TIME TO DISPEL THE MYTHS OF WHAT ACTUALLY MAKES US HAPPY
And worst, we somehow believe that if things were set up a certain way, *then* we'd naturally be happier.
So you hear people saying, ‘If XXX happened then I’d be happy.’ – but this is total trash! Whilst it might give them one less thing to worry about, they'll soon revert to their previous level of happiness (or depression).
Put simply, your happiness is not dependent on your circumstances.
So let's have a look at a few common traits that we invariably find in happy people:
- Happy people are focused on others - not on themselves! (Depressed people do the opposite.)
- Happy people have learned to appreciate what they have, the people around them, life itself
- Happy people see opportunities wherever they look
- Happy people are not trying to ‘achieve to be happy’, rather they have learned to ‘happily achieve’
- Happy people have lives that are set up to meet their specific, primary needs. These being: a need for Certainty, Variety, Love, Significance, Growth and Self-Esteem (which comes from Contribution)
Again, our language reveals the way we're thinking about things. ‘I have to do X,Y and Z.' Grumble. groan, gripe. How about you get to do those things? You get the privilege of tackling the challenge, of facing this unique situation, or being counted worthy to receive this event.
Happy people accept responsibility for EVERY part of their lives
If you often use the phrase, ‘If only…’ see it as a huge warning flag. It means you’re about to settle for an excuse – a blatant lie about why things aren’t going to happen as you’d like them too. This guarantees that you will not become flexible enough to achieve the outcome you desire AND provides you a (life-draining) justification for settling for something far below your true desire.
A study of the top 5 regrets of the dying, included, “I wish I’d learned to be happier with my life – I now realise that could simply have chosen to be happier even when life wasn’t perfect.”
It’s not what happens to you; it’s the meaning you attach to what happens to you that dictates your level of happiness
A study of people who became paraplegic showed that they eventually returned to the same level of happiness that they enjoyed before they faced their ‘ordeal’. What can we learn from this?
If you want better answers, ask yourself better questions
Find meaning in the dull and mundane and CREATE meaning. You can even do this for situations that are notably painful.
If you haven't read about Victor Frankl’s experience of rising above his troubles in Auschwitz and what he eventually went on to do, I suggest you search out his books. He found meaning in the midst of daily death, pain and suffering and it kept him going when others lost hope.