If we are to be honest, everyone, regardless, of age, gender, race, or social economic status, wants to be happy. Almost everything that we do in our life, is to help us achieve happiness. The career, physical and mental health, spirituality, hobbies, relationships, and the toys we pursue are somehow expected to lead to our happiness. Whether these lead to our happiness remains a question to explore.
I have a great job, a business that is making significant profits, a spouse who loves me unconditionally, and the most beautiful children in the world. I am living the life. I keep getting things that should make me happy, but why am I still not happy?
This is the question that we shall explore in the blog today.
I believe that you are not happy because you are not in control of your happiness. That is, you are allowing people and external forces to define whether you are going to be happy or otherwise. You therefore leave happiness to a game of chance.
If only I lose weight, get a Masters, get married or marry, then I will be happy. If only…(feel free to fill that blank)then I will be happy.
Most of the people who have achieved their goals, will tell you that the feeling of happiness is short lived.
‘I expected that I will be happy forever after achieving this milestone, but I am not. Why don’t I feel happy?’-they ask
The challenge with this approach is that, the world always has a way of dropping both good news and bad news in your life on daily basis. Demotivators are everywhere, poor customer service, frustrating traffic, and unmet expectations are the order of the day. If you are to allow life to determine happiness on daily basis, do you see a chance of being happy frequently?
In a year, how many times do you receive good news? How many times do you receive bad news? I believe the answer to this, tells you where you stand based on the ‘if …then I will be happy’ approach to happiness. Does this sound like the life you would want to have? Most would say not, but this is our approach to life. Are we now surprised when we are not happy most of the times?
What happens when your happiness comes from the inside? You have control over your happiness. You decide that you will be a happy person no matter what. You are a happy person when you have the best and worst days at work. You are a happy person when you have money or broke.
How do I decide to be happy? You need to accept that you are in control of your happiness. Your happiness is not controlled by someone or something else. Your happiness is controlled by you. You are in charge of your happiness.
If you have anger, pain, resentment and bitterness, you need to get rid of them as soon as possible. Decide to heal from all the wounds in your life. You need to let go of that bitterness
Just a reminder, nobody is responsible for your healing but you. Yes! People who hurt you might apologise or not. They might give you all the answers (or not) to help you with closure. But all these are simply tools to help you with your process of healing that you are leading. I will even stretch it further to say that even God can’t heal your wounds if you don’t allow him to do so. Deal with the baggage and then move on.
You must change your mindset. You need to get rid of a fault-finding mindset. If you are like me, I easily notice weaknesses than strengths. I am one those guys who will talk about the 1% that didn’t work and ignore then 99%. To change you therefore need to decide to focus on what is positive in everything. When you take this approach, you will find that even in loss, you still gain. This will require deciding and having the discipline. You can start by spending a week talking about positive things about anything. It might be your tough boss, the spouse you resent, your baby daddy, the pastor you don’t like, or even the team you resent.
One thing I have learnt in life is that you see what you decide to focus on. If you want to focus on negative things, you will see them. If you also want to focus on positive things about life, you will see them. You make the decision at the end.
Decide to keep a company of happy people in your life. People who are going through a tough time, but they are happy. People who have experienced loss but are happy. People who are battling with life threating diseases, but they are happy. People who have all the reasons and the right to be bitter and resentful, but they chose peace, joy and happiness. These people will show you contentment and happiness in practice. They will also show you that it is possible to be happy. Most importantly, they will show you that indeed, happiness is not a feeling but a choice.
Why am I not happy? It is because you are allowing someone or something else to determine your happiness. Take control of your happiness, and you will experience a huge change.