Don’t you find it frustrating when you read something about improving your job, life, relationships, etc., and the author tells you that “Happiness is a choice” or “10% of life is what happens to you and 90% is how you choose to react to it”? I can assure you I am not full of Happiness when I read stuff like that. But those kind of quotes did get me going on a journey to find what happiness is for me.
When I embarked on my journey I found this type of quote helpful because they taught me to really think about things and analyze why I felt a particular way about everything. Through this self reflection I came to understand that I made some choices for me and some choices for others. I also made a lot of choices out of fear.
Luckily I have now stabilized my life and can reflect more on the topic of happiness. I have come to realize that my version of these quotes could be:
“Happiness is the sum of the choices you make.” or “Happiness is how you choose to interpret the reactions of others.”
Looking for Happiness
For years I have tried to find happiness in one thing, one calling, one idea. When I was a kid I dreamed of playing in the world cup, then when it became obvious that wouldn’t happen I dreamed of being an actress, then I thought I could be linguist, but my spelling sucked, finally I decided I could be a music teacher.
I guess I am a music teacher, but I don’t feel like a music teacher. I suffer from impostor syndrome. Even though I love my students love teaching music I never really “fit in”. After investing years of my life trying to figure out what is worng with me and trying to find ways to “fit in” I started to think I needed to start looking for a new career.
In effort to find a new career path I; took classes, which I loved, read books about changing careers, and took more classes. Every time I learned something new the initial excitement wore off and I realized I wanted to try something else new. This perpetual desire for change and newness made me worry I would never find the one thing I am meant to do. I feared being stuck in a place where I don’t “fit in” forever. No I decide, I am crazy just crazy.
Finding a fellow explorer
It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Emilie’s TED Talk that I figured out maybe there wasn’t anything wrong with me. In fact the problem was what I thought about other people’s view of me. Emilie talks about a tribe of people who love to learn and try things, and never find one true calling. For these people their calling is really to be themselves. Emilie named her tribe of people Multipotentialites.
Discovering the idea of multipotentialites validated me for the first time. I chose my major in college because I knew I had to graduate. This boxed me in during the one time in life I should have let myself be free. Even as I was realizing music wasn’t the perfect fit for me I stuck with it because I was afraid to never find “the” thing I would be good at.
The confidence to find Happiness
Listening to Emilie’s talk gave me the realization I am meant to do lots of things! It is ok not to be amazing at one thing. I just need to be amazing at being me. That is where I will find Happiness. Knowing that there is at least one other person out there wanting to be successful at more than one thing encourages me and brings great happiness! As I listened to her story I realized it was her choices that have lead her to a happier life. Her choices lead her to find her callings, her projects, and herself. Her happiness was made through her choices.
Now I make choices that make me happy. Some of these choices are really hard and super scary but in the long run, I know I will have fewer regrets and more happiness because of them! I hope that you find the same encouragement here at Intentional Explorers that I found from Emilie and Puttylike.
How do you define your happiness? What choices are you making to live the life you want to live? What is standing in your way?
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