We recently celebrated Natalie's first birthday. She's one of the most content newly minted toddlers to visit the studio. She's just...happy. After our time together, I spent several days thinking about happiness with questions like "Am I happy enough" and "Am I the kind of person that helps other people be happy?" and "Do I regularly do things that bring me joy?"
Happiness is, after all, what we do everything for, right? At some level we make decisions because we think it will bring happiness either immediately or in the long term. It's the reason we go to yoga classes, clean out our closets, volunteer, show up on time for work and attempt to moderate our chocolate (or in my case, mac & cheese) consumption. It's also the reason we sleep in, finish that bottle of wine, binge watch House of Cards in a weekend and splurge on impromptu trips.
Growing up, I assumed that what was true for others had to be true for me too. I set out to mimic what seemed to make other people happy. But, as most of you likely figured out long before me, it's difficult to be happy when your decisions are based solely on what seems to bring others joy. Perhaps a secret to a happy adulthood is distinguishing what is true for others compared to what is true for yourself. This doesn't mean that there won't be similarities, but it does mean that certain things that bring me joy may not sound appealing to anyone else...and I think Natalie would agree with me that building your own happy life is very okay.