Sometimes we all have bad days where we need a smile to cheer it up. Hopefully with this little article it can brighten your day just a little bit.
Popular Right Now
Finding it hard to be happy seems like the biggest downside to the human experience. I’ve always wondered why it’s so much easier for us to be sad than it is for us to be happy? Why is the feeling of happiness so fleeting and the feeling of sadness so constant? It seems like one great, big contradiction. So I asked myself, “what even is happiness? Where does it come from?”
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my problem was trying to define happiness. I was trying to define happiness through things. Through the people around me, through my expectations, through the world…That was the moment I knew that my idea of happiness was a misconception. Happiness isn’t something that you can define. It’s something that you find in living.
The problem is that most people search for happiness outside of themselves.
That might not seem like a problem, but when people start envisioning what would make them happy, they start creating expectations that often rely on other people or specific 'things' to make them happy.
Our attempts to define happiness by thinking things like “when this happens, I’ll be happy” or “if I had this person in my life, I would be so much happier” forces us to compare our reality with the experiences and expectations we envisioned in our minds.
We become fixated on things that we think would make us happy and start failing to see the very things that do make us happy. We get stuck in an endless cycle of comparing the things we have with the things we don’t have and once we do that, we convince ourselves that we will never be happy until we have all the things that we think we want.
We forget to see the beauty in the simplest things in life.
Life doesn't deny you happiness, you do. When we start defining happiness through things that we think will make us happy, we start depriving ourselves of the happiness that’s already in our lives. We forget the beauty of simplicity.
We start overlooking simple things in life and the genuine joy it brings us, like seeing your dog after coming home from a long day. I find it pretty incredible that, despite how many times I leave the house, I’m always greeted with the most unconditional love from my dog the moment I step through the door.
So take a look at the world around you and realize that the simplest things in life can bring you the most joy.
Appreciate what you have now.
I know we all wish we could have this or that but what about all the things that we have now? Think about what’s really important in your life at the moment. Realize that you have so much to be thankful for, the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the technology you have in your hand right now…
Be thankful for the moments that brought you to where you are today. Whether they’re good or bad, you're still alive and breathing. Every moment in your life has brought you to where you need to be, to the people you love, to the experiences you have and to the lessons you’ve learned.
If you don’t appreciate the things you have now, you won’t appreciate them until they're gone. Don’t be quick to judge how good you have it right now, in this very moment because there's a chance you might not have it tomorrow.
Realize that you are the only one who holds the key to your happiness.
I know that most of us attempt to use others to stop our pain and create our happiness but putting our happiness in other people will only lead to a series of disappointments. Happiness isn’t something that other people hold and give to you. It comes from being grateful for what you already have. It comes from living.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to let go of expectations. Let go of the belief that your life would be better if you had something in particular in your life instead of what you actually have.
Don’t try to put a label on happiness and define what you think would make you 'happier' or 'better off.' Focus on what life has to offer you and let your happiness stem from the experiences you've been given.
Let the happiness inside of you radiate out into the world around you. Keep in mind that it comes from you and your decision to see the all the good things in life that you already have.
I’m writing this in response to the several instances I have seen where people try to justify the fact that their parents invest heavily in them as college students or adults. I don’t even know how or why something like this should be defended in the first place. However, as a person who was definitely not given a silver spoon in life, I think I need to respond because privilege isn’t something anyone has the right to justify.
Disclaimer here: I grew up in with parents that gave comfortable shelter and put food on the table. I didn’t grow up in poverty, not even close, and my life growing up was comfortable. I never had to pay my parents' bills, and never did I have to go without the basic necessities.
However, my family didn’t have money to just throw around. My parents didn’t buy me cars, they didn’t pay my college tuition, my family didn’t go on lavish vacations, and we didn't live in an expensive neighborhood (our neighborhood and the school I went to was pretty low income). If I wanted something, I had to earn it. My parents taught me that I didn’t need much. I didn’t grow up wanting a car from them, fancy clothes, or expensive makeup. I was okay with working and finding ways to pay off my tuition as opposed to having my parents pay it for me.
What I needed from my parents was structure and stability. Their job was to give me food, shelter, and clothes that kept me warm. Nothing more, nothing less. Their job was also to give me the tools I needed to be a successful human being when I became an adult. Just because my parents chose to give me the basics and just the basics doesn’t mean they love me any less than the parents that chose to give you everything.
Your parents giving you everything doesn’t mean they’re ensuring your success either. If anything, it’s a detriment to yourself. You don’t know how to work for what you have because you simply never had to. You’re privileged, to put it bluntly. And nobody wants to hear your “justification” for your privilege once you’re called out for it.
I don’t want to hear your justification for why your parents chose to give you the finer things because the more you try to justify the privilege you have been given in life, the more it becomes a slap in the face to those with parents nowhere near capable giving the things you have been given. Instead of trying to justify your privilege, acknowledge it, accept it, and move on because you have no right to justify your privilege to people that have little.
I believe that there is something to be said for growing and working towards something and building yourself up from rock bottom. It means you know how to grind and work to get what you need and want. It keeps you headstrong and gives you a drive you won’t have if you're given luxuries you don’t need. I have the right to think less of you for not having the drive and knowledge to get what you need or want in life yourself. So, I don’t want to hear you justify your privilege anymore.