Even for the simple things, everyone benefits from a reminder every once in a while.
I’ve found I need to remind myself of certain concepts around happiness, simplicity and mindfulness when I start to feel unbalanced.
This happens when something unexpected throws me off guard. When receiving some bad news. Or perhaps when there’s been a long string of hectic days or weeks.
Sometimes you just feel down. Tired. Frustrated. Or perhaps just plain unmotivated to do anything.
Whatever it is you’re feeling, don’t try to suppress it. It will only make it worse. It’s much more productive to let yourself feel with intention—without any apology, explanations or guilt.
There are too many people who believe if certain things don’t fit this or that, then something is wrong with them and their lives.
If you’re wondering why you’re not happy, perhaps you’ve fallen for a certain myth and could use a reminder. As such, we’re throwing back to the 7 myths of happiness for this week.
Over the past couple months, we’ve covered ways in which we’ve been brainwashed to believe many wrong things about happiness—the 7 myths—and explored alternative, more productive approaches. Each myth below is linked to the original full article on the concept.
Here’s a recap:
MYTH 1: HAPPINESS IS A MUST
Unhappiness is not a bad thing. Sometimes, it’s a needed, instrumental spur for awareness, learning and change. The most extreme lows often result in the greatest change and growth.
It’s okay not to be happy all the time. If your expectation is to be happy all the time, you’re putting undue pressure on yourself, which will likely result in unhappiness about being unhappy!
MYTH 2: HAPPINESS IS PICTURE PERFECT
It’s all too tempting to say, “I’ll be happy when…”
When you make happiness conditional, you will never reach it. Life is far from perfection, so embrace the present moment as imperfect as it may seem.
MYTH 3: HAPPINESS IS EFFORTLESS
Forget about the free-spirited and lackadaisical picture that’s often painted of happiness.
Happiness isn’t meant to be easy. On the contrary it takes intentional choice and effort—in the present moment and the future.
MYTH 4: HAPPINESS IS THE GOAL
When happiness is made into the goal, it becomes elusive, self-defeating. The more you focus on it, strive for it and will it, the farther away it will escape you.
Happiness only results as a byproduct of the mindset, decisions and actions we choose to take.
MYTH 5: HAPPINESS IS EXTERNALLY ATTAINED
Sometimes, we look everywhere else but internally for validation, confidence, happiness and the like—things that can only truly come from within.
It’s not entirely misguided—but after a certain threshold of comfort, happiness needs to be driven from within.
MYTH 6: HAPPINESS IS ALL ABOUT YOU
There’s a balance, as with most things in life. There’s a base level of what I call unselfish self-care so you’re able to show up as your best self and do your best work.
Yet if we think solely about ourselves, the energy becomes a self-centered spiral with a lack of meaning and connection. What I realized was, while the drive needed to come from within, the reason and impact needed to be outside of and larger than just me, myself and I.
MYTH 7: HAPPINESS IS EVER AFTER
Ever wonder why the day after some good news or first day back from vacation seems to drag on and on?
You may be clinging to happily ever after. Clinging creates suffering, an unnecessary version that is entirely self-inflicted.
Happiness ebbs and flows, just like everything else in life.
Thanks for joining us for a throwback on the 7 myths of happiness—a reminder of possible traps that may have you wondering why you’re not happy. But hey, as we said, it’s okay to be unhappy too.