The Search For Happiness. Does It Ever End?
Why do we, as a species, do anything at all? It basically comes down to two principes: 1. We want to avoid feeling pain (negative feelings), and 2. We want to move towards happiness (positive feelings). The catch is: we’d rather avoid pain than experience pleasure. So where does this leave us?
We’re willing to sacrifice almost anything to avoid feeling hurt, angry, sad or miserable. However, we’re not so great at going through these feelings to experience true happiness.
Where does this lead to? An endless spiral of going through the motions of avoiding pain and moving towards happiness.
Is The Search Really Endless?
Almost everybodies lives – at least in the Western world – revolves around two essential phenomenons in our existence: the need for happiness and the need to earn a living.
These two phenomenons are intertwined; at least in our culture, at least in the way I was raised and how I see other people living their lives around me.
If you earn a good living, no matter what job you work at, there’s a big chance you feel happy.
However, do you think it’s possible to experience happiness when you’re earning by making your passion your paycheck; eventhough it’s only $1000 a month?
The connection between happiness and money becomes an unlucky one as soon as you believe that you’re only allowed to feel happy when you earn a decent living.
But let’s be honest, how long does the happy feeling last of your last big purchase? Your car, your house, your two week holiday trip to some excotic place.
It usually last about a week, a month at tops. After this period of time you’re off searching for something new that will make you feel happy. At least you think it will.
What’s Wrong With That?
You’re making your search for happiness a never ending story. Every time you think you’ve found happiness, the feeling fades and you’re back to square one. Back to the place you’ve been before, the place where you’ve been searching for happiness around you.
You’re constantly questioning yourself unconsciously: “What’s going to make me happy (now)?”
You’re searching for things that will make you feel good about yourself as soon as possible. Not in some distance future you can’t possibly imagine. No, you want to feel good now, this very moment. This blurs you’re entire vision. Who on earth is willing to wait several years to finally feel good again?
This would mean that you’re going to be sad, miserable and down until you’re allowed to feel happy. This could even lead to a depression and even worse: you might become suicidal…
It seems rather unlikely that you’re now thinking: Yes, this is something I want. I want to feel miserable for years!
Where Did We Go Wrong?
As kids we were open-minded. We we’re living in the moment, if anything happened around us we responded to it. We learned by trial-and-error. Don’t touch the hot stove, don’t pet a hedgehog and cry when someone takes your toy. Oh, the joy we experienced when the crying worked and you got your toy back.
We couldn’t think for ourselves.
“Am I behaving correctly now?”
“What do others think of me?”
“What do I want to do with my life?”
You were just living and was just going with the flow of life.
As a kid you couldn’t possibly take care of yourself. You weren’t responsible for your own life situation yet.
In truth we are born happy.
Deep inside we’re doing just fine. There’s nothing wrong with you as a person. You have your own life. Sometimes situations come up with which you have to deal with. And life goes on, on to the next situation that demands your attention.
Really, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you as a human being.
The more you’re trying to solve your problems for the outside in, the further you’re moving away from experiencing happiness.
Your well-being gets clouded by your negative thoughts about your problems. Causing you to lose sight of the truth that lies deep inside of you, true happiness. You’re running around trying to solve your problems, that you’re not seeing what’s right in front of you. You’re okay, in your essence as a human being.
Happiness Can’t Be Owned
Our society seems to revolve around one simple idea: try to figure out how to make life as much fun as possible.
What could you be doing now to make yourself happy? I’m going to make a bet and assume that the first thing that popped into your head has to do with materialism.
A holiday, some new toy (car, gadget), Starbucks.
Sure, these things do make your life more fun and will make you experience happiness in the short-term. And in the short-term only. When looking at the long-term you won’t even remember these things. You won’t remember that you had this great tasting coffee from Starbucks. And even when you do remember, you won’t look back at it and feel extremely happy about it.
It was just a coffee.
Real Joy And Happiness Resides On The Inside
Something that you already possess can’t be lost. The problem today is that we’re being brough up with the idea that this feeling deep inside isn’t enough. We have this need to make the feeling grow, like throwing things into a bonfire.
How can you possibly feel happy when you own nothing of which society thinks that you have to own them before you can feel happy?
You haven’t got a car, how can you feel happy? You haven’t got a partner, how you can feel happy?
You haven’t achieved anything in your life, how can you feel happy? You haven’t got any displomas worth mentioning. You haven’t got a certain amount of cash.
How on earth can you feel happy? How on earth can you feel happy with yourself and your life?
