I’ve recently moved from Switzerland to Spain. This rather controversial choice as seen by many, has been my attempt to listen to my inner voice and follow my joy rather than success, money or expectations of others. Being here now with more free time on my hands due to the choice of reducing my working hours as well, I found myself coming back to the eternal question of how to find happiness.
As we’re busy chasing our tail in the endless sea of daily chores, pressing notifications, fear-mongering news, demands of our bosses and the expectations of society, we often forget to simply get quiet and ask ourselves what really makes us happy as individuals.
If you have read all the books and blogs about happiness in the world, you would likely find endless, often contradictory answers on how to find it. Why? It is indeed very simple. Only you hold the answer to what truly makes you happy.
As long as you chase happiness outside of you, trying to outsource the responsibility to outer sources as we’re so used to doing these days, letting others choose for you or validate your choices, you will find yourself chasing a mirage that you never seem to be quite able to catch up with. You never seem to be enough or do enough to deserve the promised land.
I believe that there are three mistakes people make when trying to find happiness. The first one is not going inwards and taking the time to get to know themselves enough to realize what truly makes them happy.
The second one is believing that happiness is a static goal.
The truth is that as we move through life we continuously evolve. It’s the constant movement and the sense of growth that often bring the experience of joy in life. If you ever found yourself stuck in the same routines, looking back, you will easily realize that this stagnant feeling of lack of movement brought with it the longing for things to change and often depressing thoughts.
What we must realize is that happiness is not one recipe that, once accomplished, will bring us the eternal feeling of joy. It is rather constant adaptation to who we are becoming as a person and choosing the things that make us happy in each moment. And this brings us to the third mistake.
If you want to feel happiness or even content in your daily life, you need to make a concious choice and effort to be happy.
Happiness doesn’t come from the specific things that we get or circumstances we find ourselves in but from our interpretation of these and what we make out of them. Unless you take charge of your attitude to life, it will be very hard for you to achieve longterm happiness as you’ll be dependent on outside circumstances that you cannot always fully control. What you can control, however, is how you respond to those – both internally and externally.
If you get up in the morning and in each moment of your day, regardless of your responsibilities, choose to make the most out of it, adding in little touches like playing your favourite song, getting a fancy coffee or wearing that outfit that makes you feel on top of the world, you will find that every single day can become magical.
And then you might just wake up one day and realize, not without a hint of surprise, that you are simply… happy.