The dog days. Long, torturous ones that seemingly never end. Even though these are normally in the hottest parts of the summer, that doesn’t mean we don’t experience them in other times of our lives.
In fact, these kind of situations arise when we are the most unhappy. Likely because we’re doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons. Sticking with a job you hate for the money. Staying at a firm that’s awful for the prestige. Or just doing anything that isn’t genuinely fulfilling.
This can be especially true for entrepreneurs struggling to make the leap. Or sticking out a project just because of the work they’ve done on it. Too often these fears and sunk costs create the dog day situations.
But the truth is that none of that matters without happiness. That’s what this whole thing called life is about. Being happy. Finding joy in what you do. Then creating them both for others.
In this weirdly dichotomous way, finding what makes you happy can be one of the scariest things we do. It involves brutal honesty and decisive choices. But once you do them, it can be liberatingly satisfying.
So ask yourself: who, what, and why makes you feel happy? Who - think about customers, friends, and loved ones that make you happy. What actions, work, or projects give you fulfillment. And Why - these are your motivations, your rationale, your reasons for doing anything.
Cut out the external factors — money, prestige, perception — and honestly answer those questions. This process is one we will all do continuously. But it makes your days shorter and more upbeat than a shaking tambourine.
Find your happiness. Then keep finding it.
That’s when your dog days will be over.