Updated: Aug 5, 2019
Happiness is elusive for some people. (Actually, most people I know struggle with being happy at times.) But what does "happiness" even really mean?
The dictionary says happiness is "the state of being happy." And being "happy" is "feeling or showing pleasure or contentment."
None of this describes what actually can MAKE you happy. That's because being "happy" is a very personal journey.
Heck, some people don't even care IF they are happy or not. (They probably never started reading this article anyway...)
So if we can't truly define the pathway to happiness for the individual, are there some patterns we can sort through that inhibit happiness? We believe there are. Here are five of them in no particular order.
1. You want to ALWAYS be happy. That would be nice, but is it truly realistic? You have emotions. You have passions. You have desires and feelings and dreams. Truly living life comes with ups and downs, and neither of them last.
It is NORMAL to feel frustrated, sad or afraid sometimes. It's not normal to feel these things ALL the time. The same is ALSO true for joy, contentment and peace.
You must learn to manage the emotions inside the journey. Just because you FEEL, does not mean you must respond.
2. You confuse "simple" with "easy". Simplicity in life is difficult to achieve. Easy can be bought, simplicity must be earned. The things we earn cannot be stolen from us. Ever. Strive for things in your life to be simple, not easy.
3. You need "stuff". It's normal to want things, even nice things. However, if you're not happy now, you're not going to be happy when you get all the things you want either.
Capitalism wants you to believe otherwise... and, sometimes, it's hard to accept that it simply isn't true. But you do not need much to be happy. Happiness comes from within.
And the more stuff you have, the more your stuff owns you. So choose wisely.
4. You don't know WHO you are. Knowing who you are is difficult. But it's imperative. We wrote about it here (yes, there's a test you can take to help you).
5. You gossip. Happy people spend time being grateful for what they have and what they're going after. Happy people spend time including people on their journey and spreading ideas.
Gossip has no place in a happy person's life. Gossip is deflection, victimization and glee at another person's expense: none of this is healthy.
No one can be trusted in a circle of gossips, because if they're talking to you about other people behind their backs to feel better about themselves, you better damn sure believe they're talking about you when you're not around too.
Do not engage. Do not participate. See what happens next time when you quietly defend the person being talked about with these words, "Oh, they're not so bad in my book."
Carry on, friend! Hugs!