Happiness is something we all want, and even the most cynical among us long to be happy. It is the ultimate reward that life has to offer, but there are many popular misconceptions about what being happy really means. Here are seven hidden truths about the holy grail of emotional states:
1. It’s Not Elusive.
As one of my good friends likes to say, “It’s not a wolf. It won’t run away into the forest.” In other words, happiness is not something that can get away from you, and it is not something that is hiding from you. Happiness is always there for everyone to find you just have to turn your attention to the things that make you feel content. We all have reasons to complain, and whether it seems like it or not, we have an equal number of reasons to smile. What you focus on shapes your environment, and it contributes to how you live your life. Whenever you feel like happiness is trying to avoid you, you may just be looking in the wrong places.
2. It Takes Work.
A lot of people are under the impression that happiness always comes naturally, and that either people are happy or they’re not. However, like a good marriage, it takes work and effort to be happy. Happiness, like any other state of being, comes one thought at a time, one word at a time, and one day at a time. Learn how to catch your self-defeating and pessimistic thoughts in action and turn them into positive, nurturing ones. Happy people deliberately choose positive thoughts, words, and actions, and they understand that happiness is not a guaranteed thing without working for it.
3. Happiness Doesn’t Have a Mascot.
Many people, especially those in the advertising industry, want you to believe that happiness exists only in beauty (the mainstream type), monetary wealth, or monumental career success. The truth is that anyone, anywhere can find happiness because it is a state of mind, not a collection of material things or a high status.
4. You Don’t Have to Resolve Your Problems to Become Happy.
People tend to think that they cannot feel happy until every one of their problems is solved, but more than likely it will happen the other way around. Becoming a happy person will help you solve your problems and help you to find your way out of difficult situations. When we focus on what is going wrong, even when we are trying to work through our problems, it doesn’t give us any room to appreciate what is going right. However, we don’t require any special conditions to begin feeling good and to be appreciative of what we are truly grateful for. Those good feelings we focus on will give us the boost we need to get through the difficult times.
5. Happy People are Everywhere.
When we’re feeling sad or stressed, the world seems to be a miserable place, but when we are in a state of joy it becomes more apparent that happy people are all around us. As my life coach says, cynical people and happy people each see the world according to how they feel inside, and the truth remains that a vast number of people are leading happy, fulfilling lives. Surrounding yourself with happy, supportive people will make a big difference in your life and it will be a constant reminder that happy people aren’t mythical creatures who only exist in fairy tales.
6. It’s Not All or Nothing.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to feel happy 100 percent of the time to be considered happy. Happy people experience bad moods and bad days, and things still come along that shake up their lives from time to time. It is perfectly normal to experience a full range of emotions as you go through life, but the biggest difference between happy people and the rest of the population is their attitude and determination to feel happy. Don’t beat yourself up over a bad mood, and don’t jump to grim conclusions at the end of a bad day. Happy people know how to be resilient, and they always get right back on the horse whenever they hit a bump in the road.
7. Happiness Doesn’t Always Feel Like Euphoria or Excitement.
Happiness doesn’t lie waiting for you in that trip to Europe or in an extended stay at a tropical island resort. In moments of extreme excitement and invigoration it is easy to recognize our happiness. But, we cannot always appreciate our happiness as easily when we are going through our normal day to day lives. True and lasting happiness is found in peace and acceptance of ourselves and those around us.
Peace releases us from stress, worries, and sadness. When we feel free of anxiety, even if things aren’t as great as they could be, we have already found happiness and are on the road to even greater happiness.
In the end, we should define our own happiness based on what we cherish deep down in our hearts. It is something that is born within us and is found within the core of our being when we strip away all of the nonsense. Being happy has a lot to do with love and how often we can find it for ourselves, for others, and for the world around us. The more we can appreciate in our lives, the more we will have to enjoy. The more often we can feel love, the happier our lives will become.