Have you ever thought about how your choices impact your performance and, more importantly, your happiness? Why do you do what you do for a living? Why are you friends with certain people in your life?
More importantly, why do you do things that make you unhappy? You’re on this earth 80 years, if you’re lucky, and you spend many of those years going to a job you either hate or really suck at. Answer: to do certain things because you’re “supposed to” do them.
Think about a personal or professional relationship you continue on with because you don’t want to let others down.
The reality is most people go through their lives doing what doesn’t make them happy only to figure it out when it’s too late.
Now, I’m not talking about being selfish. There’s a difference in being happy and selfishly living your life. When you’re on a plane, there’s also a reason you’re instructed to put on your oxygen mask first, before assisting others around you. Because to serve others – your spouse, your children, your co-workers, your customers – you must first start by first taking care of yourself; creating happiness within yourself, first.
Today is your lucky day! You and I are going to get raw and real. It’s time to stop lying to yourself and take ownership of your life. Imagine a life free from the fear that holds you back. You deserve happiness. Chase what’s important to you and not others.
Your journey, both personally and professionally, starts by getting to the root of what makes you love waking up each morning.
Let’s start at the beginning. When babies are born, they only have two types of fear: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All other fears are conditioned responses developed through our personal experiences.
The two common fears I see in business professionals are: “What if I am not good enough?” and “What if I fail?”
When this negative self-talk occurs, it really goes back to our need of acceptance from others. We put our own happiness in the hands of others and think, “If they accept me or see me as worthy, I will be happy.” This couldn’t be further from the truth, but we keep doing it because it’s easier than taking ownership of our own happiness.
You want to take control? Here’s what you do:
Stop trying to make others happy at your expense
So many people in my life told me I wouldn’t be successful. I proved them wrong. But for years I was chasing the wrong thing. I was only trying to “prove” my worth to others and because of this, I wasn’t truly happy.
I am not suggesting you should be rude or say hurtful things. Instead, ask yourself different questions. “When I do this, will it make me happy… even if I don’t succeed?”
Define what makes YOU happy
Sometimes we really don’t even know we’re unhappy. If you’re like me you just get into the routine of life and work then assume “that’s just the way things are”.
I don’t want anyone to wake up and realise they just flushed 30 years down the drain – potential wasted because they didn’t define what their personal happiness even looks like.
What I found helpful was to reverse engineer what’s NOT going to make me happy and circle back to my goal. Coming up with a set of rules of things to avoid is more important than a dream to find happiness. Instead of saying, “When things change, I’ll be happy” begin with, “When I am happy things will change.”
This isn’t supposed to be one of those feel-good articles about how life is awesome. Look around. Life is hard! It’s easy to find all the excuses that prevent you changing your mindset. But the good news is you have the choice.
Today is my day to face my fears and stop chasing unhappiness. I am committed to creating my happiness starting now. Want to join me?
By Brian Parsley