Figuring out what makes you happy can be a long process, as you will find the same things that make you happy don’t necessarily make everyone else happy. One way to learn what makes you happy is to gather data throughout your days about how happy you are, so you can notice patterns of happiness. You can also learn about your values and pursue new hobbies, as well as focus on some factors that make many people happy.
What or who would you be if you knew you couldn’t fail?
The risk of failure terrifies most people. How many times have you wanted to change jobs or careers, move to a new city, promote a cause that is important you, or become an expert in a certain area? Think about it. No risk of failure.
If you were 100 percent certain that you could be or do anything you wanted and not fail, do you know the answer?
What is your ninety-second personal elevator speech?
Probably the most important and poorly answered question in most job interviews, this is similar in nature. You can certainly include your career or career accomplishments in your personal speech, but think of this from the perspective of how you might answer this if you were making a new friend or going on a first date with someone.
How would you describe yourself so that the person asking the question would truly understand who you are and what is important to you?
What are your core personal values?
Personal values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live. They give you a reference for what is good, beneficial, important, useful, desirable, and constructive. Once you are able to determine exactly what values are most important to you, you can better determine your priorities.
In fact, having this information about yourself is the key to making sure your daily life is aligned with those values.
What makes you genuinely happy?
This one is closely related to your core personal values. However, ask yourself this question once you’ve really nailed down what those values are.
For example, if family is one of your core personal values, will taking a job that involves tons of travel make you happy? Take it a step further and really consider dreams you had when you were younger or currently have about what will make you truly happy.
If money were no object, how would you live your life differently?
Many people equate happiness and success directly to the amount of money they have. How many times have you heard someone say, “If I hit the lottery, I’d…”
But remember, this question isn’t really about money at all. It’s more about thinking outside the limits we tend to put on our aspirations and actions because things seem out of our reach financially.
You may not be able to do those exact things, but once you know what those true desires are, you expand your thinking and begin to develop a plan to work towards goals you may have never imagined possible.
While some factors that affect happiness are out of our control, (yes, genetics does play a role as do current life circumstances), there are always actions we can take to amp up our good vibes. Consider trying a few of these — or all of them! — and you’re guaranteed to give your day a little boost.