The one thing that everybody wants in life is to be HAPPY! From career, to relationships, to finances, everybody ultimately wants to be happy. We strive to attain a contentment that lasts. A joy that makes us feel on top of the world. Is there a Key? Is it possible to be happy right where you are at? Can happiness be achieved right now? Even Pharrell Williams is singing about it.
Being Happy can be Hard:
The fact is so many people are not happy! Before I give you the one key to being happy, I need you to first understand why it can be so hard to be happy. Being happy is sometimes “really hard.” Here is why. We confuse success with happiness.
The Happiness Problem:
We go to school to study, to get the grades we want, to get the results we want, to get the college we want, to get the job we want, to meet somebody, to fall in love, to get married, to have babies, and then we train our children to do it all over again. There is nothing wrong with this journey except for one major thing. It becomes our dream. It becomes what we deem as success. Society, media, even our culture has conditioned us to believe there is an “ideal” that must be attained. Ticking the boxes as we move along in life. However when we have “ideals” or “dreams”, they can quickly become a barometer for happiness.
The problem with success:
The problem is we start to say things like
“I’ll be happy when I…”
“When I get … I’ll be happy”
“I’ll be happy after…”.
This makes successes equal our contentment. Not only that, we feel like we are not matching up to the dream we had for our lives when we don’t tick the box on our list of achievements. This becomes frustrating, depressing, and can totally demotivate us.
When we confuse success as our source of happiness, it becomes a burden. Yes success makes us happy, but it must never be our source of happiness. We might interpret success as getting the exam results we want, or getting married, or having children, or getting that promotion. No matter what we dream of as success we must not confuse success with happiness. This makes happiness dependant on results.
Here is a story about a guy whom we’ll call Steve. Its a true story from a guy I worked with some years ago. Steve was a very successful athlete. He was becoming famous for his achievements on the court. He had just got signed to a major team and was going to make a whole lot of money doing the thing he loved. All this came crashing down when he got an irreversible injury and was told he wouldn’t play anymore. His words to me were “how will I ever be happy now”.
He had conditioned his thinking that happiness comes by my achievements. That works when all is good, but when you are told that you are not able to have what you dreamed of. Can you still be happy?
So how can we be happy. What is the “Key” to being happy even when our dreams may not come to pass. The key is to be happy right where you are at. Be happy in the now. Not putting your happiness on things that you don’t have or may never have. Learn to be happy today regardless of yesterday or what might be tomorrow. Enjoy today and let tomorrow worry about itself. Yes there will be trials, yes there will be worries, but live life today. Be thankful for what you do have and your joy will grow.
Steve now shares his story with many. He learned that being grateful for the smallest of things gained him the happiness he always dreamed of. Being happy is for today and not somewhere in your future. Be happy and be grateful.
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By Mark Fennell