The Key to Happiness Is Doing the Things That Make You Happy

and avoiding the things that don’t.

I’ve been blogging since I was eighteen. It was the only thing I knew, so when I got tired of it, I thought it was the topic I was writing about and quit to start a new blog nine months later about something else.

It’s only been four months since the launch of that blog, but about a month ago, I started tinkering with the idea of quitting again.

It turns out the topic had nothing to do with my discontent and dread — it was blogging itself.

I love writing, and that was the only part I enjoyed. All successful bloggers are also social media influencers and YouTube successes, but I couldn’t care less about that.

I don’t like taking pictures or writing captions, and while I liked creating YouTube videos for the year or so that I did it, I didn’t love it enough to continue.

That’s why yesterday, I finally decided to stop my blog for good. (I’m announcing it to my thirty-four email subscribers soon.)

Even though I’ve been on Medium for four months now, I still felt uncomfortable letting go of my website.

I continually asked my sisters and parents what I should do, but their advice didn’t matter because, ultimately, it was up to me.

In the end, I only thought about one thing: Does it make me happy?

I thought about how long it took me to format my articles, the hours I took creating my featured images, the social media marketing, and the dread.

I thought about how I would push anything relating to my blog until the end of the day, avoiding it.

I knew then — blogging wasn’t making me happy anymore.

It’d served its purpose by giving me meaning and helping me realize I wanted to be a writer. I learned so much about personal development (because it’s what I wrote about) and myself.

But it wasn’t making me happy. So, I’m quitting because the key to happiness is doing the things that make you happy and avoiding the things that don’t.

How to be happy

I quit and made more time for Medium, which brings me joy. It was that simple.

If you enjoy reading, but you don’t make time for it, learn to prioritize it. If you’re not satisfied with your current career or your job, you don’t have to quit right away, but start taking the steps toward doing so.

The same goes for people. If you hang out with pessimists who only bring you down, you need to spend less time with them and find a new group of friends.

“Make a list of things that make you happy.

Make a list of things you do every day.

Compare the lists.

Adjust accordingly.”

— Unknown

Prioritize your joy. You won’t be able to do everything you like right now but start with the little things.

Make time to sit outside and enjoy your coffee before your hustling begins. Carve out time again for your daily walks, workout every other day, or take your kid to that arts and crafts class.

The things that bring you joy don’t have to be big. Sometimes, it just means learning to put your phone down and being present with the people you love.

“Do what makes you happy,” may be a cliché phrase, but I hope it never dies because you should do shit you like. Life’s too short to do otherwise.

This isn’t an excuse to do whatever you want

I know someone’s going to argue with something along the lines of, “Binge-watching makes me happy, should I do that?”

My answer is: binge-watching doesn’t make you happy. Neither does playing video games for hours on end or scrolling endlessly through social media.

Most people regret watching shows for hours at a time, and if you’re doing any of those things, it’s because you’re not generally satisfied.

Megan Holstein wrote an article titled, You Will Regret Watching So Much Netflix, and she explains this perfectly. She said:

Agitated mothers would say the reason he couldn’t get on his feet is the video games, but it wasn’t the video games. It’s never the video games. (Or the social media, or the Netflix or anything else). What matters is why we use these things. So why did he play video games all the time? Why do you binge-watch Netflix? Because you want to check out of life.

People do things they shouldn’t, not because it brings them joy and fulfillment, but to escape life.

When shit gets too hard, they don’t face it. They run away from it. That’s why they think Netflix makes them content — because it brings them relief.

So, no, please don’t spend hours wasting your one life away. Find the things that make you happy, and do them as often as you can.

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