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How many times have you heard yourself or someone else say “If only I could be happy”?
It seems like the search for happiness has been with us for a very long time and you may be looking too. The trouble is the harder you look the more difficult it is to find. Why?
Because you are looking in the wrong place!
What I am going to tell you about happiness is very simple, however, the truth may not be what you want to hear…
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The Truth About Happiness
Many people make a huge mistake thinking that happiness is something that is connected to achieving some goal. It isn’t. If you have ever said “when I have this…” or “when I have done that…I will be happy” then you are linking your happiness to something outside of you and this is wrong. If all you do is chase goal after goal, even if you achieve them, you are not going to be happy in the long run. You’re always going to want more. I’m not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing, but by allowing your happiness to depend on materialistic things, you’re not doing yourself any favours.
What you are doing is forever postponing your happiness, and if you are not careful your life will pass without much joy. The truth is that you’re only going to be happy when you decide to be happy.
Being happy means choosing to feel that way no matter what is going on in your life. The truth of this is easily proved. Have you ever seen a rich person who is unhappy? Have you ever read about the rich and famous celebrity who committed suicide? Have you ever visited a country where people don’t have a lot of money but look closer and you’ll see they are smiling. Happiness does not depend on money, goals, how big your house is or anything outside of you. Learn how to find happiness inside
One of the truest testimonies of this comes from my son and my daughter. They recently went travelling to Africa, and were telling me how absolutely mesmerised they were by what they saw and experienced during their time there. Despite the scarcity of things the majority of us take for granted such as water, a pair of shoes or a phone, they told me how happy and welcoming the community was. No one was complaining, because they simply focus on all the good things that they do have, things which you really can’t put a price on. Things like family, friends, nature and tradition. My son kept saying how inspiring it was to see and experience all of this first hand.
This reminds me of one of my favourite quotes – one to think about:
“As we strain to grasp the things we desire, the things we think will make our lives better: money, popularity, fame… we ignore what truly matters, the simple things, like friendship, family, love. The things we probably already had.”
How Can You Be Happy Now?
Easy. Decide to be happy and think of all the reasons you have to be so. What are you grateful for? Happiness is a choice. You CAN choose it right now. Or you can focus on what’s wrong with your life and think about all the things you need to do and that means choosing to feel unhappy. If you look close enough though, I guarantee you will find a lot of things to be grateful for, things which some people around the world can only dream of having…
What is the definition of happiness? Think about this…
It is simply the absence of sadness. A baby is born happy because he has not yet learned how to be unhappy. Sadness is something that happens because we think about the negative and concentrate on what is wrong. Try focusing on what is right for a change, I guarantee you’ll feel more positive.
If each day you think about the things you are thankful for you will soon realize you are lucky. Enjoy that feeling. Choose happiness and don’t put it off.
Now You Know – Three Things You Must Do
Watch what you tell yourself, your self talk. Correct yourself if you say “when I do this or when I have that….” and make a plan to get it but be happy anyway no matter what happens. Set your goals, but know that if you hit a few obstacles along the way, it’s okay, and that every day is a learning experience that can only make you better and stronger. You are evolving into a better version of yourself, and this in itself is something to smile about. If you catch yourself self saying “if only” then stop right there. Deal with what you can change.
That wonderful song “Don’t worry, be happy” says everything you need to know. What difference does worrying make? There are certain things that are, and will always be out of your control. By expecting to be able to control and manipulate every situation into one that is favourable to you, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Obsessing and worrying over the future in this way only gets in the way of you enjoying this very moment, because that is all you have. The past is the past, and the future is the future. You live in the now. What do you have right now that you’re thankful for?
When you look for happiness you’ll only ever find it in one place. Inside you. It exists nowhere else. Next time you feel bad remind yourself to be thankful for what you do have and for who you are. Choose to be happy and reject sadness.
Website Author and Editor Bio
Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA) and author of Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run More-SelfEsteem.com since 1997 and is an expert in Self Esteem and Self Confidence.