What Makes You Happy?

If you are not happy or even if you are, this is a worthwhile exercise. Spend a few moments writing down the answer to these three questions.

1. How did you get to this situation in life? What does it reveal about your purpose in life?
2. What’s the best thing that ever happened to you?
3. List 50 things that make you happy.

I will share with you my answers to these questions.

After thirty-three years of having a paycheck job, I stopped working, as planned. I am in the generative stage of life, where I see my purpose as sharing some of what I know about spirituality and spiritual care with others through writing and teaching. The enjoyment of my relationships and God’s world is also part of my purpose.

The best thing that ever happened to me was actually a choice. Jim and I decided to get married. I wrote about our renewal of vows at our ten-year anniversary in a blogpost entitled “The Vow,” which you can find by going into the archives on my website (www.micheleshields.com).

Here are fifty things that make me happy in no particular order: spending time doing anything with my husband, our dog Rafa, dinner with my best friend, friends in San Francisco, friends in Hawaii, sunrises, sunsets, flowers, swimming, biking, running, outrigger canoe paddling, stand up paddle, Hawaii, San Francisco, hula, playing the ukulele, reading murder mysteries, reading spirituality books, running races, ice cream, pizza, the Bible, Hawaiian Regional Cuisine, California Cuisine, malasadas, the warm ocean, the Ko’olau mountains, the Red Rocks outside Las Vegas, triathlons, swim races, jeans, smart & humble people, Hawaiian musicians, jazz music, traditional Hawaiian music, doing spiritual care, writing, the New York Times, Netflix, teaching spiritual care, my iPhone, my iPad, my MacBook, my Nespresso machine, friendly dogs, silence, prayer, meditation, the Byodo-In Temple, our house in Kane’ohe, our apartment in San Francisco, Modern art and tennis. I could easily name more things.

If you spend a little while answering these questions, you will feel happier just remembering the best thing that ever happened to you or the times associated with your list of things that make you happy. It is a no-brainer.

May you do at least one of the things that makes you happy and something that contributes to your purpose today. May you be blessed as you do.