can choose to be YOU. To focus on making the most of where you are. To intentionally cultivate the ground right where you are. To do all you can to be the best version of you.
I loved the encouragement in The Happiness Dare to stop trying to feel like we had to try to do what makes other people happy and fulfilled and instead find our own happy spot.
Don’t look at others and think, “It makes her happy to garden, so I should do that, too!” By all means, if the thought of planting and weeding and harvesting sounds amazing to you, go do it (even if that is just with a little container garden on your porch!).
But if the whole gardening thing sounds utterly boring and exhausting to you, please give yourself the grace to not feel obligated in any way to become a Master Gardener. Unless you want to be miserable.
You have to figure out your own happy spot, instead of thinking that what will bring someone else joy and fulfillment is also going to bring you the same joy and fulfillment. Don’t try to be her, because you aren’t her.
If you’re struggling to figure out what makes you come alive and what brings you joy, ask yourself these questions:
- What makes me feel happy?
- If I had an entire day to myself and napping wasn’t an option (!), what would I choose to do?
- What are some of my happiest memories?
- What do other people say to brings life to me and puts a smile on my face?
As I’ve been taking the Happiness Dare, I’m realizing that there are so many beautiful things all around us, but often, I’ve been too busy and focused on productivity that I’ve missed them. This dare has really challenged me to look around my world and find the happy. To add more shots of joy into my every day life. To wring the delight out of what might seem ordinary.
I’m letting myself take time to slow down and enjoy a bike ride, to buy those discounted flowers, really be in the moment in a conversation, to savor the beauty of the ocean, to slowly enjoy books, to eat more ice cream, to wear colors I love, to stop saying to myself, “That’s not who you are!”
My daughter said to me the other day, “Mom, you’ve been laughing a lot more recently!” I know she’s right.
By intentionally seeking to do things that make me smile more, I have a lot more joy in my life. And I think this joy is becoming contagious!
What makes YOU feel happy? I’d love to hear! Tell us in the comments!