Today I realized something.
I realized that there’s an immense and very important distinction between doing what’s best for you, and doing what makes you happy.
And I believe that one is far better than the other.
Doing what’s best for you involves being selfish. While being selfish is something we often want to do or need to do in some way, shape, or form, the harsh reality is that we aren’t the only people on the planet. Having blinders on allows us to only see in one direction, and to only see in one direction harms us in the long run. We are blocked from seeing other perspectives, and concerns. And as much as we sometimes want to leave everything behind or push things aside, we do kind of have to consider how we are affecting others.
But being happy is not about dropping everything, or leaving everything behind, or pushing things aside, or cutting things out, or stepping on people’s toes. Being happy is about focusing on the positive. Yes, things will fall out of your life. But more than anything, things fall into place.
Being happy is about wanting good things, and only good things. Good people, good times—love. Loving what you do. Loving who you love. Loving who you are.
Arguably, being happy is just as selfish. Of course you’ll disappoint people. But don’t we always? You can’t always be what people want, or what they need, or what they like.
But being happy is about finding and choosing ways to be your best you. Your most content you. The one you want to wake up and be, and learn about, and explore, and love, and share. The you that glows when you walk into a room, that breathes life into what you are doing.
All in all, this is what I’ve learned to be true.
Doing what makes you happy is doing what’s best for you.
It just so happens that I had this mother of realizations today randomly when I was washing my hands (how philosophical), and I ironically came across a Linked In article later in the day that had this quote by Steve Jobs (is it a sign?):
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
I have some big decisions to make. I have to decide if I’m willing to give up what I know for what I don’t know. I have to determine if I’m strong enough to give up what I like for what I love.
I don’t know what I’m going to do yet.
But I do know which route i’m going to take when I finally decide.
And that’s doing what makes me happy.