Do You Know What Makes You Happy?

You should have seen the first draft of this post. It was pathetic. A collection of pithy phrases and gibberish that I am embarrassed to say came from my hands. Ok, it came from the melon on top of my shoulders. Anyway, I decided to try again.

Within the last ten years or so of my life I have been a part of or witness to some events that have made me focus on trying to identify the things and people in life that are most important to me. Some of them have been obvious and some have been less so.

I suppose that you can attribute some of this to painful mistakes that have made me take a hard look at myself. One of my great challenges is that I am very hard on myself. Sometimes I look at choices I have made and I just want to kick myself for picking the wrong door.

Friends of mine have told me that as one door closes another one opens but I always have trouble accepting that. It is a feel good statement that doesn't always make me feel good. So I have chosen to take a slightly different approach and ask myself some very simple questions about what I want in life.

At the root level it is a question of who do I want around me. Who makes me happy. Who makes me feel good. Who stimulates me. What sort of work do I want to do. Not what pays the bills, but what kind of work inspires me to wake up in the morning.

What kind of things do I need. I truly don't need much, but I do need some things and I haven't any problem saying that.

Now I haven't provided much in the way of details and I am not sure if I am going to in this post. Much of this is incredibly personal and I am not really sure how comfortable I feel sharing it. I'll provide some general answers. In order to protect what little anonymity remains I am going to qualify this and say that I may already have some of the items I list here, or maybe not.

Let's start with companionship. I want someone who makes my heart pound and my blood boil.
They don't have to and shouldn't agree with everything I say or like. It is good to have a few differences. But I want someone that I like and that I can speak with about anything.

It is not about someone to have fun with, but someone to have a life with.

Possessions- I want a comfortable house that I can entertain in when I feel like but it must be a home. I want a good stereo and a good television. I love music and sometimes I'll want to watch a ballgame or cuddle up for a movie.

I want a great library of books to read and a comfortable chair to read them in.

That is pretty much it. Obviously it is not detailed. I didn't forget family and friends. They are critical elements in my life and I want them too.

In between all this or maybe I should say wrapped into this I'd love to travel and enjoy some very fine meals.

Off the top of my head, that is pretty much it. The rest is commentary.


Anonymous said...

Hey Jack - is being 40 making you re-evaluate your life? It seems to me you're doing a lot of this reflective thinking right now.

What makes me happy? Many things. But the basics are a good start - shelter, food, love. The rest is just window-dressing.


Anonymous said...

The circumstances I've faced in the last year or two have forced me to give this topic a lot of thought.

In terms of possessions/home, I need a computer with a great monitor, a comfortable sofa, a pillow-top mattress, an iPod, a fleece blanket, art supplies, and a table to do art projects on, a few pottery bowls, plates, and heavy mugs.

I prefer small living spaces to large ones.

I need to live among trees or be walking distance from a park.

In terms of people: I like thinkers and those who enjoy real conversation, people that laugh at my jokes and make me laugh too, people who live with passion and compassion in equal measure, those who are not relentlessly cheery or positive, those who are not afraid to share the truth of who they are, and are curious about the world.

Jack Steiner said...


Nah, I do these posts every few months. Part of being a tortured soul. ;)


Sounds like you really have spent time figuring it all out. I suppose that once you have done that the next step is to make it happen.

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