Life is short, but sweet.

Or so I’m told. That is one of the problems with really deciding what to do with it (life, that is). Unlimited possibilities. Teeny amount of time. The first time I remembered being stressed-out by these limitless possibilities was in college.

  • What am I going to major in?
  • What am I going to do when I graduate?
  • What am I doing to do when I grow up?
  • Who am I going to become?
  • How am I going to get there?
  • Will I have to work a job I hate all day every day to support myself (and then hopefully be able to do some of what I love on weekends)?

AAAaaggghhh, I’m so stressed out! I love writing, and idea generating, and learning new skills daily, and horse-back riding, and playing any and all games, and dancing, and watching movies, and having deep, soul-fulfilling conversations, and … How the heck do I take all that and make a life from it?

How am I going to find a job that incorporates some (or ANY) of that? All I really want to do is make money by doing something that makes me happy.

Do what you love.

It sounds so simple. Just do what you love. Somehow the simplicity of it all really confounds us though, doesn’t it? For me … I decided to do the only thing that I figured would work.

I explored.

I tried different things. I got curious. And I kept at it until something stuck. Until I found something that made me entirely happy that could also make me a living. It didn’t happen overnight. And I did have to work jobs that I was not entirely thrilled about along the way. But I did it. When I found poker, I knew it was “it”. Poker was the job/life I was searching for.

Happiness is a process.

I still challenge myself to do more of what makes me happy every day. Why haven’t I even seen a horse in years when horseback riding is one of my favorite things in life? How am I going to remedy this? What is my plan for happiness?

Without my constant exploration (in life and of myself) I can fall into ruts (and I have). It’s not fun being unhappy. When you let unhappiness go on so long it can feel like life is spiraling down, down, down into an unknown abyss. And you fester and stew and wallow in extreme self-pity. One day you wake up and wonder how you got to this place. And how in the world you are going to get out.

Decide what it is that makes you happy and do it.

At least one thing every single day. Make it a priority in your otherwise cram-packed schedule of work/kids/home/activities/whatever. Take a class of something you have always wanted to learn (pottery or painting, for example). Get up 15 minutes early and meditate. Spend 20 minutes on your lunch break reading a novel. Whatever your happiness is, find it and make time for it.

Because otherwise, really, what’s the point?