Stop Looking For Happiness
Did I confuse you with the title of this post? Let me clarify.
What I’m suggesting in this post is to stop a certain pattern of thinking if you have it.
Here’s the pattern of thinking I’m concerned with. You want to be happy, but generally speaking, you are not quite happy about your life for some reason.
So, you work hard on achieving happiness, thinking , “If I do this and do that, I will be happy”. It might be reading the latest self-help book on how to be happy. It might be moving into a different place. It might be finding a new love. You are assured that if you do such things, you will be happy.
But in reality, reading that book makes you feel pumped up for a while, but you get back into your ordinary unhappy mode after a while; your new location seems absolutely fabulous at first, but you eventually decide that it’s just as hectic as your old place; your new love is fresh and exciting, but you soon realizes that you are going through the same process as you did in your last relationship.
I believe conditional thinking like this is what blocks you from achieving the happiness you want. When you think of happiness this way, you seem to assume that you are not happy now and that there is something that automatically gets you out of your unhappy state.
But, I believe being happy is a matter of attitude and I believe you can make a deliberate choice to be happy without relying on external sources that give you happiness. If what I believe is correct, then what you need to do is to choose to have this attitude about happiness, not to look for something or someone that gives you happiness.
In this framework, a major problem about looking for external sources that give you happiness is that there are no such external sources you are looking for. If that’s the case, your search is bound to fail and you are guaranteed to be disappointed: the more you look for happiness, the unhappier you get.
Even if it’s possible that the latest self-help book, moving into a new place, or finding a new love gives you some kind of happiness, waiting for such a thing to happen is like waiting for a good card to be dealt to you when there is that card right in front of you and you can grab it at your will. Why would you wait?
Here I say: stop looking for external sources that give you happiness and choose to have a better attitude about happiness. You can do these things right now and be happier than before.
The better attitude I’m speaking of is the attitude of finding or even creating happiness within yourself. This sounds a bit fluffy, but what I’m going to say is, in short: be proactive in your life.
Now, the question is: how do you become proactive in your life? Here’s my answer.
Chose your own path:
Remember, it’s your life and you have more choices than you think. Make sure to choose to make choices on your own rather than choosing not to make choices, which seems to be the default choice for many people. By realizing that you have choices, you will be able to get a better hold of your life, compared to when you think you have no choices.
Control what you can control:
While it’s silly to try to control or to be obsessed with what you cannot control, it’s equally silly not to control what you can control. For example, you can’t control the weather on the day you are running a marathon or how other competitors will do in the race, but you can control how you train for the marathon and how you run during the race. You can train yourself to notice beautiful things around you. You can train yourself physically so you will have a healthy lifestyle that keeps you in a good mood. What else can you control in your life? Think about it.
Instead of looking for things that give you happiness, try to look for things that make you curious. Curiosity is an excellent source for positive motivation. Think of what you are good at – you are curious about it and you are motivated to learn more about it. So, naturally, you get better at it while having fun. Why don’t you apply your curiosity for a specific area of your expertise to your life in general? If you had that kind of curiosity for your life, you would become so much better at living your life.
Right now, you may be having a hard time that I have never experienced and don’t quite understand. Even if that’s the case, I believe you can choose to choose your own path, control what you can control, and be guided by your own curiosity.
These things also apply to living a romantic life as well – if you want to live your life that way, you can start doing it right now by making a deliberate choice of living a romantic life on your own terms, controlling what you can control, and guiding your life with curiosity.
If you want to live a romantic life, I want you to make that choice now instead of postponing your happiness or living the life you want to live. Why? I can’t force you anything, but the fact that you’ve read up to here tells me that you are on to something and I appreciate that. No matter how strange or crazy it may sound, I choose to try my best to bring the best in you and others who want to live a happy, romantic life on their own terms. To be on your side is my choice.
What do you choose?