Most of us reach a point in our lives where life is difficult. Even when we experience an abundance of positive events, we find a way to worry about the next problem. We continually endeavor to reiterate our pleasures that are typically short lived or at best, fleeting. We always seem to return to baseline and begin contemplating the next goal. What if it was possible to be happy before that goal takes place. To be happy without your favorite foods, constant entertainment and the notifications of your mobile phone. To be happy now, in the present moment. Is there a deeper alternative to happiness attainable within our lives? I think in some sense you’ve answered that question by the life you currently live. Some of us are saying no way, others are saying absolutely.
Let’s take a look at the list of goals that you’d like to accomplish. What makes that list so worthy of your attention? Everything on that list signifies that if you could do it, you’d find a reason to just be happy. Of course external accomplishments do matter and can greatly enhance your life, but happiness will always come from within. It has to. We are always translating our moment to moment experience through our mind. The way you frame the obstacles of daily life has a profound influence on your happiness.
If there is any one objective that I’m confident a majority of the global population could see eye to eye on, it’s the desire to be happy. I have a personal association to my suggestions and I feel they’re worth sharing.
Build your self esteem. Self esteem or esteeming yourself has a considerable impact on managing the lens from which you view the world. It is also very necessary for healthy development. Self esteem encompasses loving and respecting yourself, putting yourself first, meeting your own needs and having confidence in your abilities. Self esteem is placing yourself in high standing.
Objectively evaluate your character. Are you giving yourself the credit and love you deserve? Can you do anything good enough? Self esteem is not only loving yourself, but acting lovingly towards yourself as well. How do you view yourself? If self esteem is based primarily on our own thoughts of ourselves, and we can control these thoughts, then we can control how we feel about ourselves. It is not only possible to build self esteem, but to build your own self esteem.
Hit the mute button on discursive thought and self loathing. If there is a predominant source of suffering that we impose on ourselves, this is it. Recognize if you feel yourself moving towards a negative attitude during your day. It could be anything: getting up in the morning, the car you drive, your job, the people you see at the deli when you’re on lunch. Discern that you’re reverting to a habitual state that has taken time and effort to get here and may take time and effort to go away. Zig Zigler put it perfectly. “You don’t have to start great, but you have to start to be great.”
Being overly critical is not being realistic and accepting. It’s very sensible to have aspirations, but just imagine if you were somehow perfect. You’d never be challenged and you could never relate to anyone. You have things to be proud of now. Accept the admiration from others and especially from yourself for your achievements. Say thank you and let the compliments sink in. You would certainly congratulate others for those same achievements. It is not egotistical to be grateful and to add value to your life. Little by little, with practice, you will begin to change how you see everything. You just have to start having better conversations with yourself.
Forgive yourself for not being perfect. When you think of something that you admire about yourself, combat the 10 things you dislike that creep in alongside it. Spotlight the positive thoughts, build yourself up and jettison the negative. Make a habit of looking for the positive. It’s common to have features that we’d like to improve on, but how unhappy do you have to currently be to prepare for happiness in the future? How much stress and dissatisfaction is necessary? How unpleasant do you need to be for others to be around? Tomorrow is not guaranteed. You have the power to revise the narrative in your mind. This is not a matter of advanced knowledge, but guidance and a change in attitude.
Be the enjoyable person that you want to be around. There seems to be qualities that are intrinsically good and refreshing when you meet someone that just gets it. Someone that has a positive self image and radiates qualities like: self love, acceptance, compassion and generosity. These people are constantly jump starting others with a contagious aura. We are right to wonder “What are they doing right?” or “What do they know that the rest of us do not?” In this emergency we call life, we can only seem to find temporary consolation.
What you do matters and I hope what I've introduced will inspire you from time to time. What we truly have is now. Stop wishing and start doing, because the best is yet to come.