Happiness is a subject that has become a real focus, almost an obsession, for many people, particularly in the last couple of years. Everyone has an opinion on how to find more happiness but I’d like to look at happiness from a slightly different perspective and that is: are you doing happy or are you being happy?
We live in a consumer-driven world. We’re always looking for the next best electronic toy, or new car, or home, or latest fashion item. But we’re also consuming experiences. Whether we go out and buy a new car, go to the movies or book that trip to a Hawaii with the kids, we’re getting the same feelings of excitement, pride, or happiness, but it’s short lived. Ultimately, you come home from your trip, you get back into your daily reality and you lose those feelings of happiness or contentment over time. These experiences are doing happy.
If you’ve got challenges in your life, these experiences provide a distraction from the ‘real world” but it’s not sustainable and sometimes when we take on these experiences, we have this guilt, whether we’re conscious of it or not, that we’re taking time out for ourselves instead of ticking off another “To Do” on the list.
So when you do get away, or take some time out, are you actually free to enjoy it or do you hold that guilt that so many of us are plagued by that you can’t actually enjoy the experience?
On the other side of the spectrum, being happy is very different. When you’re actually being happy, you just don’t need those ‘quick fixes’ to get away.
1. Relationship to Self
I believe that being happy comes down to three fundamental areas in your life. The first is your relationship with yourself. If you’re not comfortable in your own skin, then no matter what you bring in to your life, it will never be enough because in your mind, you’re not enough. It takes time to become comfortable in your own skin but you really need to look at yourself internally and face some of those demons that you’re afraid of.
2. Relationship to Others
Second is the relationships that you have with others. If you’ve got real deep relationships where you’re sharing both vulnerabilities and philosophies, real deep connection, then you’re not as reliant on having to find stimulus from other sources.
3. Relationship to Work
The final piece is the work that you do or the business that you have. I do believe that what we do needs to be an expression of what we believe. In other words, we need to derive some fulfillment from it.
I’m not saying that if you’re currently doing something that is not fulfilling, that you need to give it up, but if you’re looking for fulfillment and sustainable connection then think about how you can integrate something that has more meaning and makes you feel more grounded into your work life.
When you look at the financial reality, the cost of doing happy tends to be significant. All those things that you’re buying & trips that your taking really add up. Everyone is different and what might make you happy could be completely different from another person, but what you’ll find is, being happy revolves around simplicity, and connection with others which in the end does not cost us money.
I would encourage you to become more aware of what you’re doing to seek happiness, or fulfillment. And maybe to be more aware of the things you’re doing to escape the small challenges in your life. With that clarity comes the opportunity to make small adjustments that over time, can lead to huge changes in your life.
Think of Your Life Like a Pint Of Guinness
It is said when you change the temperature of a pint of Guinness by 3 degrees it actually changes the taste by 50%.