Do You Really Want To Be Happy?

Happiness comes at a cost. It means you stop listening to other people complain about their live, it’s not your business. It means stop asking for other peoples advice on your personal life, it’s not their business. It means stop dwelling on the stuff that’s going wrong in your life and start acknowledge the stuff thats going right. What I’m suggesting you may have heard before. It may seem like a simplistic approach. It’s not. Changing your mindset is like trying to take the peanut butter off a piece of bread. It’s going to take time and focus.

Everyone has someone relying on them to their listen to their troubles. I’m not telling you to slam the door in their face and bloody their nose. That would be mean, and you would beat up on yourself for doing it. We are looking for happiness not guilt. Imagine, they come to you for a listening ear, if it is a new problem let them vent. Try to keep it brief. It’s not helpful for them to ramble on until two in the morning. Because by then you’re not even listening you’re staring at the shelf noticing it needs to be dusted. That is a waste of your precious life and theirs. Hear them out, and when they begin repeating themselves or old sorrows interrupt them and daringly say, “I love you and I’m here to listen for a while but I can’t fix your problems. Only you will know what’s good for you.” Some people don’t want to hear that, they want you to be entangled in their drama. It validates them and the problem. When you draw your line in the sand, your friend or family might get angry with you. Continue to be gentle but stay the course. It could be they are accustomed to having you listen no matter what. They will be feeling hurt. They might accuse you of not caring. When you decide to set boundaries in your life you might lose some friends but you’ll keep the ones who value you.

Life is confusing. That’s why we have psychologists and psychiatrists. If you’ve ever been to a professional for personal counselling, you’ll know they continually ask you, “How does that make you feel?” The reason for that question is because the problem isn’t really the problem. It’s how you feel about the problem that makes the difference. No one else can understand the complexity of what’s going on inside you. So asking someone else for advice on a personal problem is like asking a blind person to paint a picture of the Hollywood sign at sunset and be expecting it to turn out well. I’m not saying be stoic, become a rock. I’m saying don’t ask other people for their opinion on your personal struggles. You can still share, just tell them you don’t want answers you just need to vent. It takes the pressure off of them and you. Keep in mind, do not become the person in the previous paragraph, if you notice your friend getting a dusting cloth out, you’ve gone too far.

Last but not least, focus your energy on the positives. Appreciate an effortless commute to work, a cool breeze on a hot day, and maybe even a healthy part of your body like your skin, how wonderfully it covers you up and holds you together. If you put your mind towards everything thats going right you will continue to grow more positive outcomes. It’s the magic of attention. If you tend a garden with loving care it will flourish. Loving care implies good thought. If you tend a problem with frantic worry and obsession it will flourish as well. It will become an evil creature with talons and sharp pointy teeth. It’s a logical outcome. The more you focus on a problem the more insurmountable it seems. So for the good of your happy place don’t keep your issues chained to your neck until they become bones poking you in the throat. Deal with them while they are fresh and alive, tend to them briefly, then set them free. If you can, get out in nature to contemplate and let stuff go. It’s where the wild things like to be.

Give it a try, what do you have to lose? A bit of satisfaction ranting brings? You can still rant briefly and win. I’m not saying you’ll be happy every single second of the day. I’m not delusional. I know difficult situations will occur in your life and happiness is out of the question. What I am saying, is you have influence over how you feel, and some situations are in your control. I’m not a professional, but as a fellow human I can tell this has worked wonders for me. So what feels better? Rehashing problems?  Or sitting with your choice of beverage admiring a painting, or your children or the way your hand can hold a glass? Which mindset will bring you happiness?

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