7 lessons learnt in the hunt for happiness
Modern society peddles sexy promises of the perfect life if we buy this or do that.
Seducing us with shiny distractions, skinny jeans, bright white smiles and Amazonian bodies from the pages of over styled and methodically executed photo shoots. Hooking us into thinking we need all this stuff - and look a certain way - to bask in the soft hues of eternal happiness.
Don’t get me wrong, I like pretty things and happy endings but I’ve come to appreciate that authentic happiness is a state of being rather than the latest IT girl pushing the latest IT thing.
That realisation didn’t come overnight with free shipping. It took plenty of misguided searching, expensive mistakes, adrift relationships and wilderness years. But that is the bittersweet beauty of experience and wisdom.
Here are 7 things learned in the hunt for happiness:
1. Happiness is subjective
The moment we allow external factors such as people, global opinions and things to dictate our happiness, is the moment we disempower ourselves and disconnect from what truly matters. Being dependent on others builds up guilt, resentment and low self-esteem. Lean within to discover what brings you genuine joy.
2. Happiness is learnt
The quality of our thoughts determines the quality of our results and level of success in life. We learn to think and behave in a certain manner depending on the way we respond to the things that happens to us. Just as we learn, we can unlearn what no longer serves us. Develop a positive outlook on life if you want to your increase emotional fitness and coping mechanisms to deal with the extraordinary highs and unbearable lows that come with living fully and deeply.
3. Happiness is compassion
We have so much more to give to those going through hardships. Be it through kindness, money, clothes, shelter, care packages, resources, our attention, a smile, or hand up. Give and receive wholeheartedly and listen with intent and understanding.
4. Happiness is a mission
Having a mission in life inspires possibility, hope and a purpose-driven future. It generates a voice and something bigger than us to stand for. What is the point of it all if we don’t at least try and do something remarkable?
5. Happiness is creative expression
Look around, the world is built on curiosity, creativity and imagination. By people brave enough to tune out delightful time-wasting distractions, get messy, take risks and give their crazy ideas a chance. We're all artists creating our lives moment to moment. Create a story worth telling.
6. Happiness is connection
There is a whole universe out there and you (and I) are not at the centre of it. Put the selfie stick away and make time to meet and mix with different types of people. We humans aren’t designed to thrive in social isolation. Always aim for genuine and quality connections over anonymous quantity.
7. Happiness is the little moments
Happiness may be fleeting but it's happening ALL the time - if we are open to it it. It's there in breathtaking sunsets, bear hugs, a touch, a smile, a dip in the ocean, family BBQ's and so on. All you have to do is be present.
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