Happiness isn’t linked to what happened or what is yet to happen
Too many people go through their lives feeling miserable. They feel like we are missing out on something. Day after day they are going through the motions while waiting for some big event to happen just so they think they will finally be happy.
Some say the media is to blame as it links happiness in these modern times to materialistic things. It has become common for children to be given a computer or phone screen to keep them happy, busy and quiet, while their parents rely on their work and social status to provide that euphoric high. For too many people, happiness has been reduced to select moments in history and possible future events. Without them, many people feel they have nothing to be happy about.
Ask many young people today their version of happiness. They will tell you about climbing the corporate ladder or earning more money or driving fancier cars and living in bigger houses. That is why many people are stuck in jobs they do not enjoy. Many are slaving away for the opportunity to get promotions and big bonuses at the end of the year while remaining unfulfilled and miserable on the inside.
Enjoy the here and now
Society has put conditions to happiness that most cannot meet. The message from society is if you go with the flow of common thinking, somewhere along the way you will encounter happiness in the form of money, cars, or mansions. For some, happiness will come once they can afford exotic trips. For others, it will come when they meet the elusive one and start a family, living happily ever after.
Don’t fall for this mistaken line of thinking. No one can be happy because if they link happiness to people and things that may come. These offer temporary thrills because people can be here today and gone tomorrow, and the same goes for things, opportunities and possessions. You could have the job of your dreams today and lose it tomorrow. The same goes for money and property. True happiness should not come from material things or status, as they can be easily lost or taken away. True happiness must come from within, starting with accepting yourself, and being fully responsible for your choice whether to be happy or not.
Be present in all things
True happiness is not about what happened in the past. Not that you should discount how the past has influenced your present. Past successes are good because they motivate you towards future success. Remembering past battles you have encountered and conquered will give you joy and confidence that you can handle anything that comes your way.
It’s not just the successes of your past that matter. Your failures are incredibly important because what you do about them shapes your future even more than the successes. If you learn from them, you will grow. If you blame and wallow, then you are going to be miserable. Use the failures to your advantage. I once heard the more you fail, the greater your success will be. Think about it – it’s true!
Remember moments that brought you happiness in the past with fondness, but be deliberate about creating happy moments in the present. If there are memories of people who made you happy in the past and they are no longer in the picture for any reason, make brief trips down memory lane but do not tie your happiness to those moments only.
What is happiness?
‘Happiness is an inside job. Do not assign anyone or anything else that much power over your life.’ Mandy Hale.
Happiness is a state of mind. It has little to do with people and events and more to do with your internal environment. Since it is something that happens within an individual, you can control how you respond to external factors that will try to dampen your happiness.
Make deliberate choices to be happy outside of specific events. You should not limit your happiness to times when you have your friends and family or spouse around you. Though it is good to keep them company and have strong relationships, you do not need other people to be happy.
To have true happiness independent of your past or probable future, you need to:
Be your own best friend
Cheerful people thrive regardless of who is around. They are so comfortable on their own that they can enjoy every moment, even when no one else is around.
Do not postpone your joy today for what might happen. Live in the present and enjoy every moment as it comes. Learn to love the solitude, and treasure the time you have to spend with yourself.
If you have ever been around a person with a jovial disposition, you know that they are confident in themselves, regardless of their flaws. To be happy, accept that you are the best version of yourself. No one else is like you, and that makes you unique. Everything you feel you want to change about your look, you can own and make work for you. There are many people who are taking what they perceive to be hindrances, stumbling blocks, or handicaps and owning them so much that they allow themselves to become victim to the very things that make them unique. It’s okay to be imperfect – that’s part of being human. The secret is accepting yourself as you are.
Do not compare yourself to anyone else. It robs you of your happiness. You will spend all your time chasing after the unrealistic image of perfection that social media portrays. The world doesn’t need two of them, it needs one of you and would be incomplete without you.
Practice daily gratitude.
A happy, contented soul is one that is appreciative of each and every one of the things happening in their life – good or not so good. Cheerful people are content with whom they are and what they have. They express gratitude for the good deeds that others do for them. When your focus is on being grateful, you do not have time to complain. When you do not have time to complain, life is better and you find more things for which you can be thankful.
It is possible to enjoy life daily if you take the time to be present in the now, regardless of what company you keep or what you have. Adopt enjoyable daily rituals that keep your spirits up. Your happiness is your responsibility. Let nothing rob you of it!
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.