I see lots of things online about being happy, such as the ten habits of a happy person, how to be happy, live for now, etc. They do seem to have a willing audience, therefore I can only assume there is a significant number of people who feel unhappy.
If that’s the case, then why is it so many people feel unhappy?
We live in a world where we work for money, bombarded by messages on what we should be buying and also what to think, what to wear, how to look. In recent times, politics have become increasingly divisive and have polarised opinions. We have been living with austerity measures for some time where services are strained and the blame game is well in play.
Add on top of that, people are living to others expectations and demands. Possibly family, peer group or living / work environment, there is always pressure to live up to external demands. Sometimes these conflict with your own thoughts and you have to make a decision on which way to go. This results in either you losing part of yourself or facing the disapproval of others.
As we are social beings, surviving in groups has been critical to our existence and conforming to expectations has kept us alive. In the modern world, this is not such a physical threat but a social pressure on the individual to get in line, not get above themselves and follow the expected path.
This stifles creativity and individualism as everyone is expected to be the same and fit in. Therefore, people become frustrated, feel trapped and self worth goes for a wander.
Then there is the pressure from advertisers to get that trick TV, the latest trainers, lose weight, get the right lifestyle from spending more and more. The demands are endless in the consumer society and we are expected to comply, to fit in.
I’ve gone wrong with this for many years, trying to comply and fit in but never feeling good about it. It is probably a big contributor to my illness over the years and I am not unusual in this regard.
First and foremost, get rid of others expectations or opinions of you. They are none of your business and are not part of your future. Start living life for you in your way.
As for work, do something you love, a passion or intellectual challenge. There is nothing wrong with working anywhere and doing what you need to get by, but if you do something you enjoy, you’ll never work a day in your life. That is a quote I heard once and I believe it. I’ve never really found my groove and hope that someday I do. It should never stop you looking.
I’ve a good friend and he’s a mechanical engineer. He loves what he does and when he feels he’s done his bit, he moves on to other things. Currently, he’s designing tools for oil exploration and in the past he’s designed cameras and bionic hands, all to meet his personal challenge. He’s an inspiration to me in that regard as he is doing what he wants to do and life is an adventure.
Social pressures are part of it but we also feel like failures if we don’t have the car we want or enough money to buy all that the constant adverts promote, such is the power of modern marketing. We have become a culture of knowing the cost but not the value, which is a well worn phrase but no less important now than any other time. We have access to more information at the click of a keyboard than at any other time yet we seem more ignorant.
We should take time with people we value, talk and listen, laugh and experience life with them. Live life on your terms, to your expectations and try to remove the barriers others have built for you. The only thing stopping you is you.
I never thought I would write as I am doing on a daily basis, yet here I am doing it. Someone in the past probably told me I couldn’t or it wasn’t worthwhile, so I built a barrier.
If I can do it, anyone can.
Go and be happy. Find out what that means to you and just do it.
You owe it to yourself.