Pursuit Of Happiness
The Pursuit of Happiness
Isn’t it our life’s ambition just to be happy all or most of the time? When we are just old enough to understand the concept of goals and achieving them, we are also taught that happiness is something to strive for, it’s something way off in the future that’s always just out of our grasp. We are taught that in order to be happy we must reach certain milestones such as getting married, making a lot of money, getting that promotion, being the best at what we choose to do. The pressure! The problem is that happiness becomes a constant chase so in the end we are never really content.
We are confusing happiness as something we achieve through external and materialistic means. This is the illusion we have created as a society. When we are trying to achieve happiness by looking outside ourselves, we no longer have control over our own happiness and we count on others to make us happy or use materialistic things to fill us up. What happens when these feelings subside? The reality of the huge monthly mortgage sets in after buying the house of your dreams or no one comments on how you look today. Well to put it bluntly, your set for disappointment. This is why it is important for us to get back to seeking happiness from inside ourselves.
We need to learn to live in the present moment whatever this may bring, it can be pain, sadness, joy, pleasure, happiness, loss and disappointment otherwise we continue to focus on this elusive goal of happiness and end up being permanently miserable. The key is to stop focusing on just happiness and embrace all our feelings. If we choose to reject some of our feelings then we are no longer being authentic internally or externally. Feeling as though we need to be on a constant high is false and therefore leaves us feeling as though we are being fake a lot of the time.
There is a price to pay for chasing happiness. What happens when we don’t reach the milestones, we set for ourselves. We will become disappointed and distant. That little voice inside yourself becomes louder and critical. You perhaps start to feel guilty for not feeling happy that you reached a milestone. We become disillusioned and start experiencing that inner emptiness. This is because we are pursuing goals (often goals we perceive that we should do and not the ones we want to do); instead of doing things that are actually meaningful to us. Satisfaction will only come from being who you really are, doing what you really want to do.
We also fall into a trap of assuming that if we are not happy then there has to be something wrong with me. I’m defective in some way. This is a cycle that can be difficult to break. Unrealistic pursuits of happiness as a goal can lead to a range of mental health issues including anxiety and depression.
In order to achieve happiness, I had to learn that this was a state of being rather than a future goal that I had to achieve. This took some practice but the following are great places to start: -
Live in Alignment with your Values – Our values are our compass. We need to be clear on what our values are. Identifying and understanding your personal values is empowering. The things that give us a sense of significance, a sense of purpose and that feed your passion. If your unsure what your values are then how are you making decisions about your life? To live in alignment with your values you need to know what they are and ensure your actions are congruent with this. For example, if one of your top values is your family however you spend every waking hour in work, with friends and pursuing your hobbies then you would not be living in alignment with your value.
Try to be completely engaged in something you enjoy – Exercising, reading, writing, walking, painting, when you’re doing something you enjoy, a state of flow occurs naturally. You lose the concept of self and become fully absorbed in what you’re doing. This alone is an example of mindfulness or living in the present moment where all of your senses are engaged in what you are doing.
Look for a sense of significance – Even if it is listening to a friend, cheering someone up, just find that something that makes a difference to other people.
The most common regret people will express on their deathbed is; “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me”. Pursuing happiness in my opinion is not about chasing after something but more about really seeing what’s already here and appreciating every moment.
Bring balance to every area of your Life. There are 7 key Domains that can interact positively and negatively to you succeeding or failing. Without truly understanding the need for ‘life balance’, you are missing out on the opportunity to accelerate your achievement. Complete the free ‘life balance’ quiz on; https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RPHB9ZF and receive your free report. This can be a game changer in respects to understanding your areas of strength and domains that need a little more balance.
If after reading this blog, you want to learn more and progress towards success and achievement, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or maybe you are interested in utilising the information above in your business, career, sports performance, professional life or life in general? If so, I would love to hear from you at email@example.com and I can talk you through the Specialised Coaching Programmes we have available to you.
If the article is enough to give you some new ideas to develop, I thank you for taking the time to read the Blogs and getting this far.
John Bromfield (Professional Life, Business, Sports and Career Coach).