Five Things I Enjoy the Most in Life

A revelation I had about things I enjoy most. How do the things you enjoy most compare?

Montana - Michael Makarov is posing by his friend's car.
Montana - Michael Makarov is posing by his friend's car.
Each time I'm flying on a plane taking me to my vacation destination, I know the day will come in which I have to board my plane back. Damn! That reminder of my temporary existence! My existence is temporary, but I want to squeeze the most joy out of it, which inspired me to write a list of things that I enjoy the most, and if I don't make this list, I'll forget about them. Also, you, my friends, can compare your list and see if our favorite things match!
Smiley Do you think you're a happy person?

Something to keep in mind—the activities on my list can be completely opposite in nature. That's because change is an integral to happiness. Any enjoyable activity can be overdone, like how having too much chocolate is not as enjoyable as the perfect balance! (If you argue that “there’s no such thing as too much chocolate!”, then we need to talk.) Or it might only be fun flying in First Class the first time, but if you fly in First Class every time, the idea of flying First Class becomes mundane and the excitement of the first time gets pushed to the back of your mind.

Therefore, alternation is key. A long and fun social night could be followed by curling up in bed with a book or the latest Netflix(not cancelled yet!) show you’ve been into. Establishing a routine in your city could be followed by jumping from city to city on an improvised road trip in Italy. See? Balance, yo! By the time I'm on that plane back from my vacation, I'll probably be sick of the vacation and want to go back to my usual routine anyways, and anticipate seeing the miserably jealous faces of my friends who I’m going to tell (exaggerate) all about my trip.

Smiley Does chocolate make you happy?

Here the list goes (romantic activities and food are purposefully omitted):

1. Good social time

I'm a social creature. I feel the need to share my ridiculous thoughts and feelings with other humans ("human sync") and enjoy shit-talking about people who aren't present. I simply have to urge to connect. Even during the times of the evil Coronavirus, I have enjoyed getting beers from a corner store and drinking it on the curb with friends. It doesn't have to be at a bar, but, for me, it does have to be a social setting. Gives me endorphins? Sure. And, it gives me inspiration to write jokes.

2. Finishing

You may be having a dirty thought here, but sometimes, after investing my time into a task, it’s significantly important for me to feel that it’s done. A written and published blog post or my thoroughly cleaned apartment (rarely happens!) = a goal achieved. A goal achieved = a feeling of fulfillment. When effort bears the fruit of completion, endorphins flow through the brain like the juice of happiness.

3. Hard workout

Working out somehow produces endorphins that make me feel happy and kick my depression’s ass. I enjoy HIT classes, where the trainers tell me what to do, allowing me to switch off my thought-filled brain and just sweat-follow. I especially love Jiu-Jitsu, where your opponents don’t give your mind room to slack, otherwise they can put you in a chokehold right away (unless you’re a sneaky black belt).

4. Willpower

When I say no to the dessert, or convince myself to do a workout instead of procrastinate on a comfy couch, I always feel great. I increase my endorphins then, and future endorphins when I get to showing off my abs (which happens regularly in my imagination). Not to mention how many endorphins I release when I stop stalking my friends on Facebook all day!

5. Happy people at my comedy shows

I really enjoy helping other people. I like being able to make them happy and boost their endorphins. Nothing beats the feeling of seeing happy smiles and hearing sincere thank you’s after a show.

Is it weird that all the things on my list mention endorphins? Maybe I could just take MDMA and shut up? Nah, MDMA’s for the weak, and also illegal in America. I better do something legal, just in case I’m caught feeling too good. Like buy a flamethrower and get yourself prescribed opioids in case it burns.

Smiley Do you want to play with a flamethrower?

That’s my list. I envy people who enjoy writing, as writing is painful for me. Even this post was like a razor cut to my psyche. But, in doing so, I still did what I enjoy the most. I used my 1) willpower to exercise my 2) writing muscle and 3) finished the post. Then, I probably 4) made you happy, or at least amused, since you’ve read this far, and 5) for good social time, it'd be nice if you shared this post on your social media. All stars aligned!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, suggestions, please reach out to me!

Also, like my page and share this post

About the author

Michael Makarov is an NYC-based comic and a software engineer. He started his standup journey in 2014 in San Francisco, he sold out his first show in 30 minutes when the link made the top of Hacker News. Russian immigrant, he also speaks fluent Japanese and enough chinese to order food at restaurants. He runs Comedy vs. Nerds and Comedy Conspiracy, a standup comedy show about the internet. Other articles: 7x7 article