27 Questions to Ignite your Spark
What makes you happiest in your life? What excites you?
If I ask you to tell me three things that you hate, would you take long to give me an answer? I wouldn’t. I can very easily think of things I hate. Things that annoy me, things that I complain about daily. From what I see and the people I know, looks like most of us have a list of complaints and annoyances that could go on forever.
Would you be as fast to tell me what things make you happy?
It seemed like a silly question when I first read it, but when I was trying to put an answer together I realized that it was a lot harder than I thought! I am so fast to say the things I hate, the things that upset me, but when I tried to think about things that make me happy I can only come up with little and temporary things like: a cup of coffee, chocolate, a day off.
How can it be? Is it possible that I don’t really know what makes me happy? I mean, when you ask me about what upsets me I can come up with really concrete examples: we can start with almost everything that is math related – it makes me sad and it gives me headaches – hypocrisy, rudeness, being in small spaces, social inequity, lack of organization… (I can go on forever). But when you ask me about happiness, I think of a warm cup of coffee, and how it makes me feel better after a bad day.
See, what I notice is that most of the things that I list as happiness are really a way of balancing out things that upset me. Following this line of thought, I realized that if I was unhappy and unsatisfied it was mainly because I didn’t know what I wanted. What made me happy. And if you don’t know what makes you happy, you don’t know which direction to go, which decisions to make, where to focus.
Part of my unhappiness was caused by my lack of self-knowledge.
When I started working on my list, I got to the most important things: Family, Friends, a feeling of belonging somewhere. This are great things, they all make me very happy, but in order to find your passion you need to go deeper than that, right?
Finding out what you love, and what makes you happy can be hard!
After thinking for a long time, I got to my preliminary list. I still think that this is a work in progress, and that maybe you have to review your list from time to time, because things change.
I am happy when I feel like I am doing something that means something. I am happy when the effort I put into something helps people, inspires people. I’m happy when I am exposed to a new perspective, when I hear a story from someone new, when I learn about new places, new experiences, when I feel like part of something bigger. The idea of talking to people and listening to their stories excites me. I am happy when I am writing – no matter about what -and when I meet new, interesting people.
So this might be a very raw answer, but it is the beginning of a long process of finding myself and learning who I am. For now, I am trying to find ways of adding this to my life: I am trying to meet new people, talk and learn about their stories; I’m volunteering and looking for opportunities where I can be meaningful.
What about you? Have you found what makes you happy yet?