Someone asked me, “What makes you happy?” and this got me thinking, reflecting back on my life. When I was young I used to dream about what I wanted in my life, the things I thought would make me happy.

Here are some of the things I wanted: 

  • I wanted a nice house, to live in the city.
  • I wanted a pony, who didn’t?
  • I wanted a car, specifically a mini.
  • I wanted vacations by the coast.
  • I wanted money, lots of it. ☺
  • I wanted a career.
  • I wanted a degree.

As I got older and had fulfilled most of the list above (I’m not sure how much money is lots of money I should have been more specific), I wanted different things: 

  • I wanted a family.
  • I wanted a nice house in the country.
  • I wanted a better car.
  • I wanted a different career, a more rewarding one.
  • I wanted a dog.
  • I wanted a vacation home.
  • I wanted a higher degree.

Was I happy? Some of the time yes, but much of the happiness was short-lived because it was connected to accomplishing what I thought would make me happy. When I got a new car I was ecstatic. I loved my car but then after a while the excitement wore off.

What I learned through my life’s journey is that happiness does not come from acquiring cool things, including qualifications, it comes from something else. Happiness comes from the way we think about life and the things we do. For example, gratitude and kindness can increase your happiness.

The PursuitofHappiness.org shares  The Seven Habits Of Happy People

  1. Relationships
  2. Acts of Kindness
  3. Exercise and Physical Well-being
  4. Flow
  5. Spiritual Engagement and Meaning
  6. Strengths and Virtues
  7. Positive Mindset: Optimism, Mindfulness and Gratitude.

So while I was busy chasing the things that I thought would bring me happiness I wasn’t paying attention to what would.

And now? 

Well, I do have the things on my wish list; there is nothing wrong with having things. The difference is I am intentional; I pay attention to my relationships; I have a career that allows me to stay connected with and BE supportive of others. I know what my strengths and virtues are, and I use them. A positive mindset is a way of being for me, and it is the foundation of my coaching business.

If you would like to connect with me and other women who are also in the pursuit of happiness join me in Her Self-Discovery on Facebook, or join my eChapter Her Midlife Joy and let’s discover our happy places together!

About Our Author

Sarah Bell

Sarah Bell is a Certified Transformation Coach who founded Bell’s Breakthrough Coaching where she teaches women through one-on-one and group coaching how to harness their power to create what they want to manifest in their lives. She focuses on women in midlife transition, assisting them to gain balance and secure happiness in their lives. Sarah started her coaching practice as an extension of her nursing career, recognizing how women encounter the same struggles as nurse leaders.
Sarah Bell

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