Break Free and Reignite the Flame: 6 Tips to Realize Your Existing Happiness
Happiness is the end-all be-all goal for many people. Ironically though, when we go on the never-ending quest to find it, we overlook the existing happiness sitting right in front of us. What’s worse, the obstacles to our own happiness are often self-imposed, yet we become frustrated and depressed when that happiness doesn’t magically appear.
To find your own personal happiness, you need to reignite the fire for life within you and quell those bad habits. Where to begin? For starters, stop doing the following six things.
1. Stop living for others
Forget what your parents want you to do and what your friends think you should do. Don’t worry about other people’s versions of the American dream. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? What makes you happy? Live for yourself and your interests. You will never know what really makes you happy until you live for yourself and your goals. Remember, it is OK to change your mind. Many people’s paths are not a straight line. Enjoy your curvy-lined life. It is more interesting to not know what is around the corner. Perfection is overrated anyway.
2. Stop comparing
Especially in Western culture, the quest to keep up with the Joneses is ever-present. This race to have the newest and coolest things is pushed on us from birth. Comparison is a natural part of human culture, but it isn’t a helpful one. Don’t compare yourself to your friends, neighbours and peers. Doing this only emphasizes what you lack. You must appreciate what you have and realize you are not missing out on anything — except that large credit card bill. Oftentimes, comparison only increases feelings of insecurity and worthlessness. Focus on the things you are gifted with in this life, and be grateful for them.
3. Stop Avoiding
Stop telling yourself that “things will be better when” you make more money, get a promotion, buy a bigger house, etc. It’s a fantasy rooted in psychological delusion, simply an excuse to not confront your present situation. Those things might bring temporary happiness, but they won’t solve your problems. It is easy to pawn off personal responsibilities to a later time, but addressing them sooner rather than later will lend you a realistic perspective on your happiness.
4. Stop playing it safe all the time
If you have lost sight of your dreams or enthusiasm for life, you need to find them again. Stop flying below the radar, not causing any waves. Take chances and be wrong. Fail — because it teaches you the lessons you need to learn. Like attracts like; therefore, your fears are bringing you more fear. Behavioural patterns are cyclical. If you are in a rut, it can grow very deep and hard to dig out of. Start getting more of what you want out of life by moving beyond the fear. Take risks, and take big ones. You never know what the future holds; you have to make changes to find out.
5. Stop being your own worst enemy
Your happiness is right there — not just in front of you, but surrounding you, enveloping you. You must be the one to realize the happiness for yourself. Stop holding yourself back from all that life has to offer. Insecurities and negative thought patterns are hindrances to one’s own personal happiness. Believe in yourself and realize that happiness is always available to you.
6. Stop being unappreciative
Live in a state of gratitude to bring in more positive energy. Be grateful for the smallest things, like fresh air, clean water or a beautiful meal. Once you start to express your gratitude, happiness will begin flowing plentifully. A grateful nature brings you better health, emotional stability, confidence and overall well-being. More gratitude means more happiness. It really is that simple.
The Takeaway: Happiness is easy to possess if you look within yourself. Take each day as it comes, and better yet, each moment as it comes. Do what you love. Bad things don’t stop you from attaining the happiness you so desire, but bad patterns of thought do. Nip your bad habits in the bud. Your happiness is here — you just have to recognize it.
Dr. Alok Trivedi is a psychological performance coach who is the author of Chasing Success and the founder of The Aligned Performance Institute