The Pursuit of Happiness
Searching for happiness in a world obsessed with image can be daunting. And sometimes, destructive.
Just like Alice, I found myself chasing a white rabbit through an illogical reflection of reality. So many twists and turns! So many hopes dashed. I withdrew deep inside myself to reflect. The ‘white rabbit’ in my story is, of course, a metaphor for ‘happiness.’ And I was looking in aaalllll the wrong places. (The mall. Social events….Tinder. *shudder* Don’t judge me guys…)
It took me many, many years to figure out where I went wrong. And several more years passed before I was able to say “hey, I’m truly OK with myself.” The truth is: happiness should never be focused on possessions OR placed in the hands of other people. True happiness comes from within! It is a product of genuine gratitude and an acceptance of who you are. And only you are responsible for that.
The inability to see value in your present state (who you are and what you have) is a condition that plagues many, many people. Myself included.
So… how do you find happiness when you are the sort of person who is never satisfied?
The obvious (I hope) answer is: you never will! Some of the “richest” people I’ve know happen to also have a very modest income. Positive people look at everything they have and say “I’m so grateful!” They value everyone and everything in their lives. And they don’t compare themselves to others.
Be a Giver. Not a Taker.
The best thing I ever learned from my positive friends was never look at someone else’s bowl to see if they have MORE than you, look to see if they have ENOUGH. Your outlook and treatment of other people is a direct reflection of your level of inner peace.
Happiness At Your Fingertips: You are the soul the creator of your thoughts, use that to your advantage. A positive outlook manifests a sunnier perspective.
On the flip side, I also know people who make well above six-figure salaries who drift through life without ever feeling fulfilled. People with boats and planes, multiple condos, beautiful families and a wardrobe to swoon over. And yet they grumble to themselves “What I have isn’t enough. I could do better.“ Sadly, these people are often filled with feelings of envy and inadequacy. They rely on things to define their value, instead of what they’ve accomplished. It’s crazy, right?
Don’t get me wrong: It’s healthy to work on self-improvement and strive to better yourself. But when it becomes a vicious cycle of beating yourself up for not having the latest phone, most expensive clothes or exclusive invites, you are seriously setting yourself up for a life of misery. Shift the focus to the inside: what have you accomplished this year? Whose lives have you touched? When was the last time you gave yourself a genuine compliment?
What You Can Do to Change How Happy You Feel
Practicing daily gratitude changed everything for me. Being overly self-critical was a hard habit to break. Instead, I try to focus on what I do like. My body is more flexible and strong now! My career has taken a lot of time and energy from me, but I can see the progress in the work I produce! And I’m beyond grateful that I’m becoming a more patient and giving person.
Sure, I still have my off-days when I become super critical of myself. Thankfully, I recognize the white rabbit for what it really is: an illusion.
So, hopefully, you’ve taken some time to reflect on how you talk to yourself. And what sort of energy you give off to others. Are you a giver or a taker? Which side of the rabbit hole do you fall on?