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What Makes Mike Happy

Hi everybody, this is Mondays with Mike. Here’s this week’s question:

I have a question for you. You specifically, Mike Staver. What makes you happy?

Wow, that’s a little personal for you to ask me.

A couple things make me happy. Puppies make me happy – just kidding. Well, I’m going to say something and I don’t know that you’re going to like the answer.

Nothing makes me happy, and that’s because I don’t turn my happiness over to other people or other things or other places. Now there are places and people and things that it’s easy for me to be happy around.

I’m dead serious about this question. If I hand you, a friend, a significant other, or a place responsibility for my happiness, then if you change I have to lean on you, I have to have a parasitic relationship with you for me to be happy again.

Now I’m not saying I don’t need people or I don’t need places! I’m going to Maui on a personal retreat next week, just me, 5 days by myself for writing, thinking, processing, meditating to kind of get re-grounded and re-centered and ready for the New Year, and I will be very happy. So things that condition me to be happy, so things like alone time, being in Maui, riding my motorcycle, spending time with Laura… all those things I enjoy doing and they allow me to process my life in a way that gives me greater lift and joy. But if Maui went away and my Harley went away and Laura went away those would all be very sad, but it wouldn’t mean happiness had abandoned me, because I’m not dependent on those things. I like them, and I use them, and I appreciate them, but I don’t believe that they are necessary.

As soon as I don’t think something’s necessary and I have a choice, I’m happier. So I will give you the one thing that I have to have that makes me the happiest and that is freedom. Freedom is at the core of my happiness.

So Maui provides freedom, my relationship is built on the principle of freedom, my motorcycle – the ultimate freedom. I have a job where I travel and get to do things and largely choose my schedule, freedom. So my happiness largely comes from the expression and living in alignment with my core values, not people, places, nor things.

Hope that was helpful, I’m Mike Staver and this is Mondays with Mike.

See you next time.

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