When it comes to personal happiness, we all commit two common mistakes -searching for those sources of happiness that we think are really long lasting, but they only wane when the time comes, and second, searching in the wrong places.
But why do we always search for happiness?
People search for happiness because they might be lonely, feeling bored, or simply not contented.
But what is really happiness?
According to a psychologist, Jennifer Barbara, PhD., ”happiness is a fleeting feeling that comes and goes but cannot last, as life will inevitably lead to other incompatible feelings such as uneasiness, fear, anger, etc.”
It is human nature to always seek something that gives us that feeling of being elated, especially when we only think of today and now, and who cares what tomorrow comes.
It is not a crime to search for the sources of happiness, but if you notice that something’s not right if it tires you out more than it gives you that happiness, then it’s time to back out and say to yourself, ”Oops, this is not the happiness that I need.”
For example, collecting branded items makes you happy and you gain attention from people when you use them, but in the long run, it bores you; the attention makes you unsafe; it depletes you mentally and financially (yeah, figures, branded).
If we understand the true meaning of happiness according to the psychologist above, being happy doesn’t last, because we, people, we’re naturally fickle-minded and flighty. Sometimes, we don’t know what we want and what we need.
So if you’ve been on the hunt for your happiness, please make sure what you will find is really worth the search, and gives you that everlasting happiness. But who knows until when, maybe only today, or only until next week.
To save you from disappointment and waste of time, the true source of your happiness comes from the feeling of contentment or fulfilment that only certain things, like untouchable ones, can give.
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Here are some sources of happiness towards contentment and fulfilment:
– Know your passion and your goal
If you don’t know yourself well, it’s like you’re living in the dark. You may have everything within your grasp, but something is still missing – you don’t know what you want.
It could be frustrating when you’ve tried everything and in the end, it doesn’t give you that fulfilment.
Perhaps you’ve been to different job interviews and your resume is quite long – you have different employers every six months.
Why is that so?
Maybe you always applied for sick leave even though you’re not even sick and just the thought of going to your work gives you that feeling of emptiness, dread, or indifference.
It happened because you don’t love what you’re doing and you just work just for the sake of getting paid at the end of the month.
I’m not saying that you have to quit your job now after realising managing a company doesn’t give you that happiness. But you can make it your inspiration to quit your job soon after knowing your goals in life and working for them.
Yes, it could be a huge challenge, but with that apparent goal and vision in your mind, you will view life way differently.
So start now, solve your dilemma and assess yourself well by asking yourself this, ”What do I want to do and what do I want to be?”
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-Don’t limit yourself and be willing to adapt to change
In times of pandemic, some people are forced to stay at home. That’s a challenge for many of us, especially for people who love to be outside, around people and travel a lot.
If you’re too focused on one thing as a source of your happiness, it will cripple you when change happens.
When you love your job so much and you have to quit doing it and you have to stay at home, which really bothers you, negative feelings will come out – fear, desperation, anger, boredom.
Those negative emotions lead to unhappiness. So if you can adapt to change, you’ll get by.
It is hard to conquer a sudden change in the situation, but with the right mindset to change, everything goes smoothly.
As I mentioned above, you should know yourself well, so when these sudden situations arise, you know where you stand.
You might have lost your job, which you love the most, but you haven’t built a life around your work and you have other sources of happiness even though you have to stay at home for who knows until when.
If you love working because you’re a workaholic by nature, staying at home shouldn’t hinder you from that. You can always search for jobs online. It is different, yes, but you’re open to that idea and you taught yourself to be flexible.
“There is nothing constant except change.” –Heraclitus
Nothing stays the same on this planet. Everything changes and that is inevitable. We need to accept this reality- changing won’t change. It’s always there, and it always happens.
You shouldn’t resist the changes happening around you, but learn to adapt to them and just ride the wave.
– Let go of the past
They always say, or I might have said before, ”forget the past”.
Yes, it is easier said than done. We say that almost automatically to people who you think are still suffering from the past.
But this is really rubbish, one can’t simply forget the past. Whatever happened in the past, good or bad, you owe it to that for what you are now.
Your past moulded you into what you see yourself right now in the mirror.
Yes, it is the past, and it will always remain there, in the past, looming in the background, but it always stays there.
Not forgetting the past doesn’t mean you’re shackled to it, and you connect the present with the past.
What you should do to move forward and finally live your life and enjoy the bliss of life is to let go of the past.
You should accept that everything happens in the past and if you don’t look back at what happened, nothing will remind you again.
Consider your past as a lesson, like a guidebook, a checklist for your future self.
Something or someone has made you happy in the past. Cherish that moment, if not the person, but the moment and the memory to always remind you, you can feel happy and you will experience it again.
But you should let go of the memories when you feel hurt, pain and regret and treat them as a reminder to be more aware and to protect yourself from happening again in the future.
You don’t have to drag the baggage of your past to your present, because baggage hinders your progress and just tires you out emotionally and mentally.
Accept what happened in the past because you can’t undo it anymore, but you should refuse to feel bitter and hinder yourself from trying again.
-Don’t aim for perfection
“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”
― Leo Tolstoy
You know what you want and you strive to achieve it. That’s fantastic if you’re doing it for your fulfilment.
While working hard for your dreams is already a step ahead towards your happiness, getting obsessed with making the result so perfect will only lead to negative emotions.
Aiming for perfection is becoming an obsession for some because being perfect is impossible and we always want what is impossible to reach.
