Somehow many of us often tend to search for happiness in external factors.
When I was in my twenties I assumed that I will finally be happy when I graduate, find my dream job, leave my boyfriend and move to a warmer country. My expectation was that something from the outside world will magically turn me from utterly unhappy to deeply fulfilled.
No matter how much I was achieving and all the things that were going well in my life, I was constantly chasing an idealistic image of an uncertain time in the future where I would find happiness.
The problem with this mindset is that it stood in the way of seeing what was already in front of me. I have been lucky to see some of my so called “dreams” come true. And believe me, I have also felt first hand the bitterness of not feeling happy when I was supposed to feel so.
When I finally graduated and found my first dream job, I was suddenly left without a purpose. During my studies this was my big goal and when I had finally achieved it, I felt like I had forgotten who I really was and what was truly important to me. This was the moment when I started looking for happiness and what it meant for me.
My search for happiness went from dreaming about holidays and life in distant and exotic locations, considering leaving my job and the Netherlands and coming back to Bulgaria and even leaving my boyfriend as I was assuming that my life might be even better without him.
It took me years to come to the realization that for me the key to finding happiness was not in being somewhere else or doing something else but in appreciating what I already had. Instead of looking around and trying to compare myself with everyone around me, I decided to follow my own path. I now do what feels right and good according to my own standards.
As I don’t feel the burden of chasing an idealistic perception of how my life should look like, I can see what is in front of me without the filter of how I would like it to be. I can simply be myself. I can write about what I feel like writing. I can say what I feel like saying. I can speak my own truth, no matter what others think of it. And what is more, I am able to appreciate the people around me, the company I work for and my job for who/what they really are.
I believe that we can feel happy no matter where we come from, where we live, our conditions and circumstances. Because happiness is a mindset.
Happiness is feeling grateful for what you have and being proud of who you have become. Happiness is knowing that the world is not perfect, the people around us are not perfect and we are not perfect. And being ok with it.
Happiness is inner fulfillment. We just need to realize that we don’t need anyone, anything or any place to feel happy and fulfilled.
We can leave everyone and everything behind, travel the world, explore exotic places and show off with our picture perfect lives. And yet we can still wake up and feel miserable and lost.
No matter how far we go and what we do we will remain unhappy unless we look deep into ourselves and find out what happiness means to us personally.
What is really important to you? (not what you think is important to you or what others think is important to you)
Which are the things that you would continue doing if you only had a few more days/weeks/months to live?
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The moment we grow up is the moment we start owning our sh*t.
Perhaps a simple change of perspective and gratitude for what you already have might do the trick for you, too.
However, if you really feel unhappy and you want something to change, don’t wait until someone or something causes a change in your life. If you hate your job, leave it. If you feel miserable in your apartment, find a new one. If you miss something in your relationship, open your mouth and talk about it with your partner.
Be proactive. Take the first step and do whatever feels right to you at that very moment. Just don’t stand still and feel miserable because your life didn’t turn out the way you have expected it to.
At the turn of the year promise yourself to be less of the miserable, complaining and envious version of yourself and more of who you really want to be. I bet it won’t be long before you start noticing the difference in your level of happiness.
Just believe and give yourself a chance…
*Article Photo by Fernando Brasil on Unsplash