As a Jewish adult, I’ve felt a lot of pressure to be successful. However, I don’t think the same emphasis is placed on being happy. Going into the working world after engineering school can feel like a nice change of pace for many recent graduates. However, the working world has its own stresses. Recently, people have been asking me what I want to do after graduation this December. Truth be told: I don’t exactly know! Many of my peers don’t know what we want our lives to look like.
The real question I’ve been asking myself is, “What does a happy life look like?” To be honest, I was in a deep rut midway through college, and I struggled to enjoy anything for a while. Now that the clouds have parted, I’m trying to emerge a stronger, happier, richer, and more compassionate person for the experience.
I sometimes still have dark days, but on the whole, things are looking up. Still, I can’t quite envision what my happy life looks like. Right now, it mostly consists of vague wants that are fairly universal. I’m trying to compile a who, what, where, when, and why of happy.
- Who: Do you need to live near your parents or a sibling?
- What: What are you going to spend the majority of your life doing?
- Where: Does geography matter? Does the “Who” category trump the “Where” category?
- When: When do you want these things to happen (if at all)? Not everyone wants children, for example.
- Why: Why do we want certain things? What do they say about us as a person? The “Why” category is the hardest for me, but I think if I could figure it out more concretely, I would have an easier time answering in the other four questions.
Even though happiness is a mindset, having concrete goals makes it easier for me to document progress and create a sense of accomplishment along the way. What does your happy life look like, and how are you working toward making it a reality?