Just the other day a friend asked me if I know what makes me happy. And I sort of chuckled because, yes, yes of course, I do! If I don't, then I'm not sure what the hell the last ten years have been about.
And yet, I couldn't answer his question quickly. There are the easy answers: a good cup of coffee, fresh flowers, an afternoon in the mountains, climbing into my own bed, a live concert, a good book, a warm bath. But really it is the feeling of those things--small thrills rubbing up against a deep comfort.
But those things--and those feelings--are not the whole of story.
My real secret is this: I make sure that my actions align with my value system.
Which is not to say that I always succeed, often I don't. But I constantly strive in that direction. What this means is I do the scary thing, even if I fear it won't work out--I take the leap and do my best not to worry about the result. I lean into discomfort when it is part of a larger pursuit of meaning. Because if I honor my value system, through both my actions and words, then I go to bed at night comfortable with who I am. And in today's heated climate, almost nothing is more important. Revolutions begin with individuals, and then we go from there.