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Sometimes people tell you something so inspiring that you will remember it for the rest of your life. The quote below comes from a coach I have worked with and it has been such an inspiration to me. I believe that you should always be doing what makes you happy. Here is why.
Everyone has many things to give to the world. Love, skills, talents, time. To you, it could be the most insignificant thing in the world. But it can mean the world to someone else. The catch is, you never know this unless you give. So start doing the things you love. Someone out there is looking for exactly that! That makes at least two happy people, and it will (you will!) inspire many others.
It can be anything
During my psychology studies, a teacher told us a story about one of his clients. She was looking for help to deal with her depression. This was the first time she had ever asked for help. She had been thinking about suicide for a while now. On a particularly hard day, she had been walking in the city and a stranger had smiled at her and asked her how her day had been so far.
She said it felt like this person knew she needed this. They chatted for a while and went their separate ways again. But she realized that she did not want to die, just for the pain to end. She called a psychological healthcare center. My teacher was the one who picked up. She has received treatment with him.
That stranger on the street probably never knew how much his kind smile and a simple question meant to this woman. But he just did it. He gave her some attention and to her, it felt like something that has saved her life. Isn’t that amazing? Now I’m not asking you to endlessly smile away and ask every person in your vicinity how they are doing. It may get awkward and if we all started doing that, none of us would ever arrive at work in time in the morning. But that stranger was just being himself. And he did exactly what she needed most.
What can you do
This story showed me that giving and doing what makes you happy can take many shapes. Of course, it can be skills you acquired through your education or your job. But it can also be the way you help your neighbor carry a bag of groceries, singing a song, writing a poem that makes someone out there happy today.
But don’t just do it for others. Your most important motivation must be your own happiness. You have to believe in your own personality, your own skills. Because if you truly do, they will make other people happy! And the more you train, the better you will get. For example, I know I am creative, but I don’t consider myself great at making things. You wouldn’t hear me saying that I am an artist. I just like making things because it makes me happy. And I like to learn new things and get better at it!
My own example
At first, I was really afraid of sharing my creative work with others, even friends. Who would appreciate a homemade card, or a small piece of art when I could have gotten them a nice framed drawing of this amazing artist they love instead?! Surprisingly, when I do give or show my work, people tend to love it! Everyone really appreciates the time and pleasure I take in making this for them.
I admit that I find it hard to write this about myself, but usually, people tell me that what I made is really awesome and that they would totally buy from me If I would ever start selling my art someday. Turns out, people actually appreciate this talent! Maybe even more than I do, considering I wouldn’t call it a talent myself. I once gave a piece of jewelry to a friend. I asked her: “Don’t you think it’s childish?” She said that she didn’t think that at all. She thought it was a beautiful piece, and the fact that I had made it for her gave it even more value because I put my time and passion into this. It was a gift with love.
Hearing this was an awesome feeling! With each compliment, I feel happier and stronger. It encourages me to do more of the things I love and to share it with anyone who likes it. Doing what makes you happy is awesome.
Let the magic happen
Now, also think of how you love it when people do what makes them happy. I remember a late summer night at a camping site. Way past midnight, all the stories had been shared. We were just lazily hanging around, being content together. Over the remains of our campfire, a friend started to play a simple melody on his guitar. Someone else picked it up and started to sing, just random words. But together it was such a pure sound. We all felt so moved by the music. It took us all to another world for a moment. It was as if the song was telling an entire story! Afterward, I felt so peaceful and grateful to these people who just did whatever they felt like doing: sharing music.
This is exactly the difference between doing what you love and doing what you are supposed to do. Would I have heard the same song in a concert, the musicians would have maybe loved to sing their song just as much. It maybe would have been equally nice. But not as magic as this private impromptu show had been. And it meant a hundred times more to the few people who were a witness of it. Bottom line: just dare to be who you are.
Alright, I know it’s hard to say good things about yourself, so I am going to set an example. I will take a stand and just put it out there: I am a good person. I have some wonderful characteristics such as being a good listener and a loyal friend. And I have talents. My creativity is one of those, and I want to share it with as many people as I can.
There you are, that is my message to you (and a reminder to myself). Start doing what makes you happy. Believe in yourself. And now REALLY do it. A hundred percent. If you do what you love, it will show. It will work out for you. And it will inspire others and make them happy. So do it. Share it. Do not listen to all the doubts and limits from anyone, especially from yourself! Follow your heart and be happy.