You need to find your happy. This isn’t new information. It’s been written about by bloggers, experts, psychiatrists, and friends, but I think it’s something that needs to be repeated.
Happiness can come from many sources, and I can only speak for myself, but the healthiest and best types of happiness come from within. It comes from a sense of inner strength, self-worth, and satisfaction with your actions.
Happiness cannot be forced. You can’t lie to yourself about your happiness. When you’re not happy, people can tell. Your children, your spouse/significant other, your friends, your family. They might want to help, to offer support, but ultimately, the only person responsible for your happiness is you, and only if it’s genuine will it be evident to both you and the world.
Happiness is not the same as optimism. I used to think that I was happy because I never got angry. If my car got scratched, I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Oh well, it’s just a car”. If an order I placed was late or screwed up, I was always firm yet courteous with the company. I never raised my voice to a customer service representative when I knew that he was just doing his job. But this wasn’t me being happy. This was me not letting the bastards get me down.
Happiness is not contentment. I would swear up and down that I was happy because “things were great”. I had a good life, with nice things, and many satisfying aspects. I never complained or even felt like I had complaints that I wasn’t voicing. Yet, I still wasn’t happy. I was comfortable.
Happiness can require change. I used to abhor change. It was something to fear and avoid at all costs. But it can take an upheaval before that happiness can be found. It took two years of change for me, starting with losing almost 150 pounds and culminating in my divorce and newly single life before I finally started to see happiness peeking at me around corners and under rocks.
Happiness makes you a better person. Regardless of how many responsibilities you have, whether it’s owning a business or running a family, when you’re happy and in a good place, you will be better capable of taking care of those responsibilities. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of the other needs in your life.
Happiness is always possible. You may think that you have to hurt someone to be happy, but the truth is that you may be hurting them with your unhappiness already. You might think that you’re being selfish, but you’re not. You’re doing what you NEED to do. Regardless of how difficult it may seem or how many obstacles may appear to be in your path, you always have the chance at being happy.
I’m not completely there yet, but now I’m more acutely aware of the things in my life that are keeping me from being totally happy. (Speaking of which, anyone out there want to buy a highly profitable growing consulting company for about $5-10 million?) I know I’m going to find my happy, and I hope you can find yours.
Next up on my to-do list: How to understand the concept of “liking yourself”.