What’s keeping you from experiencing happiness? In response to this question, many will have a laundry list of events, circumstances, and even people that they feel prevent them from being happy. So many of us claim that true happiness is all we really desire in this life, yet we remain fixated on all the many reasons we are unhappy. We allow any number of when/then scenarios to postpone our happiness: when I have more money, then I will be happy; when I have a boyfriend, then I will be happy; when I am thin, then I will be happy.
Why have we allowed happiness to become so conditional and, as a result, unattainable? Happiness is not a destination we reach some day in the future once we have checked off an unreasonable list of when/then scenarios. Happiness is a state of mind, an attitude. Your happiness is relative to a scale you yourself have created. When we hold ourselves to rigid ideals as a means to happiness, then we are doing ourselves an unnecessary disservice. This is not to say we shouldn’t have aspirations in life so long as they are healthy and attainable. We can work towards improvement and strive to be our best selves while simultaneously allowing ourselves to experience happiness. Measures of happiness may vary from one individual to another, and that’s the beauty of it! We get to decide for ourselves what it means to be happy. The freedom in this truth alone is grounds for absolute bliss!
Once we give ourselves permission to be happy in the present moment rather than in some nonexistent future moment, we open up a world of possibility. The things that bring us happiness tend to also foster gratitude: laughing with friends, family barbeques, catching fireflies, playing fetch with furry friends, root beer popsicles on hot summer days. Learning to find joy in the everyday happenings of life generates a consistent, vibrant energy that flows into all that we do. Suddenly life becomes imbued with wonder and appreciation. When we adopt this philosophy, then happiness becomes an authentic, accessible experience.