Ask most people what they want in life, and it usually will boil down to some version of, “I want to be happy.”
At our core, that’s what we all seek: happiness.
I get it; life can be hard. It can throw punches at you when you least expect it. And when you expect it. And then again right when you think it’s done.
That doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. You can be.
Even in the best of time happiness can be elusive. Even for those not struggling with life’s travails can find themselves in a less-than-happy state.
Why is that?
Because happiness isn’t necessarily about the big picture. All of the riches and success and glory isn’t going to make a person happy. Happiness isn’t about the external trappings of life. Happiness is about knowing yourself, being grounded, and finding contentment in the simple pleasures life has to offer.
You can be happy by understanding these universal truths about the human condition. Sounds high-falutin’? It’s not. It’s really time-tested, down-home truisms.
Don’t expect it to be. 1 of 7
Just like perfection is the enemy of good, expectations are the enemy of happy. I recall the story of a man who planned an extravagant and romantic surprise evening for his wife. But when she arrived home from a stressful day at work, she was too exhausted for an elaborate evening. Reality didn't live up to his expectations; he had to let go of his disappointment.
Stop comparing yourself to others. 2 of 7
We are constantly bombarded with advertising and media showing perfect, happy people. They aren't realistic. Speaking of which....those Facebook posts from high school friends and former neighbors showing how incredibly happy everyone always
is? They aren't always happy, they aren't always perfect, nobody is.
You can’t depend upon others to make you happy. 3 of 7
If you can't find happiness within yourself, you are destined for a life of sadness. It's as simple and complicated as that. You don't need external validation...validate yourself.
Give yourself a break. 4 of 7
Guess what? You are human! You know how you're okay with others not being perfect and you're more than willing to help them out? Give yourself that same kindness and understanding.
Treat yourself to a little pampering. 5 of 7
Whether it's a long soak in a tub or half an hour of light reading or listening to soothing music...spend some time relaxing doing something you enjoy. And please? UNPLUG. No technology during your "spa" time.
Surround yourself with amazing people. 6 of 7
Find ways to spend time with people that you admire, for whatever reason. Whether it's for their sheer brilliance or their sparkling wit or their ability to do a perfect cartwheel at age 40...being with those that inspire is a sure way to get your creative juices flowing.
You can grow. Learn. Evolve. Overcome. Thrive. 7 of 7
Don't put yourself in a box. NEVER say, "I'm not good at that." Maybe it isn't a strength, but you can do anything to which you set your mind. You just have to believe that you are capable. It's all in your mindset.