The holistic approach to happiness
Growing up, there was seldom a moment where I was satisfied with who I was. I never felt like I was good enough because I was so critical about myself.
I wanted the lives that other people had, but I didn’t know how to get there myself. This distancing between me and my peers turned into a fear of falling behind. But it wasn’t all bad because this fear drove me to grow as a person, which is exactly what I needed.
I found that my sense of happiness was connected to my inner growth. Many years on the personal growth journey led me to travel the world for many years on end. Changing my lifestyle and doing interesting things was the cherry on top. And because of this, the quality of my life skyrocketed.
Is your happiness based on your situation?
How to be happier with yourself
Now with that out the way, let’s get into the good stuff! Here are some actions to take that will help you become genuinely happier with yourself, and less dependent on your life situation.
Accept where you currently are
Let go of the outcome
Go with the flow, dude
If there’s one thing that makes you unhappy, it’s trying to have control over situations that are out of your control. I’m not trying to be a stone-cold hippy here but go with the flow, dude.
When you try to change something that’s out of your control, you’re going to create a lot of stress. It’s like you’re putting all of your energy into pushing a sliding door. The result? Stupid.
Do what you can that’s within your control to change your life situation but accept what you can’t. Let go of these expectations that you should be doing better at this stage of your life, and focus on the little things you can do to be happier with yourself now.
It's okay to be a little selfish
If you’re living a life that other people want you to live, do I need to explain why you’re not happy? Let’s take a journey back to Life101.
The grass isn't always greener
Let’s face it. There’s always someone doing better than you. There’s always someone more attractive, smarter, more interesting, wealthier, you name it. The goose-chase of being the best is always going to lead to disappointment.
When you compare yourself to people who are seemingly better off than you, you start feeling like you’re lacking something. It’s something we all do, but what if you took the road less walked?
Stop comparing yourself to other people, or judging yourself for not being where they are in life. There are probably plenty of things about you that they wish they had if they had the opportunity to meet you.
Focus on the things you do have
A big part of your dissatisfaction derives from focusing on what you lack. Believe me when I say, there will always be something that you lack if you’re coming from this angle.
Having some desire is good, but need does not serve you. Focusing on what you do have instead of what you don’t have is a much better approach to feeling good about yourself.
Looking at your life from a cup-half-full perspective leads to one important word: Gratitude.
If you focus on being grateful for everything that you do have, you’re going to feel a whole lot more fulfilled. When you think about it, you chase that feeling of abundance by accumulating more. But gratitude is an internal condition. You don’t need anything to be grateful besides yourself.
Therefore, to be happier with yourself, focus on the things you do have, and appreciate them. Even simple things like having a full stomach and a roof over your head are usually taken for granted.
What do you need to appreciate more?
You're bigger than the things you do
Having a sense of purpose is a great propeller. After all, it motivates you to work towards what you love, and that motivation will drive you to accomplish more.
That’s why it’s important to go after the things you want, but it’s the mission that makes you feel good. Working towards something bigger makes you feel good. Being at service makes you feel good.
What really activates that spark in you? How can you mold your knowledge and experience into something that you’re truly passionate about? Have an overarching mission in your life, and you’ll feel much more fulfilled, even if it never comes to fruition.