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How to find what makes you happy

Nothing is more important in life than finding what makes you happy, yet so many people feel confused about how to create more joy when they feel off track or simply want more from life.



how to find what makes you happy



In this article, I’ll share with you a simple process to help you find out what you really want.


First, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that finding what makes you happy is more about constructing your life in a way that the sheer living of it brings you joy rather than focusing on arriving at a specific destination.


Life is about following your heart, knowing yourself, and investing your energy in wise ways — in both following your dreams and savoring the present.


The philosophy of dolce far niente

When I was in Italy, one thing I really admired while spending time in a little seaside town packed with locals rather than tourists (which was really intimidating because people barely spoke English!), was how ludicrously relaxed people were.


The beaches there are a little different — most aren’t public. The town I was in was pretty luxe, and it cost $50 USD to rent a cabana for the day. You have to rent the cabana to hang out on the beach.


At first this seemed like an absurd about of money, but I felt tired and justified the expense realizing I could easily spend that much on some tour.


Half-way into the day, dozing off underneath the umbrella while lying on a comfy daybed, not worried about getting burned or chasing down a flimsy portable beach umbrella, I realized the Italians really know what they’re talking about!


In the US, beaches often feel active while in Italy, everyone seemed so relaxed, passed out under the sun, chatting with friends and family, resting up before a night of wine and fresh food during a cozy dinner.



It was honestly one of the most relaxing days of my life, and perfectly encapsulated the Italian philosophy of dolce far niente — the sweetness of doing nothing.


People reading this come from all over the world, but in the US, everyone is obsessed with achieving, being the best, and doing more things, faster.


I am as driven and goal-obsessed as the next girl.


But the rules we live under stop us from truly enjoying life and finding what makes us happy.


It's easy to get destination addition, thinking we'll be happy when we make the money, get the body, have the relationship, snag the raise, but if we aren't happy on the way to achieving our goals, the entire thing is meaningless.


How we travel is how we arrive. The point of a goal is to engage in an enjoyable process of growth on the way to achieving it.


Destination addiction not only blocks us from feeling joyful, but also prevents us from realizing our goals because it increases the odds we'll give up.


Allowing ourselves to relax so we can enjoy life itself is an important foundation for this larger conversation about creating a joyful life.



With that foundation in mind, here are a few steps to find what makes you happy.


1. Give yourself space to admit what is NOT making you happy.


A lot of times people skip over this part because they want to be positive, don’t find value in it, or perhaps don’t feel like digging through the painful emotions of looking honestly at their lives.


But getting soul naked with yourself and your life, beginning with a radically honest assessment of what’s not working, is critical to discover what makes you happy.


The first week of the Listen to Your Heart guided journal guides you through this important process in a loving, compassionate and curious way.


This is more of an inward exploration, thinking about how you relate to yourself, your life responsibilities and the people in your life. What is creating friction, suffering or resentment?


One of the reasons it’s so important to begin with this honest assessment is because underneath of any compulsion or feeling of obligation tying us to doing things we don’t like is a deeper story about who we must be to be worthy of love.


In the Listen to your Heart journal, you'll explore the roles you play — wife / mother / daughter — and what you think is required of those roles versus how you actually want to show up.


You'll create space to resolve your inner conflicts, which is when one part of you wants one thing, but another part doesn’t. This allows you to create forward momentum with deep reverence for your needs and values.


This is the real work of how you move forward in life.


Once you deal with these things, you create space to hear your inner voice and follow it to find what makes you happy.



2. Get to know yourself.


Many of us are so focused on figuring out what the world wants from us so we can get outside approval that we don’t take the time to ask ourselves —


Who are you? What do you value? What are your truest goals and dreams? Not things you think you should want, or that look cool on Instagram, but what does your heart really, truly want?


One of the reasons I created Soul Scroll Journals is because I found myself spending so much time on social media, getting swept away in how other people’s lives were cooler than mine.


It made me feel woefully inadequate and rather than put down my phone, these feelings of inadequacy made me spend even more time on the apps!


Journaling has always been one of the ways I return to my center.


The daily readings and journal prompts inside Listen to your Heart guide you through this process.


You'll explore your values and priorities, identify what makes you unique, and how you can create a life that reflects the core of who you really are.


This is the foundation to finding out what makes you happy because you have to know yourself in order to figure that out!



3. Identify the best version of your life right now.


So often in personal growth and development, we’re tasked with designing an ideal life or a perfect average day. I’ve come to hate these exercises!


Honestly, one of the first versions of Listen to your Heart included that question. Then I realized I am morally opposed to it.


Here’s why:


An ideal life doesn’t exist. So often people think they know what they want only to create it and feel stuck inside a prison. The reality isn’t what they thought, or what they wanted was based on something other than a heart-felt desire.


It’s obviously important to know what you want. We spend quite a bit of time inside Listen to your Heart connecting to your heart’s biggest desires.


But the main philosophy of this book, and of Soul Scroll Journals, is of connecting to your joy right now.


Filling your life with things that make you happy right now. And trusting that as you expand fully into the present moment, you will naturally expand into the next chapter of your life.


Compare this to writing down every detail of what you want your life to look like in 5 years and then feeling frustrated, overwhelmed or not taking action because you feel so far away from where you want to be.


It's very important to cultivate happiness for where you are right now while reaching for more, and I believe a great way to do that is by focusing on expanding so fully into the present moment that your life has no choice but to also expand.


Asking yourself simple questions like, "What would feel fun and exciting to add into my life right now?" are a great way to start expanding.


(And spoiler — that's one of the questions inside Listen to Your Heart guided journal.)


During Week 3 of the journal, you'll go deep into designing your next level, which is really about making the life you have right now the most amazing it can possibly be.


This journey is so powerful because you’ll already have done so much clearing work. You’ll know who you are and what you want. You’ll understand your deeper inner conflicts and ideas of who you should be, things that have held you back before.


And now you’re free. Free to dream. Free to tap into your joy and live it every day.



4. Follow your joy.


This is the most important part of finding what makes you happy!


Creating change in your life, and even achieving your dreams and goals, is about making little tiny shifts and adding new habits over time.


It’s about consistency, and opening up to more joy in the every day.


What do you need to feel happy and balanced?


What would bring you joy right now, in this moment?


For me, I need a daily spiritual practice, which has changed over the years, but is now my decadent morning routine.


I love fun drinks like my healthy hot chocolate that I drink pretty much every day.


I love to do yoga because it keeps me grounded and present in my body.


A lot of times people think about adding more highlights to their life, the big, once-in-a-lifetime moments, or feel like they’re not doing it right unless every day is a gleeful adventure.


But most days are ordinary.


Joy comes from turning the rhythm of your life into one that makes you happy.


A happy life is one with balance. Where you know what matters, what your dreams and goals are, and you do your best to incorporate most of the things into most of the days.


Savor life’s small pleasures. The sweetness of doing nothing.


And keep adding little pockets of joy into your life. Let yourself savor them.


Enjoy the journey of realizing your dreams. Have the strength to live a life that’s true to you — not what other people expect or what you think will get you approval or help you fit in.


If you’re interested in digging deep over 30 days to find what makes you happy, check out the Listen to your Heart journal here!


All the love,


Founder, Soul Scroll Journals




  • Loved this, thank you.

  • Loved this, thank you <3

  • I really think this is great

    Piper Toney
  • This post really was needed. Thank you for sharing such wonderful story and lessons learned.

  • I read this and felt so emotional because it made me remember things about my childhood that I had intentionally forgotten because they were so painful and I realized that they are the walls separating me from my own happiness.

    Charmaine Gregory

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