In a society where happiness is thought to be something that can be accomplished by an external force or object such as relationships, wealth, or beauty, it is no wonder why we have such trouble being happy and remaining happy in our lives.
There are plenty of people who think, “If only I had more money I would be happy, it would fix all my problems.” Others may think, “If only I was thinner, stronger, or more attractive I would be able to feel good, be able to succeed in life, and be happy.” Many others think, “If only I could find the right person to spend my life with, then I would feel complete and be happy.” Every person has that one thing, that golden ticket, which they believe will make them happy. These external forces may bring us some temporary happiness and a sense of wholeness, but they are not long-term solutions. Without other tools, they will leave us feeling empty and unresolved.
So, the question remains: What do I need to do to be happy? We have all heard advice from other people about what we should do and what really works for them. To truly be happy, and the only thing that holds for each individual,is to look within: Stop looking outside for the answers. Sometimes when we look inside ourselves we do not like what we see and we find that it is easier to blame others for our shortcomings. Instead of blaming others or even being hard on ourselves, try looking at yourself without judgment and take notice of what is going on. Do you find that there are areas in your life that you struggle with constantly? Areas that are in constant repeat, preventing you from living a fulfilling life? If so, maybe it’s time to take a look at these areas and consider how you can fulfill your needs in a healthy and productive manner. The result is a happy life.
Although we do have common needs as people, each person has different struggles, goals, and preferences. As such, the first step is really getting to know yourself and who you really are. This is not easy, as there are so many subtle expectations in society that bombard us and prevent us from realizing our true needs. Once you know who you are, what you need and–equally important–what you do not need, you can begin the journey of happiness and joy.
Some people look inward with tools like meditation, prayer, or therapy. There are also ways to express these inner feelings and needs with art, music, reading, or writing. Once we look inward, and better know what we need, there is opportunity to embark on a journey and live a life that brings us happiness. It is very hard work, it will challenge you. You will have to constantly work toward it and better yourself and see yourself as worthy of the best. When working toward happiness you will need to work on communicating your needs, taking responsibility for your actions, forgiving yourself and others, and experience your emotions fully. We are often so full of so many things that there is no room for happiness, so emptying ourselves of these burdens and weights that we carry around grants us more room for happiness.
Remember, we are human and we make mistakes. We have our sad days, and we have our bad days. There are road blocks and frustrations in everyone’s life. This is inevitable. Once we know more about ourselves, though, we will be more kind to ourselves and to others when something unpleasant comes up. We can allow ourselves to feel sad or disappointed but know in our hearts that there is hope, joy, and happiness at our core.
Perhaps the most exciting part about going through this journey is that we become better at building and maintaining relationships, while simultaneously attracting like-minded people and great opportunities in our lives.