Your view and opinion of perfection changes over time and fulfiling that will take you a lifetime.
Whenever you obsess over perfection, you’re removing yourself the chance of achieving the real fulfilment of your endeavours, which is to be happy.
So why not focus instead on improving yourself more than wanting everything to be perfect?
What counts is your development along the way. You might have failed, but from that, you have learned a couple of things.
Refusing to aim for perfection doesn’t mean you will not give your best towards your goal or that you will work less to achieve it.
Perfection is an illusion; it is like finding the finish line in a maze with no end.
-Enjoy the small things in life
Many people revel in bigger things, happenings and amounts. Yes, that’s true and I don’t want to be a hypocrite and say, ”no, I don’t like those things”. That’s BS.
But – I don’t obsess over having and wanting those bigger things in my life. If I achieve that, that’s great! If not, well, it’s okay, better luck next time and I would try again.
The problem with aiming and working for big achievements takes time and effort, and when you fail and if you have expected too much, like immediate success and perfection, you’ll get into the phase of frustration and unhappiness.
So while you’re working your way up to achieve those bigger things, take a look at smaller things in your life.
Be grateful and know how to be contented with what you have right now, but that statement shouldn’t discourage you from achieving your goals in life because of the word -contentment.
Being grateful makes you happy, improves your health and can build stronger relationships according to a study.
As cliché (or maybe cheesy) as it sounds, I revel in the feeling of waking up early in the morning, when the world is still asleep, and I sit in silence with a cup of something hot in my hand.
I know I can’t force you to feel the same way, but you could find those things that are just under your nose that would bring a smile to your face.
Even hearing the purring sound of a sleeping cat is like mellow music that calms one’s nerves.
How about showing kindness to others? What about helping an elderly woman with her bag and opening the door for her?
How about buying your favourite book and enjoying the smell of the pages?
How about cooking a new recipe and inviting your friends over?
How about that feeling when you take off your bra when you arrive home?
How about you walk alone and relish the scene of the autumn leaves on the ground?
There are still a lot of small things that we don’t even pay attention to because we’re too caught up in achieving the bigger ones.
That feeling may not be long-lasting but the memory leaves on and inspires you to always do these things, so you will feel the emotion of being calm and contented even for a moment only.
Treat those small things like your happiness of the day as your sources of happiness when you feel you need them.
-Change your mindset
So you’ve reached this point, and you have read other sources of happiness, but you know what, no matter how many things I write here and be philosophical about them, if you don’t change your mindset – it will simply not work.
No one can instil that positive feeling in you, you are the source of your happiness, found deep within you.
It’s rubbish what we have watched in romantic movies. The guy makes the girl happy, or vice versa.
You alone have the responsibility and the key to being happy, no matter what the other person does to you.
No wonder when somebody gives too much effort to the other person hoping to make her happy, it sometimes doesn’t work, she’s still not happy after all.
Teach yourself to be happy and you will appreciate others’ efforts. The same goes with love, love yourself and you expect that in return.
You can’t depend your happiness on another person and give him that power over you. When the other person is not around anymore, what will happen to you?
Work on finding your own happiness within you and your mind that even when you’re all alone, you can be happy.
Practice your mind to appreciate things and be grateful for them. In no time, that happiness appears subconsciously.
–Don’t exaggerate things too much
So you’re sulking in the corner after having a small taste of failure, pain and embarrassment?
Do you think you are the most unfortunate person on this planet?
It annoys me sometimes when I witness people complain about things that are, in fact, not worth a crease on their forehead.
The problem with us is when we wallow in pain and frustration because we exaggerate too much.
You get angry over a missed train (not the train’s fault of course) because you’ll be late for your appointment. You have exaggerated too much thinking it’s too embarrassing to appear late, too difficult to get the appointment and a lot of ”toos”.
Okay, let’s be fair, maybe the appointment is very important, but come to think of it, it’s not the end of the world.
You can have another appointment or you can come, albeit late, but what’s worse that could happen?
You just created the worst scenarios in your mind that are detrimental to your mind and well-being.
You have loved somebody exaggeratedly, kissed the ground he walked on, when he left, it has also left a dark dent in your heart. Let’s call that spot – heartbreak. That’s a different scenario, but the same thought and result -unhappiness.
So if you have the habit of catastrophizing things, there’s a probability that you’ll be depressed.
Catastrophizing is an act of thinking or imagining the worst scenarios in your mind from a simple situation.
Perhaps you have the habit of saying every day, you have the worst day of your life, then think of other people too. Maybe some have lost their houses already or children from different parts of the world are already smuggled to serve icky perverts online.
And you’re there, kvetching in frustration because you have forgotten your makeup at home and you need it for your presentation or else people will think you’re too unprepared, too unprofessional, too ugly and other ”toos” again.
As long as it’s not your stove, you forgot to turn off, then stay calm and think of other ways or change your mindset. Maybe it’s not too bad if you don’t wear makeup and they don’t even care as long as you deliver the work in the end.
So let’s wrap it up…
Becoming happy is everyone’s wish- who would want then to be sad every day? NO ONE. But we always search for those sources of happiness in the wrong places and wrong people.
When in fact we find that happiness in us – we are the start and end of our own happiness.
No one can fake his happiness but he can teach himself to be happy by knowing himself well, being flexible, enjoying the small gifts of life and also changing his mindset.
Remember, you are one big source of happiness and you are the master of that.
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