“There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path!”
Have you ever noticed that feeling happy tends to come easier when things are going your way? I feel like I can handle anything when the kids are doing well in school, when my relationship with Brandon is solid, when sales at work are going the way I think they should, when I feel good about my hair, my outfit and my body…etc, etc. The list can really go on, because I have definitely been guilty of putting conditions on my happiness and only allowing myself to feel happy when I feel like things are going well.
As I started to think about this, I realized that this is pretty common in today’s age, the age of comparison because as I have talked about before, we compare, and then sometimes our happiness can be dependent on whether we reach or are able to enjoy certain criteria – like the money to do and buy what we want, freedom to travel, kids that achieve perfect or at least excellent grades and never give us ANY trouble (isn’t that what everyone else’s kids are doing?), or a fairytale romance.
Have you ever sat and thought about whether or not you place conditions on your happiness? What I mean by that is “I will feel happy when…” whatever that might be, or “things will be great if only…” One thing I do know is that our lives are already complicated and very often challenging through nothing we are doing but because of outside influences or situations beyond our control, so why would we ourselves put conditions on our happiness which only makes it even more complicated?
For the longest time I didn’t even realize that I was doing this. I just thought that when things would happen that went against my “master plan” that it was normal for me to feel a little paralyzed or unable to take action. In fact, what happens is that my reality at that moment doesn’t match up with the happiness conditions I have so all the wheels seem to fall off. As I started to become more conscious about what I was doing and why I was feeling that way, I started to realize that I was actually sabotaging my own happiness and success. In fact, it started to happen so much that it even affected my family. I don’t know about you, but in my home, when mum is not feeling her best, acting happy or just feeling a little down, all the cogs seem to stop turning and things become even worse. I guess it’s a compliment to think that I am such a strong influence in my home, but it is also a huge responsibility because it sometimes doesn’t allow me to feel down.
So, when consciousness takes over, and my actions are no longer automatic, it becomes a little easier to focus on happiness, and not the happiness that is dependent on something or someone else. I have started noticing the beauty in the world (I don’t think I ever remember paying so much attention to nature, to the sky, to the mountains), I have started feeling gratitude for the people I have in my life, and not taking any relationship for granted. I have started appreciating everything about ME, flaws and all, and realizing what value I bring, and not just by what I do but by who I am. I have been riding my mountain bike a lot, and I have learned to love doing it by myself, taking that time to thing, ponder and appreciate that I am physically able, and that I have beautiful mountains almost outside my back door.
Do you allow certain conditions to determine your happiness? If you are someone that is extremely successful at your job, one easy pitfall is to place your happiness on your success. I have experienced this in my career, where I feel fantastic when things are going well, but suddenly, when things are not (through no fault of my own) I suddenly feel like an imposter. I feel like I am not able to do my job well anymore, that I really don’t know what I am doing and my self confidence has plummeted because a lot of my self worth was coming from my success.
Happiness is something you decide consciously, which means YOU decide if you want to feel that way. Yes, there are times when things will be really sad, and things won’t go your way, but again, we can still make a choice – and I choose happiness. I practice this every day, and I know that my practicing it, I am becoming better!
Happy Monday – what better way to start off a new week by making a choice to feel happy without strings attached 🙂
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