Maybe I was depressed and in a funk. Could have just been that I was tired and bewildered. Then again, it could have just been born in frustration. Does not really matter. All that really matters is that I asked the question, “what makes me happy?”
You may have felt and thought what I was at that time yourself. Each day….felt like I was living that Credence Clearwater Revival song:
Well you wake up in the morning you hear the work bell ring
And they march you to the table to see the same old thing.
Ain’t no food upon the table and no fork up in the pan.
But you better not complain boy you get in trouble with the man.
The attitudes of entitlement, not thankfulness and appreciation and love from others. Take the money, turn the back. Something must change.
The lie we are told is that if we work hard we can be successful. Earn a rising income. Buy “stuff” that will make us happy. And enjoy the good life. But what we really find is that we are in debt on a wheel that never ends. By the time “retirement” arrives we don’t have enough money saved so we continue to work postponing the dream…that never arrives.
I decided my situation would be different. Enough with working exclusively for others – government taxes, the non taxpayers, bailing out other’s bad decisions with nothing left over. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about being selfish and consuming everything on myself. I am saying stopping the nonsense that enslaves me (and you) to others. I wanted freedom to pursue passions that made me happy.
What makes you happy? What makes me happy?
The decision of what to stop doing was easy…no more debt. No more stuff. Downsize my life. Eliminate everything that provided an obligation to someone else on my life. An unwanted divorce made this much simpler. Realizing that I am not responsible for another’s happiness provided a good start. But I realized that things only enslaved me. A house, for example, is not mine if I don’t pay the taxes each year or neglect to make that monthly mortgage payment. Ownership is a hidden rent on the future and makes me a slave to the taxing authority.
Then my attention turned towards what makes me happy? Not what to eliminate; but rather, what I can or will do.
My career as a traveling consultant provided an escape. It challenged my intellect. Traveling meant that I lived in hotel rooms. Everything I needed for a week is carried a suitcase. I realized, evenings exploring whatever city I was in provided great joy. Watching. Experiencing. Smelling. Hearing. Tasting. It was the simple things – many just requiring two legs to walk and see. No bitching. No moaning. Making friends after a simple “hello”. Helping others because I wanted to, not out of necessity. Stuff no longer mattered.
What makes me happy? Traveling with curiosity and purpose. Learning. Becoming aware. Asking Who? What? Why? When? and How? Deep and meaningful relationships. And fitting all the abstract pieces together into a wonderful fabric of experience.
What makes me happy? This question led to the next …toward what would I change my life’s direction? The key word is “toward”. That would change my journey. The Roadmap. Compass heading. Object on the horizon. Toward what?
Where is your journey taking you?