If you have to try to be happy, you will never be happy. The root of this problem is that we are constantly seeking happiness and trying too often to reach it.
Happiness is not an emotion we experience, it is an emotion we suddenly find ourselves in. Just as a confident person does not wonder if he is confident, a happy person does not wonder if he is happy.
It is known that happiness is not found by following a certain roadmap, but rather is a side effect of the experiences you have gained throughout your life. We’re pretty confused these days as happiness is marketed as an end in itself. “Take X and be happy. Learn Y and be happy.” But we cannot buy or somehow obtain happiness. Our life path is actually our happiness.
So why should we stop trying to be happy all the time?
Happiness and pleasure are two different concepts.
We work hard to achieve what we call happiness. As we pursue this search, we may not realize that what we are actually trying to achieve is not to be happy, but simply to enjoy
A good meal, a better house, a nice TV and more time to watch movies, a new car, parties with friends, body massages, being more popular…
Pleasure is associated with happiness, yes, but enjoying does not bring true happiness. You might ask any drug addict how pleasure seeking arises. You might ask this addict who has torn his family apart and lost his children whether the pleasure they receive ultimately makes them happy.
Pleasure is a false god. Research shows that people who focus their energies on material and superficial pleasures are more anxious, emotionally unstable, and less happy in the long run. Pleasure, on the other hand, is the most superficial form of life satisfaction and therefore the easiest to attain. Pleasure is what is marketed to us.
You don’t have to lower your expectations to achieve happiness.
Many of us have been raised by our families to be told that we are special and unique snowflakes that will change the world as we grow up. But at the same time, we felt awful and inadequate after seeing how interesting and enjoyable the lives of others are on Instagram. We constantly questioned: “Why am I not as happy as they are?”
Failure to meet our expectations about ourselves is not an obstacle to happiness. Gaining the habit of self-appreciation is the basic building block for happiness.
The happiness you will add to your life does not depend on having a monthly income of 100,000 TL. “Get out of there!” I can hear you say. However, you know very well that even when your monthly income is 100,000 lira, you will want to raise your standard of living and you will want to have a monthly income of 200,000 lira. This is an endless loop.
We will of course express our expectations and make an effort to reach them. However, we should not miss the people, opportunities and new paths we encounter on the way to these goals. If we cannot reach the goal, we should learn from our failures and continue on our way by thanking our experience. We must not let our goals and expectations get in the way of life. We must allow the soil to crack and the rocks to scatter, we never know what will sprout from the cracks that form.
Don’t equate being happy with being positive.
We are faced with a fairly simple reality: not everything goes well in life. We may miss some opportunities, lose some races, be disappointed. These can cause negative emotions to rise within us. Having negative emotions is really, really the most normal thing in the world. In fact, these negative emotions are one of the necessary and healthy elements for us to create a stable happiness ground.
There are two conditions for living at peace with negative emotions
1) These feelings are socially acceptable and healthy,
2) We must express it in a way that aligns with our values.
There are many people out there who follow the “always be positive” ideology. I suggest you avoid these people. If you base your standards of happiness on feeling cheerful all the time, you need a reality check to get your feet on the ground.
I think part of the appeal of obsessive positivity is the “always happy” perception that influencers and the content we consume, especially in the digital world, reflect. By thinking about how positive the fake lives we see from afar are, we start looking for problems in our own lives.
Happiness is your process of reaching your ideal self.
Completing a marathon makes us happier than eating chocolate cake. Raising a child makes us happier than playing a video game. Starting a small business with friends and struggling to make money makes us happier than buying a new computer.
The funny thing is that the process of performing all three activities above is extremely unpleasant. All three activities have very high expectations and carry a high risk of failure. However, we know that some of the most meaningful moments and activities of our lives are these risky activities. Those who have lived through these periods talk about the pain, struggle, anger and helplessness of those periods. But in retrospect they realize that none of this matters.
Because these are the steps that enable us to reach our ideal self. Regardless of positive or negative emotions, superficial pleasures or pain, it is our constant search to fulfill our ideal self that brings us happiness.
It is not finishing the marathon that makes us happy; difficult is to achieve a long-term goal. It’s not that we have a wonderful child to show us what makes us happy; knowing that we are committed to the growth of another person who is special to us. What makes us happy is not our prestige in the business world and the money we earn, but our process of overcoming all difficulties with the people we value.
Trying to be happy means we don’t live in our ideal selves; that is, we do not fit the qualities of the person we want to be. If we were living our ideal self, we wouldn’t even question whether we were happy.
Wherever you are in life, there will always be one more thing you need to do to be happier. This is because our ideal personality is always three steps ahead of us. We dream of being a musician; when we become a musician, we dream of being a film critic; when we become film critics, we dream of writing a screenplay… It’s not whether we reach each of these success steps, but that we’re constantly moving towards them; every day, every month, every month, every year…
And yet, our best advice on achieving happiness seems to be one that is also the simplest:
“Think about who you want to be and then step towards it. Dream big and then take action to achieve it.”
Let go of the result you dreamed of, you don’t need it. It doesn’t matter if it happens or not. The only important thing is to live! Just live. Stop trying to be happy and be happy.
In the meantime, you can check out my videos on my YouTube channel.
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