When we think about our happiness we often think about what can I do for myself to become happy.
What can I do for myself to become happy.
There is a catch to this. Often when we are thinking of ways to better our lives and create the best version of ourselves we are so focused on what to add to our lives.
Whether that be a who, or a what the focus is ourselves.
So what is wrong with this picture? “I need to focus on self-improvement that is the path to success, isn’t it?”
We are wired to think about ourselves, provide for ourselves, base our decisions around putting ourselves first, but is this what we were designed to do?
If we base every single decision around our impulses. We did whatever we want, whenever we want, to whoever we want then we would be acting with a sense of selfishness.
Even if we had our dream house, dream car, dream body, with perfect hair, and perfect job and perfect perfect perfect. We still wouldn’t be happy. It may provide a sense of pleasure, which is correlated to personal gain, but is unlikely to be the catalyst to happiness.
So how do we become happier.
We ditch the idea of egocentrism and start focusing on something greater than ourselves.
- The next time you go shopping instead of buying yourself a new pair of shoes, watch, dress, buy it for someone else. It doesn’t have to be their birthday, or a holiday, do it just because. Because it made you think of them, or you thought they would really appreciate it.
- Volunteer: Start giving back, the next time you have some free time and you’re wondering what you should do..decide to be present in your community and start creating a footprint that people want to follow. This could be at the humane society walking dogs, fostering animals until they have a permanent home, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or going on a mission trip. The possibilities are limitless.
- Acts of service: The next time you mow your lawn, mow your neighbors. Mowing the lawn is a task that most people don’t particularly enjoy.
- Hold the door, help someone carry their groceries, help someone parallel park rather than staring at them struggle, contribute.
- Teach others: Choose what you love to do and share it with the ones you love. Provide other people with joy, love and support.
- Recycle: Respecting our home doesn’t take much effort, but has a ripple effect on so many different levels.
- Start a movement: Choose something you believe in and start making a difference in the world.
- Protect others: Don’t give into our culture of gossip. Stand up for those that aren’t able to stand up for themselves.
- If you see trash on the ground, pick it up. Every time I head up on a hike I leave with more than I brought, trying to keep the trails clean for others to enjoy
The point here, is to lead your life passionately while keeping yourself and happiness in mind the greatest love, satisfaction and appreciation will come from your actions greater than yourself.
“If you prioritize pleasure over happiness you will have neither, but if you prioritize happiness over pleasure, you will have both.” -Andy Stanley