Every human is different and we all have different goals that we’re striving to achieve. However, one goal that we all have in common is that we all want to be happy. Our desire for happiness is the driving force behind our effort to achieve something in our lives.
Nevertheless, not many of us ever achieve the ultimate happiness. Partly because we find it difficult to understand that it’s impossible to achieve happiness in all aspects of life which stops us from enjoying happiness. Additionally, because we keep chasing the wrong things in our lives; things that we believe or are being told will make us happy.
The latter is the result of us learning very early on in our lives that we need to look outside the self for happiness, and consequently many of us grow up with conviction that perfect job, perfect marriage, perfect house and a few perfect children would make us happy.
Furthermore, living in a society that dictates what we have to do in order to be happy also plays a key role in our misconception about what would make us happy. Our society tells us what we have to wear, what cars we should drive, how to exercise and what we should achieve and by what age and if we follow society’s ‘instructions to happiness’ we will reach our ultimate goal of being happy.
As a result of living in such a society we start to make our happiness conditional and we start to express happiness in the wrong concept, such as: ‘If I just get this car, lose those five pounds, get the job I always wanted, buy my dream house and marry the man of my dreams then I will feel happier’. This way of thinking makes us focus too much on things we don’t have and things we assume will make us happy and we don’t focus on what’s happening in our lives right now.
Additionally, society is also one of the main reasons why many of us are not happy. Our society tells us to be perfect, to achieve success and to get the best physique. Moreover, if we feel that we are not meeting the standards of perfection created by our society we start to think that we are not good enough. And if we’re not good enough, we’re not happy.
Furthermore, we seem to be programmed to be dissatisfied with ourselves and our lives. We are unhappy because our jobs, our partners and our lives are not perfect. Consequently, no matter what we do and what we achieve in our lives, we never seem to be happy. We are too harsh on ourselves and we push ourselves harder to the point where we stretch our physical and emotional limits too much.
Further, the amount of opportunities and choices we have now don’t help either as we can never seem to be satisfied with what we’ve got because we are always wondering what we are missing out on that might make us happier than we are. This again confirms that many of us spend a lot of time focusing on what we don’t have.
Moreover, we often become trapped in routine lives complaining about not being happy, however, not doing things that would make us happy because we are too busy working, studying, raising our children and chasing things that won’t make us happy.
In order for us to live happy lives, we need to change our attitude and approach to achieving happiness. The first step is to realize that our feeling of happiness is not determined by other people or things we owe, but rather what’s happening inside of us as happiness comes from within. We need to be happy first and then our circumstances will start to reflect this new state of being. Our circumstances won’t change until we change.
Happiness is a choice and it’s up to us to make a conscious effort to do things that will help us achieve the emotional state that we call happiness. Things, such as dealing with our past and present issues that stops us from moving on with our lives and performing an activity that is both challenging and enjoyable contributes to us experiencing contentment. Achieving our goals give us a sense of accomplishment that makes us feel good about ourselves and helps us experience joy and positive well-being. Other happiness boosters that can help us focus on finding more pleasure in the experiences that we’re having are exercise, sex, sleep, spending time with family and friends, playing with animals, taking vacations etc.
Only we can make that decision to live a happy life and we can only achieve that by focusing on ourselves and focusing on everyday simple pleasures and joys that can help boost our happiness levels, rather than constantly trying to reach the unreachable standards created by others.