Happiness is something we all desire. Happiness is a topic about which we love to buy books. What is the secret of happiness? Rather than focusing on what might bring you happiness, we will examine what is stealing your happiness. Many celebrities from Ruby Wax to the Kanye West tell us about how we can use different methods to feel better about ourselves. Popular wisdom tells us that setting goals or choosing the right job or having relationships will bring us the happiness we crave. How many people do you know that have an awesome job and are unhappy? There are many people in perfectly good relationships and feel miserable. Why would that be so. Here are some proven tips about thinking differently about this whole area. What thought habits have you engaged with which steal your happiness?
- Believing that everything should be easy – We all want to feel that if we put effort in then we deserve to get in return, a return. Life isn’t always fair like that unfortunately. Successful people accept that much of their hard work will return no results. Mistakes happen and trying new things or taking risk may result in disappointment. Who told you life should be easy?
- Trying to please others – I’ve met some very successful doctors or other professionals earning good money but feel down and miserable. Why? Medicine was what their patents wanted and was not actually their own choice. Make choices that are good for you not to please others. You steal your own happiness every time you don’t listen to your gut or go with what you know to be right for you. Happiness is about feeling inner contentment and peace about your decisions and choices. Go around and try to please others and you may never feel that you can ever truly get things right.The late and great Herbert Bayard Swope said it like this: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” It is okay to hold opinions that are unpopular. Better to be true to yourself and be in the minority than fall in with others and feel weak.
- Expecting relationships to be fun and easy at all times – Happiness is really a byproduct of making the right decisions and living a life that suits you well. Relationships are fantastic ways to bring out all your faults and weaknesses to the surface. When you have to live with others your little habits and selfish behaviors will surface. No wonder that relationships can be hard work. Getting into a relationship is as much about learning to live with yourself as with someone else. No two people are automatically ideal for each other and it’s about learning to value difference and to see imperfections and vulnerability as the places where true connection and therefore happiness can grow. Great communication is essential. You both need to talk it out sometimes. After all, the only real way to find happiness is to aim to be living with integrity. How do you do that? It entails not settling for less than what you believe you deserve. Do this by being very clear about your needs and asking for what you need and want from loved ones.
- Expecting life to be about Happiness 24/7 – Life has ups and downs. We experience good times and also illness and of course bereavements when people we love die. 100% happiness is impossible and absolutely no one is happy all of the time. Keep in mind that even the most happy people experience considerable fluctuations in their levels of happiness from day to day. Some of the happiest people are those who have indeed experienced pain and loss in the past. They value and feel gratitude for what they have. Happiness is also not found in transient pleasures as much as in long lasting real achievements such as family and giving to others. Happiness is as much about how you respond to circumstances whether they are good or bad.
- Waiting for the time to be 100% to act – It is hard to be happy if you are always looking anxiously for the right time and place to do what you are scared to do. If you need an excuse to postpone your happiness and not act, you will find it somewhere. How many people believe that somehow the past was better than the future? Often you can feel that you don’t have the power to alter events and create a better future. However this is never true. You may need to sit and think about those thoughts, anxieties or beliefs which are holding you back and learn to relax with your thoughts more. You always can decide how you look and feel about events and decisions. Don’t allow past experiences to tell you that the future is something to be scared off. If you believe you can do it, don’t wait for the perfect time, since it will never arrive and you will regret not acting right now.