I receive emails weekly from Success Magazine. Yesterday this email showed up in my inbox, and I took the time to read it. It was exactly what I needed to read at that very moment. I whole heartedly admit I fall short to all 3 traps, but the 1st trap explained below hit home. One of my strengths is also my biggest weakness---perfection. Living in a when I (fill in the blank), I will be happy” syndrome is shorting me from life.
When I am financially free, I will be happy.
When Relentless Boot Camps are a well-oiled, #1 branded outdoor program in the world, I will be happy.
When I truly fall in love, I will be happy.
When I can do a muscle-up, I will be happy.
When I can buy a new car, I will be happy.
When I can do 20 consecutive pull-ups, I will be happy.
When I can give back as much as I receive, I will be happy.
The list is endless. You get my point.
All I have is now. I choose happiness. From nothing, who I am is the possibility of happiness!
Which trap is hindering you the most? I highlighted the most profound statements for me below.
THE HEAD GAMES OF HAPPINESS
What makes you happy... really?
That’s a serious question… maybe one of the most important questions of your life. But did you know most people can’t answer it correctly?
In his book Stumbling on Happiness, Harvard professor Dan Gilbert explains that most of us think we know what makes us happy, but typically we are wrong.
I have found there are three major traps in which you might be unknowingly making yourself unhappy.
The first unhappiness trap is postponing happiness. The “when I (fill in the blank), I will be happy” syndrome. The reality is happiness, isn’t something to be acquired in the future. You are either happy now or not; “then” never arrives. Living and striving for “then” results in a constant state of unhappiness. Now is the only time you have to be happy. If you can’t be happy now, you most certainly will not be happy later.
The second unhappiness trap is we spend our lives trying to make other people happy which can make us very unhappy. Many times we are living a life we didn’t even choose ourselves. We might have simply, and unconsciously, started pursing the idea of happiness programmed by our parents, peers, societal culture, or the examples given to us by Hollywood or commercialism. Whose idea of success are you living out?
Third unhappiness trap is contrast. For the most part happiness is really an illusion. In other words, you make up the idea of whether you are happy or not. And you really only know how to judge something by comparing it to something else. Typically this means comparing yourself to other people. This is dangerous business because there will always be reference points that will cause you to be unhappy.
The bottom line is this, happiness creates, there is one is not derived from the outside, it is only derived from within. Happiness is a state of mind. And you can continually choose to be happy.
Here is the best way I know to live in happiness—live in gratitude. When you focus on all you have and all that you are, right now, that is where happiness is born. Once it is born now you can nurture it further by discovering those other experiences that bring you increased joy, happiness and exhilaration.