by Dr. Erin Foley
How happy are you? Do your days feel STRONG and fulfilling? Most of us spend our lives searching for ways to acquire “happiness” the same way we would acquire a new pair of shoes or a new relationship. Happiness seems to live just around the corner. I will be happy when fill in the blank with your wish—I finish this semester, find the right partner, make deans list, secure a good job… I was surprised to learn that most of us do a rather terrible job of predicting what will actually make us feel consistently strong, happy and fulfilled. A happy life exists in your own ability to identify and practice daily moments that strengthen you.
Why does this matter for you right now? My students frequently sit across from my desk with panicked eyes exclaiming, “I don’t know what I want to be for the rest of my life.” To which I respond, “Me neither, whew, lets set that aside and explore what is working right now.”
The college years are a unique opportunity to begin to explore what works best for you. It is a space where strength building and happiness habits can begin to set the foundation for how you move forward. If you allow it to, these four years can teach you how to understand what you need to feel empowered, STRONG and most important happy.
The idea that our happiness lies in a daily practice is far less sexy than the idea that it will magically arrive during the fill in the blank moment. The notion that it doesn’t live around the corner can be a tricky one to grasp. But the reality is, this less than sexy truth puts you back in the drivers seat. It empowers you to build a life that is STRONG for you right now.
So how do you do it? You open yourself up to exploring. My keynotes are not about playing up the sexy side of happiness. It’s about getting down to business. What holds us back most? When do the “I shoulds” and “I am not enoughs” prevent us from seeing clearly where we are most alive? What often gets us off track? How much stress is healthy and useful and how much is detrimental to our growth? And most important what is the real, nitty-gritty truth about what builds happy lives, and how can you tailor daily practices that will foster that for YOU.
A STRONG happy life is not around the corner. It’s important that you stop running, take a few breaths and look around you right now. The truth is, the things that are working and not working for you in your life are your stepping stones to building what fits. The clubs, classes, friendships and experiences that are at your fingertips throughout this college journey are where you can discover a wealth of information about YOU. Right now is the perfect time to begin to flex your happiness muscle. Remember, it’s a practice. And what I know to be true is this…those who master this practice, master their lives.
Dr. Erin Foley teaches students how to build a STRONG LIFE. She delivers messages aimed at helping students go after their opportunities with strength, confidence and an eye toward what’s possible.
Visit campuspeak.com/foley to learn more about Erin and her available keynotes.