No matter who you are and what you do, everything you do in life you probably do with one final goal in mind – to be happy.
Even though it’s true that human beings are different and different people aspire and crave to accomplish different things, happiness stays as the ultimate goal of every single individual out there.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a big name CEO or picking through garbage to pick up leftovers for your next meal – your body and mind work together to find ways to make you feel happy.
But that’s easier said than done, right? And it often makes you wonder, what is happiness, really?
In fact, how can we – how can I dare – to define and describe happiness, when just a few seconds earlier I said that different people crave different things?
Is it the feeling you get when you buy yourself something? Lose a few pounds?
Is it the feeling you get when you get a promotion? Or join a new book club?
Is it the feeling you get when you fall in love? Or the feeling when you go on a holiday?
All of those things make you happy, right?
Well, they do – only when it comes to short-term happiness, it’s true that things like that make you happy.
Those are not bad things to be happy about– and you should appreciate and be grateful for moments like that.
However, I call them quick fixes – because that’s what they are. They give you only the fleeting and temporarily feeling of happiness.
They’re only a quick way out of your everyday problems and feelings and true, enable you to feel happy, but only for a short while.
But here’s the thing:
Quick fixes aren’t your solution to sustainable happiness in life.
Think about it – it’s very easy to get addicted to the quick fixes in life. The more you buy, the less excited you get with each purchase. Sure, having a career is nice but if you feel like you’re failing in your other aspects of life, even promotions won’t be as exciting after a while.
And we can all agree that looking for your partner to fill out the voids you’re feeling in life is one sure recipe for disaster.
After working with people for so many years, I’ve found that long-lasting happiness, that true self-content, and self-confidence happen when three basic needs are met: when you feel loved, understood, and when you feel accomplished.
See, the quick fixes we were talking about, manage to make you feel one of the three – or if you’re lucky, two of the three – for a while but fail you greatly in the long run.
So why is that?
Is your boss the one to blame for not giving you a promotion each year? Or maybe your partner doesn’t make you feel the same way you’d like to feel? Hey, perhaps you’ve always wanted to shed a few pounds but the gym is just too far and you’re tired after work and this, and that…
You know, it’s very easy to point fingers at different people and blame them for not making you feel happy – after all, they’re the ones not loving you, not understanding you and not making you feel accomplished.
You’re very wrong.
Hear me on this: it takes courage to point your finger at yourself, because ultimately, you’re the one who’s sabotaging your own happiness, consciously or subconsciously, in so many different ways.
I know you don’t want to hear that – no one likes being told they’re to blame for not feeling happy! And it’s so easy to fall into the self-sabotaging trap – it can happen in many little and big ways and often, you may not even be aware you’re doing it.
Treating yourself to chocolate ice cream three days into your new diet change, snoozing your alarm over and over again in the morning, procrastinating and doing work tasks in the very last minute are only small – but pretty nagging – samples of self-sabotage.
Which are the bigger ones, you wonder?
Here are only a few examples.
The bad self-talk you give to yourself, convincing yourself that you won’t be able to accomplish your next goal.
The habit of pushing love away and being emotionally unavailable to every possible partner that comes in your life.
The way you don’t know – neither understand yourself – but you expect others to do that for you.
If you look beneath the surface on every one of those, you’ll notice they have one thing in common: fear.
You’re scared of failure, you’re scared of being hurt, and you’re scared of getting to really and truly know yourself.
You’re scared of giving yourself a chance to be happy the way you know you deserve it. And often, you’re scared of creating your own sustainable happiness – because it’s unknown to you and it may require you to change – which is even scarier than fear!
However, do you remember what we said about fear?
False Evidence Appearing Real.
So put fear to the side – what can you lose?
Give yourself a chance to grow and evolve over time. Try working on yourself, be open to trying new things and things you’ve never done before.
Give yourself a chance to be grateful for everything you have in your life – as gratitude is one sure way to be happy and content in life.
Give yourself a chance to be happy and by doing that, you’ll give others a chance to make you happy.
Taking responsibility for your own life and building your own happiness doesn’t mean you’ll always succeed in it – it doesn’t even mean you won’t sabotage yourself in the future.
It means you’re just brave enough to accept failure as part of success and keep going forward until you realize that happiness lies in the journey itself, and not in the destination ahead.
It’s your life! get to livin’.