If I Died Today (originally written 5th April 2015)

It was an interesting concept put forward by Steve Jobs. Every morning, he would ask himself something along the lines of “If I died today, would it be spent doing what makes me happy?” and if the answer was no enough times, he knew something had to change. It’s interesting to think about death in such a way, not about something to be scared of, but as something to motivate you, something to drive your inner beast. To use it to make sure you are the best person that you can be, and focus on your internal happiness.

First you have to analyse the things that truly make you happy, and you have to analyse which of those things is constant and controllable. When you finally break it down to the inevitable conclusion, the only thing in your life that is constant, is you. At the end of the day, you have control over nothing other than yourself. Best friends forever is a lie, sooner or later they’ll stop making your favourite food, and there is every chance that tomorrow you are going to be fired from your job. So basically, you have to make yourself happy. Don’t get me wrong, you can find happiness in your friends, your food, and your job. But relying on just those things for your happiness is dangerous, relying on just one of those things is even worse. As soon as that thing is taken away from you… Everything comes crashing down. You need to find as many things as possible in life that bring you happiness, so that when one is taken away from you, there are still so many to chose from. That is why the happiest of people live such full lives, in the case of which came first, the full life did. A full life leads to emotional fulfilment, and emotional fulfilment leads to happiness.

As I really only know what makes me happy, that is the only place I can draw inspiration from. So what are a few of my favourite things? Music, writing, coffee, good conversations, debate, working, creating art, education, self development, cooking, long walks, fresh air, going on adventures, turning off my phone, exercise, reading, helping others, saying hello to strangers, trying new things, good company, but also being on my own. That last one is one that I am honestly still struggling with. The thought of being alone does terrify me at times, but I know where that comes from, and I know that it is an unhealthy thought. I need to be happy on my own. I need to be able to find my own happiness internally, as opposed to externally. I need to focus on the things that are stable, that are permanent. The worst thing a person can do is find all their happiness is another person. To find completion in another incomplete soul. While the notion is absolutely beautiful, the reality is never as sweet. The more beautiful notion is, once you are truly happy with who you are, finding a soul that is already happy with who they are, and just enjoying experiencing life together. There will always be rough times, times when you need to support the other person just as they will be there to support you, but that balance you found in life means that the rough periods are short lived, and happiness returns, because it is within you, all your partner did was help you find it again.

I am still a work in progress. I have found where that happiness is, but now I have to fill my life with it. I have realised where I have gone wrong so many times before, and now I have to work to fix those issues. I won’t put a time limit on myself, as much as I might wish it would all happen now, I won’t rush. I know that eventually it will feel right. It just has to happen naturally. Until that day all I can do is continue doing the things for me that make me happy. Focusing on that list above and making sure every day I do as many of those things as I can, so that when I look in the mirror and ask myself the same question, the answer will always be yes.