What’s happiness? Happiness is… If you’re reading this post, you’re probably looking for it. However, today I have a refreshing thought for you. What if someone told you happiness is something that you can create? That’s right. Something that you can build as a matter of fact. In addition, let me tell you something ironic: the pursuit of happiness is actually making us unhappy. Isn’t that hilariously true?
What Is Happiness?
Happiness is an attitude rather than a place. There are many things wrong with the term “pursuit of happiness”. First, thinking about it as something you can chase after or find is one of them. Why? Take a step back and try to detach yourself from everything you know about the word. Now, think about it as something that can be built. In others words, it can be self-created. However, this “provocative” thought also leads to another important realization — “happiness is a choice”.
Acknowledging that happiness is in our hands is hard. Why? On one hand, by admitting that truth, we are holding ourselves accountable for it. On the other hand, having that mindset also means we can no longer blame our “unhappiness” on others. However, the playing the “victim” is such a comfortable thing to do… We just point fingers at everyone and everything else, but ourselves.
How To Be Happy
#1: Prioritize What’s Important
When you care about things that are unimportant, you’re putting yourself in position to be unhappy. In other words, stop thinking about your personal happiness as a finishing line. It’s not a destination, it’s a way of life. Having said that, happiness will never be embodied in a house, a car or a job promotion. All of those things are nice, but they won’t get you there. Don’t get me wrong, material things do indeed bring some level of comfort but they won’t enrich your spirit.
#2: Be Confident
Guess what? Life is too short to be afraid all the time. One of the biggest gifts of the human experience is to learn. Having said that, one doesn’t need to know everything to take the next step. So what if we fall? You get up and you learn from it. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes. As a matter of fact, confidence doesn’t come from winning all the time. Ironically, it comes from past mistakes and failures. In order for those two things to happen, you must have done something. And the keyword here is “doing something”. Have you ever met a person that succeeded in something without ever trying? No. It’s impossible. Therefore, be confident because that’s the attitude that will keep you moving and challenging yourself.
#3: Love Yourself
We only have one life and one body. Would it be nice if you loved yourself during this entire journey? Guess what? You can. When you don’t love yourself, you’re not taking full advantage of what life has in stores for you. Learning how to cultivate self-love will allow you to be a stronger human being. When you love yourself, you stop thinking about how others’ success and looks affect you. What does that say about haters? They are deeply hurt people — they don’t love themselves. Therefore, don’t “hate”, appreciate. Trust me, you don’t want be a miserable person.
#4: Live In The Present
The “fear of the future” might bring anxiety and unhappiness to many. Yes, I understand the importance of planning ahead and thinking about the “next step”. However, don’t let those “future thoughts” consume you too much. “Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery. Today is a gift, that’s why they call it the present.” Therefore, next time you catch yourself thinking about the “future” do yourself a favour — STOP. You don’t want to miss the beauty of what’s happening right “NOW”. Carpe Diem!
#5: Be Grateful
Whenever you find yourself in a terrible situation, remember the following — there’ll always be someone in a worse position than you. Having said that, if something positive happened to you today — seize the moment and be grateful. Practising gratitude can be (in many ways) something good that we gift to ourselves.
The Meaning Of True Happiness
If you read this far, I think you’re on the right path of achieving true happiness. As I said before, “the pursuit of happiness” won’t bring what you’re really looking for. Happiness is something that is under your control. The concept sounds easy, but the real challenge is to change our mindset. One needs to let go of the “victim mentality”. You know what? I get. It’s way easier to blame our misery on others than ourselves. It’s almost like a clutch that gives us the sweet illusion that it’s okay to feel this way. Guess what? It’s okay to feel unhappy from time to time. However, it’s in our hands to do something about it.