Thursday, June 13, 2024

Do You Have the Key To Being Happy?

What Undermines Your Happiness At This Moment?

“If you want to be happy, be.” — Leo Tolstoy.

Happiness is an illusion. 

Happiness is also like sand held in your palm. The tighter your grip is, the faster it slips through your fingers.

So the question is then how do we find happiness? I had been reading and thinking about my own life a lot lately and I realized the key is with us, to a great extent. 

Of course, there are external factors that we cannot control, and it’s okay to feel sad or scared. But there is still a lot we can do to find the key to happiness. To start, we need to figure out what makes us happy and what doesn’t.

In her book The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin writes:

“It was time to expect more of myself. Yet as I thought about happiness, I kept running up against paradoxes. I wanted to change myself but accept myself. I wanted to take myself less seriously — and also more seriously. I wanted to use my time well, but I also wanted to wander, to play, to read at whim. I wanted to think about myself so I could forget myself. I was always on the edge of agitation; I wanted to let go of envy and anxiety about the future, yet keep my energy and ambition.”

While writing my daily journal in Vertellis (not an affiliate link), I encountered this very insightful question: 

What undermines your happiness at this moment? 

Answering this question was quite powerful and an eye-opener because most of the points I jotted down were self-created. My constant and baseless worries, my negative thoughts about myself are a major hindrance to my happiness. 

I question my abilities and capabilities too much. One failure makes me question everything and makes me quit. I also suffer from perfectionism and imposter syndrome — which means I always feel I am not good enough.

How much of these are external factors that I cannot control? None.

Yes, there are other factors too. I am worried about my daughter’s impending surgery, that I have no idea what the outcome will be. That scares me. But is there anything else I can do right now other than to be there for her and give her support? No right?

So as it turns out happiness is a choice. And to find happiness, we need to decide what makes us happy and what undermines our happiness. When we have found an answer, we are one step closer to finding happiness.

So go ahead and make a list of all those things that make you happy and the things that hinder your happiness and think about what you can do to change that. Think through and be happy. 

But remember, life can be hard sometimes and it is okay to be sad. And whatever your situation might be, you are not alone in your journey.

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