It sounds crazy, but the happiness scam (your constant search for happiness) may be the very reason you’re unhappy.
You’re asked, “What do you want most in life?” Humbly you reply, “I want to be happy.” It sounds good, but here’s the problem….
Using happiness as “the thing you want most” essentially means you’re working towards happiness all the time… In other words you’re saying you’re not truly happy yet. It also means that you always have to do X thing in order to be happy… so why does happiness require so much work?
THE HAPPINESS SCAM
The happiness scam is what people use to justify why they’re sacrificing so much now. It’s easier for us to make up an excuse to make ourselves feel better than to actually make a change that’s difficult (but rewarding) right now.
Saying you only want to be happy implies that you’re working to be happy because you’re not really happy yet. But why aren’t you happy yet? Why do you have to work so hard to be happy? Why is happiness holding you back from being happy? And most importantly, what’s really the answer to the question of what you want most in life?
So why are we using happiness to “scam” ourselves into sacrificing our time for things we don’t enjoy. Is it simply because people have the idea that happiness is the end goal? I hear people talk about this kind of stuff all the time.
- “I can be happy when I finally have abs.” (Me)
- “I’ll be happy when I can retire after working my tail off for 40 years at this job I don’t like.” (My parents)
- “I’ll be happy if I can just get a new car.” (My friends)
I mean really??? Why can’t we be happy now?
HAPPINESS IS A SUCKY END GOAL
When we refer to happiness as the end goal, it’s scamming us. It’s robbing us of the perfectly happy times we could be having right now.
When you make happiness the end goal, you give yourself permission to sacrifice your happiness as a means to do something you think will make you happy in the future. So seriously, you have to be kidding me! If I can’t be happy until I sacrifice my time at a job I don’t like, change my body to have a 6-pack or buy a new car that I can’t yet afford, that means I can’t be fully happy until THEN. I’m cheating myself, robbing myself of enjoying the present. Above all, I’m sacrificing my sanity chasing something that’s not even guaranteed to make me happy… Not cool.
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU DO HAVE
The solution to ending all this madness?? Stop focusing on what you don’t have and instead focus on what you DO have. You have the right to be happy.
News flash: people will always be better than you, have more than you and do more than you. I’m not saying it to be mean, I’m saying it because it’s physically impossible to have every capability on the planet. We only have SO much time in our day and, in order to LIVE on this earth, there are constraints we have to face.
It doesn’t mean you should stop going after your dreams – you should absolutely have big goals.
BUT, comparing yourself to others is most often a huge slow down in your progress. It only distracts you from doing what makes you happy. And you absolutely have the right to be happy!!!
Why else would people still write books? Why would people create new businesses? Why would someone open up a new restaurant? EXACTLY. Becuase there’s always room for you to fulfill your passions and be happy. The mistake is thinking that there’s no room for you to be happy doing what you love. And that type of thinking gets harder to avoid when you’re focusing on what you don’t have.
3 POINTS OF ACHIEVING HAPPINESS
After all this, if you want to be happy, it’s important to remember 3 major ideas:
- Happiness is an emotion we should be able to feel at any time, no matter our circumstances.
- Making happiness your end goal makes it harder to feel happy right now.
- Choosing happiness as the end goal makes us focus on what we DON’T have, not what we DO have.
Let me repeat….
Choosing happiness as a goal makes us focus on what we DON’T have, not what we DO have.
WE’RE ALREADY HAPPY
Most of the time we’re already happy.
REALLY! Most of the time we’re already happy. But because we’re looking through a lens of what we don’t have (and getting tricked by the happiness scam), instead of focusing on what we DO have, we’re missing out. The search for happiness is the thing holding us back from being happy.
We forget that what we have now is what we wanted before. We forget that we worked hard for what we have now because we thought it would make us happy too. But the cycle repeats. We forget to appreciate what we have now because someone always has something else we don’t.
It absolutely depends on YOU. What matters to me is going to be wildly different from what matters to you. But, what I do know is that you have to know what makes you happy – so that happiness is actually attainable. Don’t put happiness on material, superficial things that are temporary and fleeting. Put happiness on the things that can be achieved every day.
No matter our past and present, we tend to think that the life we’re living isn’t good enough. And we hope that when we finally achieve that “thing” that makes us happy, we’ll be “there” and we’ll finally feel accomplished. Guess what, 90% of the time, that “thing” isn’t what you really wanted in the first place. Yup, it’s all about figuring out what we REALLY want, a.k.a. the motivation behind our goals. When think we want to be “skinnier”, do we actually want to be more confident, outgoing and have more meaningful relationships? Probably!
TAKEAWAY: STOP GETTING TRICKED BY THE HAPPINESS SCAM
Bree?! So now what do I do about the happiness scam? If abs and “stuff” don’t make me happy, what will? Don’t worry… I got you! I know I have to leave you with something actionable that you can work on to learn about what makes YOU happy. And guess what… it comes with finding food freedom.