Why you need to stop chasing happiness
“Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans” – John Lennon.
We spend most of our lives chasing happiness, some vague positive feeling we hope to feel consistently in the future. We believe this ideal so much that we stop focusing on life now in favour of a future promise of happiness and well being.
We accept that we don’t feel this elusive happiness right now but console ourselves by thinking that we will put up with misery now for the future happiness we will feel when we find that partner to spend our lives with, or when we get that promotion or when we feel financially stable. All of these are just excuses for us to accept a life that isn’t happy.
We carry on in that job that drains us, we put up with that bully of a boss and we drag ourselves through mind numbing experiences because we have told ourselves that all this waste of precious life is for a good purpose – future happiness.
Well you know what? There are no guarantees. Stop living a life that you hate. What if that future happiness never quite arrives. You’re going to look pretty silly wasting your youth and perfectly brilliant years of your life for nothing at the end of it all.
Stop chasing happiness and start living your life now. Fear and excuses keep us in the daily grind, they also keep us in dead end job and in hopeless, loveless relationships. We fool ourselves into accepting a crappy life by allowing ourselves to believe in empty promises. This serves a purpose – it means we don’t have to tackle what isn’t working for us right now because we believe we are being martyrs for a higher life purpose. Tackling our lives right now takes effort and possible emotional fallout. Far easier to defer any action to later when we ‘truly deserve it’.
Happiness involves getting the most out of every moment by trying to be the most authentic version of yourself. Happiness can only be felt in the present moment so remind yourself that the power is in the moment. Learn to find happiness in the present moment, in the little things.
A giggle with a friend, a smile from a stranger, a walk in the park to appreciate nature…We can choose to step off the rollercoaster and enjoy each stop instead of racing ahead to the hopes of a rainbow at the end of the ride – you’ll have missed so much along the way. Happiness will gently ‘settle’ when you aren’t chasing it. When you are being your true self, living a life acoording to your values with meaning and purpose – that’s when happiness reveals itself.
Photo by Moyan_Brenn