3 Truths about Happiness I wish I knew in my 20s
Updated: Jun 15, 2021
For 30 over years, I consider myself to be very blessed in many ways. While I could have looked better, been better or have better things, I am beyond blessed than many. I always feel appreciative for whatever I have given and experienced in life whether good or bad because those experiences shaped me to the person I am today. But I didn't feel that a few years ago.
I remember playing this thought again and again throughout life: I could never be happy completely. I felt there were always something that happened after I got something good or I always said that I got to have this to be truly happy. But now I realize, it was all in my head and how I perceive happiness.
These are the misconceptions about Happiness that I used to believe in.
1. Happiness is not from others it is from within.
Growing up in a society that treasures look more than personality, I used to think that I needed to get validations or admirations from others to feel good. I also thought I needed to get a boyfriend so he could make me feel happy all the time.
And because of that mentality of relying on others to make me feel good, I felt insecure ALL THE TIME when I did not receive good words or validation from others. So even when I was dating someone, the relationships could not last long because of how insecure, clingy and suffocating I was. I gave the worst burden to that person to feel responsible for my happiness and self-worth.
Of course, it didn't work and soon I realised that being in a relationship also didn't make me happy because I was broken. I can't possibly be happy with anyone if I am not happy myself.
When we rely our happiness on others, the moment those people leave, they will take our happiness away too. TTC
2. Happiness is not materials or achievements:
We often tag our happiness to the ability to buy new clothes, new toys or new gadget etc... That's where the term Shopping Therapy comes from. It makes us feel good. But look, even the richest and most successful people on earth have problems too and many of them are suffering depression. That is good to show that materials and achievements do not make us happy if we are not happy with ourselves. And think about it, we are happy when we buy something new, but as it becomes older, we look for newer things and better things
I used to work so hard for that promotion and that title because I thought that would make me happy, fulfilled and worthy. But it wasn't like that, I felt happy for a few days because of the hype but I felt absolutely normal like every other day. I didn't feel happier or more fulfilled, I even was depressed sometimes and cranky all the time because of the stress and negative emotions. At the same time, I also saw that many people at the top were miserable everyday, doing things they may not like and letting work affecting their health but still put up a strong front to go through the day. That was when I knew that climbing up the corporate ladder isn't what I want and having the title and promotion are not going to be the answer to my happiness.
So I quitted chasing for career and society's definition of success to embark on
my happiness journey
3. Happiness is not a destination, it is our journey. It is now.
It is important for us to know that it is not realistic for us to be happy all the time. We are human, human has all kind of emotions. Some days we feel great, some days we feel miserable, some days we feel super happy, other days we feel upset, angry or even negative... But that is how life is, it is up and it is down and it is affecting us and our emotions. But what we can do is not let all these emotions control us and the way we live our lives.
We often take Happiness as a Destination we all want to arrive but we forget that we spend more time on our journey before we get to our destination. If we are not happy in our journey, what is the point to reach our destination. There are always positive things in our daily life that we overlook. It is easy to rush through life and forget to smell the flower, enjoy the smiles, appreciate the heart foods etc...
I just watched this amazing performance by a girl named Nightbirde on American Got Talent. She is battling cancer for many years but her spirit is amazingly positive and she is beautifully glowing. Her performance was stunning and she got the Golden Buzzer from Simon. Her story was heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. She still chases her dreams and proves that she is so much more than the bad things that happened to her. She inspires the whole world with how she views happiness:
“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.”
And that is how you know that Happiness never a destination, it is the choice you make every day.