It’s not often that the big questions and challenges in life are clearly marked with a right or wrong answer. Oftentimes they require deep thinking, the involvement of others, and time to debate it on your own.
Since my preteen years, I’ve been making lists to help me make those tough decisions, although back then, the challenges were more focused on which guy to date. Pro: John was funny. Con: John recently dated a friend of mine.
Nevertheless, I created lists of pros and cons, which I still do to this day. It helps me organize my thoughts and determine the most practical route possible. New wood floors. Pro: Pergo needs to go. Con: It’s a lot of money. The list goes on.
As we get older and face tougher decisions, ranging from career choices, to love, to growing our families, lists have a hard time giving us the answer. Perhaps lists never really provided the answer, but rather served as a way to organize our thoughts enough to help us find the answer for ourselves. No matter the case, lists don’t work all the time.
Therefore, I started seeking a new way to find the answers to the toughest questions. Recently, I think I found it. My husband and I used to talk for hours at a time, sometimes until the sun came up. We’d cover topics about our past, our future, and our hopes and dreams. Our conversations were inspiring and helpful and always ended with a smile, except for the sadness I felt when the conversation was over. I couldn’t get enough.
Recently, my husband and I had one of those conversations. It was 2am, a time I typically avoided given that we just recently got our nights back as young parents. However, that conversation was all about us, and it exhilarated all the feelings of love and hope that I’ve felt for the past 14 years that we’ve been together.
Of course, that conversation covered our challenges. And while all of these challenges couldn’t be solved in one night’s conversation, I realized that there was one thing that answered all of my burning questions. The answer was a question. The question: Would this provide true happiness?
I could now apply this question to concerns about career, growing a family, love and even wood floors. The yes/no answer to this question was deep. It came from the word “true” in the question. Would wood floors make me happy? Yes. Would wood floors provide true happiness? No. OK, off the list.
The answer to this question will not always be as easy as the wood floors answer, but it will come. We all know deep down whether what we’re doing, or not doing, is making us truly happy. Does your day-to-day job make you truly happy? If it does (like in my case), then smile and know you’re where you’re supposed to be. If you have major doubts, then maybe you need to take a second look.
True happiness is not always about us. If you want to move to a new city, but your spouse does not, or your kids have friends and a great support system where you are right now, would you really be happy with the move? True happiness, for me, is about the happiness of others. When my husband, son, brother or best friend is happy, then I am, too.
True happiness came to me at 2am. If someone asked me if my life equates to true happiness, I would shout, without a doubt, yes.