Your ethical will: What makes you happy?

Welcome back to Twelve essential questions to tell a life story.

Join me in twelve blog posts and create what Rabbi Leder calls your ethical will.

By answering the questions your loved ones will get to know you deeper and you will understand yourself better. Let your memories bring meaning!

To join – read the blog posts, reflect on the questions and write down your own answers. You are very welcome to share them in the comments.

Welcome on an interesting journey!

What makes you happy and what life lessons can be drawn from that?

I hope you, like I, have lots of answers to the question about what makes you happy. 

If I would have answered this in my youth, the answer would have been dancing. I loved dancing, being part of a show dance group, teach kids how to dance, prepare the choreography… I loved all of it. 

Another thing that immediately comes to mind is driving my motorcycle. I loved it as soon as I sat on the back of a motorcycle and I have been driving since I was sixteen. The freedom, the roar of the engine, the smells that reach me through the helmet… I love all of that too. 

Then of course the things that have always been part of my life. Walking my wonderful dogs, being with my family, travelling and exploring. 

Working also makes me happy. Solving difficult problems with skilled people. Hearing from my clients how I have helped change their lives. Of course that makes me happy. 

Last and far from least. The reason you are reading this is because I love to read and to write. 

When reading about Happiness in the book For you when I am gone, I see I differ from Steve’s description of happiness. His conclusion is that happiness is togetherness. 


Several of the things I mentioned above I do alone. Riding my Gladius, reading and writing. Maybe I enjoy the togetherness with my motorcycle, the author of the book I am reading and the characters in the stories I write. 

Or I am simply a person who finds happiness both in togetherness and solitude. 

There is another description in the book that I understand better. 


“We tend to think about happiness as a singular event or a spontaneous moment in time caused by external factors we do not control - a sort of lucky surprise, like winning the lottery without buying a ticket. But in most cases real happiness requires a process and is the distillate of mindful living day after week after month, and even decades of intention.”

My advice for my loved ones - do what makes you happy. If not every second, then at least every day. That is the only way to live life fully. 

Now it’s your turn!

What makes you happy and what life lessons can your loved ones draw from that?

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