Happiness is one of those emotions that we all crave. No matter how much happiness we experience in our lives, we always have a desire for more.
But what if we are looking for happiness in all the wrong places? What if the things that we think will make us happy are really only providing us with a sense of temporary gratification while we spend our time overlooking the things that will truly make us happy?
I’m guilty of this as well. All too often, our pursuit of finding happiness leaves us feeling unfulfilled and always having the desire for more. Whatever that more might be, whether it be more money, more friends, more recognition at work, a nicer car, a better relationship with your spouse, we simply want more and won’t allow ourselves to be happy until we achieve it.
It’s okay to want more and to want better for ourselves, but at what expense? Is it really worth it to pass up on true happiness only to be awarded with temporary happiness – happiness that comes from achieving more? No matter what we achieve, we are always going to want more. So the question begs: will we ever be happy? Why delay your happiness only until you have maxed out on whatever that “more” looks like instead of putting your own happiness first?
When I say putting your own happiness first, I am not talking about superficial happiness or only experiencing happiness. Anybody who is truly happy will tell you that they also experience challenges and struggles. If one only experiences happiness and joy, then these two emotions will just become an expected way of life that will be overlooked.
True happiness doesn’t come from having all of the latest and greatest material items. True happiness is the feeling you get when everything in life lines up just as it should, when you see the smile you put on somebody else’s face after you had helped them, or the joy you experience when you hear the birds starting to chirp after a long hard winter.
All too often we tend to overlook the simplest answers and spend much of our time searching for some complex solution that is going to cure our unhappiness forever. The simple answer to the question of how we can find more happiness in our lives is relatively simple, it is found within ourselves.
Putting Your Own Happiness First
So how do you start putting your own happiness first? How do you start prioritizing your happiness?
You might think that you already prioritize your happiness, but how often do you actually make your happiness more important than your goals? How many times do you tell yourself that you will only be happy when you achieve a goal, when you accomplish something, or when you get something that you don’t currently have? Wouldn’t it be better to achieve all of these things from a sense of happiness instead of working towards them for a sense of happiness?
We all struggle with this. We tell ourselves that we will only be happy in life once we weigh a certain weight, once we have accumulated a certain amount of money, or once we achieve any other one of our many desires. What we fail to realize though, is that we in living this way, we are looking for happiness in a place of harsh self-criticism instead of finding happiness in accepting who we already are.
The simple truth is that we are in charge of our own happiness. We all have the individual power to decide what happiness looks like and means to us. Every emotion that we experience is one in which we feel due to past experiences in which we have attached to it. Happiness is no different. If you start to change how you think about your happiness and change your perception of what it means to be happy, then you will have an easier time putting your own happiness first and understanding what it truly means to be happy.
Searching For Happiness From Within
Happiness and joy are inside jobs. There are always going to be challenges in which we are going to endure and obstacles that we are going to have to overcome. This is when we have to look from within and truly reflect on what happiness looks like and means to us. It’s a combination of our mindset and our perspective. We don’t find happiness (at least lasting happiness) in external rewards. We find true happiness by realizing what we already have in life.
Choose to see the glass half-full, and you will experience the true meaning of happiness. You’ll experience new opportunities, develop a greater sense of joy and fulfillment for all of the good that fills your life, and find an overwhelming amount of joy for the life that you are already blessed to be living.
Choose to see the glass half-empty, and you will constantly wonder what it means to truly be happy. You will have a difficult time appreciating the small pleasures of life, overcoming any substantial obstacle that stands in your way, and will fail to take responsibility for your life and where you are in it.
Everything in life changes once we start to change our perspective. It’s not always easy to find happiness, especially during difficult and challenging times, but that is when you have to make the conscious decision to start putting your own happiness first and everything else second. If you want to be happy, you need to make it your number one priority.