We all want happiness, that’s no secret. We chase this feeling in everything we do. But why can’t we seem to be happy all the time?
Think about a time when you were most happy.
Have you acted in ways to try to recreate that moment in your life? Think about it.
That moment you felt on top of the world when your team went to state so you strived to do the same the next year around.
The way you felt when everyone noticed your weight loss so you vowed to continue to lose.
The day you met the love of your life and how you fought in all the wrong ways to keep that love alive.
The moment your boss called you in for a for a job well-done so you work even harder to prove yourself.
You felt powerful, noticed, in control…happy.
Some of us will chase this feeling to a point of self-destruction. An exercise addiction, an eating disorder, codependency in relationships, lack of confidence, and an unhealthy work-life balance. I have been in and out of all of these and I can tell you this does not lead to happiness. Quite the opposite actually. Fatigue, decreased self-esteem, heartbreak, and burn out. We get sucked into this self-destruction because of the false promise of happiness. It worked before, it will obviously work again, right?
So how can we sustain happiness?
Self-discovery. I’m not just talking about “knowing yourself well”. Knowing yourself well is half the battle. Most of us can say that we know ourselves well; I mean…we do spend a lot of time with ourselves!
I’m talking about knowing how to apply what you know about yourself to your everyday life.
Let me break it down with a personal example.
What I know about myself: I know social situations make me feel uncomfortable. I know I would much rather be at home than in a busy mall. I know I hate small talk.
But why? Fear of rejection based on past experiences and deeply-rooted lack of self-esteem causing me to judge how I look, what I say, and what I do.
This whirlwind of uncomfortable emotions makes it impossible to enjoy social situations. I mean, how can you enjoy coffee with your friend if you are silently judging the last thing you said or the way you look in the outfit you are wearing?
Do you know how to apply this knowledge to your daily life? Do you know how to play up your strengths and work on your weaknesses? Do you know how to exist in happiness without self-destruction?
Don’t worry, not a lot of us do. It takes work but is one of the most important things you will ever do.
Okay, so you're thinking: "I get it, I want to start my path of self-discovery. Give me the latest self-help book and i'll get started right away!"
That would be a great start, but what really makes it stick is talking about it; getting an outside viewpoint from a trained professional who can help guide your path. Start the conversation, start learning how to live a happy life. The road to happiness is the same road to self-discovery. Discover yourself and you will find your happiness.