Simple: By taking action. By moving towards you really want to achieve for yourself. By taking action which is coming from a solid foundation of feeling good enough and worthy. The process of moving towards a goal gives a feeling of satisfaction.
Keep in mind that this goal should never be a means to an end. The process is where your happiness resides. And the process is always happening now. Not in some distance future where you have reached your goal. It happens now and now only.
To make it even easier for you: when you live your life knowing that you’re 100% responsible for your own life and the choices that you make, you’ll feel alot better. If I sit on my ass all day, taking no action towards my goal at all, and I’m content with that, I will feel happy. Simply because I know I’m responsible.
If I find myself thinking I should be doing something, and I’m not doing it, I’ll start blaming myself which will result in me feeling less happy with myself.
You have more control than you think
You decide what you think about, what you think about this and the consequences it has on your feeling of happiness. Nobody else. You have the power and the control to influence your own experience of happiness.
When you choose to blame yourself for not taking action, you won’t be feeling any better.
When you choose to constantly worry about anything, you won’t be feeling any better.
However, you do have the solution to make yourself feel better. You’re responsible for yourself and your life. Taking action towards my goals is the #1 solution to feel great in my own experience.
Though, in truth, there’s nothing wrong with you and you’re allowed to feel happy whenever you feel like it. You can allow yourself to feel happy. You’re own thoughts are what causing you to feel bad about yourself. It almost seems like your thoughts are on a mission to prove you wrong.
No, you’re not allowed to be happy, you haven’t achieved anything. Go do something, you should be doing something. Look at yourself, you’re just some guy, nobody cares about you.
Are you feeling me? Your thoughts can make you believe in anything you tell yourself.
“What may seem to you as something catastrophic, somebody else just laughs away and moves on.”
Sure, But I Want To Actively Experience Happiness
What makes people truly happy? What could you be doing that will make you feel happy in the long-term?
I mentioned it before: take action towards goals that really mean something to you.
Do you have to write this paper but you’ve been procrastinating for several hours? This is a common problem. Remind yourself how great it feels to work on the paper for 5 hours. This gives you a tremendous feeling of satisfaction. It feels really, really great.
Have you been thinking about starting your own (online) business, but you find yourself stalling to even start? Find out what it takes to start your own business. Find out for yourself why you truly want to start your own business. Dig so deep until you can’t go any deeper. If you’re why is big enough, I’m 99% sure you’ll start right away. This is about finding your passion.
Actively search for happiness, even if this feeling of happiness is not based on something tangible.
Satisfaction is a feeling of happiness, deep inside.
When you have a goal and you take the steps to get closer to achieving this goal, you’ll feel happy (about yourself). You don’t actually have to achieve the goal to experience happiness. To path towards the results is already satisfactory.
What you believe deep inside decides your every move.
When you believe you’re shy, you’ll behave in a shy way.
When you believe you’re uncapable of anything, you won’t do anything.
When you believe you can achieve something great by taking massive action, you’ll take massive action to get it done.
Create The Self-Image Of A Winner – Short Guide
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Don’t search outside yourself for this something, but look for it on the inside.
Make the decision now to rather feel happy now and take action towards something you really want, than to feel happy in some distant future.
Key Takeaways Of This Article
- In the Western World we’re brought up with the idea that life revolves around two phenomenons: happiness and money. These two are intertwined. It seems like one can’t be owned without the other.
- There’s a lot wrong with thinking money will buy you happiness. Money does make life easier at times, which may seem to be the reason behind your happiness. In truth, true happiness resides on the inside.
- You can’t own happiness. Happiness can’t be bought. Happiness lives deep inside of you and this feeling can be felt when you take action towards a goal you’re really passionate about. However, the process of working towards the end result is what gives you feel true happiness (or satisfaction).
- What you believe on the inside, decides your every move. If you have the self-image of someone who never succeeds in anything, you won’t even bother trying to achieve anything. You’re responsible for your thoughts, your life and your happiness.
#1 Action Step
- Find out for yourself why achieving your goal(s) is important to you. Ask yourself why so many times, you can’t go any deeper. If you’re finding yourself procrastinating often, this is the first thing I’d advice you to do. Get to the root of your motivation.
Let Everyone Know What You Think
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I am a Personal Success Coach, specialized in helping people find their truth inside. I run an online business teaching people how to become happier, how to find their purpose in life and coaching people during their life-changing journey. I have, and am continiously creating, multiple tools I give away for free to get you started today.
You've waited long enough. It's time to spread your wings, today.