When I write a blog article I am only satisfied when I know the value that I want to add to the reader’s (your) experience. That is important to me otherwise I think – what’s the point? (Note, I said I want to feel satisfied). Providing information and sharing tips and strategies that have worked for me plus motivating and inspiring you along the way is my main aim. Today, I am going to be giving you my point of view on how to be happy with everything.
That may sound a little strange but stick with me. You see, I’ve come to the conclusion that happiness is not an emotion. (Unlike, satisfied, which is the emotion I feel when I write a post that gives value.) 😝
I want this post to be useful and beneficial to you and me. That said, I have added affiliate links to this article and would love it if you decide to use them. 😘
Happiness - A Universal Desire
In ONE WORD, what do you long for?
Drawing from my own experience and conversations with family, friends, and colleagues, I would guess that most people in the world would name one of the following eight:
(I’m sure there are many other things that you can think of but as I said, the above list encompasses the common wants).
Notice that number 1 is Happy and that’s my focus today.
What's Getting In The Way Of Being Happy?
Attached to the number 1 universal desire is the number 1 universal reason why people say that they struggle with being happy.
The biggest challenge in attaining happiness: “I don’t know what I want to do.” Have you ever heard your inner talk go something like this:
“Once I get married/find a partner/get engaged I will be happy.”
“As soon as I get a job that pays “fill in the blank” much, I will be happy.”
“When we start a family I will be happy.”
“I know I’d be in a better mood and I’d be happy if I won the lottery.”
“Moving to “fill in the blank” will be a load of my shoulders and then I can be happy.”
Fo a long time I was just like this – I either didn’t know what I wanted and when I did know, I thought I will only be happy when I get it.
For years I searched for my passion and life purpose and I became disillusioned and miserable when I couldn’t pin it down. I was not happy. What was getting in my way of feeling happy?
Me, of course.
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
You’re probably singing the U2 song now, right? Okay, take a break – have a listen.
Back? Great, take this scenario, you receive all the things you said you wanted and you are super happy. A week later you wake-up and you are not happy. You still have all the things that you said would make you happy, but you are not happy.
Another question. Have you ever gone into work feeling bright and bouncy only to be met by a grumpy boss who tells you that you look tired and you could have done better with your last monthly report? You plummet and start to feeling disappointed and upset. And now you are unhappy.
The answer is the same for both “Why?” questions.
You allowed the things outside of you to effect the inside of you.
You are searching outside of you and you still haven’t found what you’re looking for.
The BIG takeaway here is – if everything you are searching for is outside of you then you will always be chasing and clambering.
That includes validation from others.
What’s the solution?
High Self-Esteem And Living In The NOW
You need to build up a solid internal you and increase your self-esteem and self-worth. One that does not get easily rattled by other people or difficult circumstances.
You will not require validation from others if you have high self-esteem and value yourself. When you know who you are and why you do the things you do, your self-esteem builds up. As it grows you start to trust yourself and your decisions. You begin to try out and learn new things and you gain greater confidence in all you do.
Yes, you will listen to others opinions but you will discern what is in alignment with your core values and what is not.
Comments from other people will be like water off a duck’s back because you are happy with who you are and have self-acceptance
Self-awareness grows as you live in the present. Internally you are at peace with yourself and enjoy the moment, neither living in the past or the future.
Drama and chaos may surround you and people try to pull you into it but you remain strong, happy and at peace.
What Is Happiness?
For me, it is a choice and not an emotion. Have I always thought that? No. Thinking this way has grown from working on knowing myself and practicing Mindfulness and living in the present.
I work a 9 to 5 job in a stressful and toxic office environment. Yes, I am learning new skills and working towards leaving. However, I have to stay where I am until I have made provision to move on. The old me would have been unhappy and sad in this situation. But not the new me.
Life goes by far too quickly. I live each day as if it is my last and I choose to be happy. I am present in every customer call I take, making my experience enjoyable. Of course, there are some calls that are difficult. However, I do not let them affect me. I stay calm and remain neutral.
I ignore other people’s drama and gossip. I keep clear of the chaos that invariably ensues office life. I do not include any of it in my experience – I enjoy my day. I choose to be happy.
My peace of mind is unaffected.
Happiness is not an emotion. It is a state of mind that I choose to have.
How do I know that happiness is not an emotion?
What Is An Emotion?
An emotion (anger, jealousy, excitement, love) is a feeling that arises from a reaction to something or someone and can be felt in the body. That can happen without you choosing as such…
Side Note: Your thoughts are different to your emotions and I’ll talk about those later.
Can other people and situations make us feel a certain way? For example, “That movie last night made me sad and I cried.” “My partner made me so angry.” “People at work are really annoying and they make me feel irritable.”
If you answered yes to that question it is because you are thinking that the process goes something like this:
EXTERNAL SITUATION – then – OUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE
But there is another part of the process that links these two things. IT IS OUR PERCEPTION OF THE SITUATION.
It is not the situation or what someone said (or did) that causes us to feel or react in a certain way. But how we see (PERCEIVE) the situation or someone and what we think about it (or them) that influences how we feel.
The event is the event is the event. It is what it is. Our thoughts and beliefs about it influence our emotions, actions and reactions.
To give you an example I will go back to my job situation.
The Persistent Customer
Sometimes the same customer will call back to the center I work in a few times on the same day so that they get a different agent. They do this in the hope of getting the answer to the question that they want to hear, rather than the one they were given. It’s pretty futile as we all have to work within strict protocols and processes like any large organization. But they try anyway.
There was one time when a woman rang three times. I spoke to her on her third attempt. She was very upset and angry at this stage. I already knew the issue as the notes were on the system and the other two agents had discussed their calls in the office already.
The previous two agents had got annoyed with her because she would not accept the answers they gave. Eventually, both agents got irritated and abruptly ended the call. Both agents and the customer were “up in arms”, so to speak.
I purposely took the call as if it was the first time she came through. I listened to everything she had to say and did not say a word. While she was speaking I made notes and remained neutral in my mind, making no judgment about anything or anyone.
When she stopped speaking, I literally addressed every question she had and answered with neutrality and within the company process. Then I waited for her response. She thanked me for listening to her and said she now understood what had happened and the next steps for her.
No hassle, no problem and no calling back.
Am I tooting my own horn at what a great call centre agent I am? Am I heck, I don’t care about that.
My point is, I had a different perspective to this customer and her situation than my two colleagues. Same Issue and three different perspectives.
Our thoughts and beliefs will influence how we perceive people and situations.
In the lockdown earlier this year – people perceived the situation differently and reacted based on their beliefs and thoughts.
Some got bored and frustrated. Some enjoyed the time and learnt new things.
Thoughts And Beliefs
Thoughts and beliefs can come so quickly and automatically that sometimes we are not even aware of them. Nonetheless, they are there and they influence how we feel and the emotions we have.
This is why it can sometimes be hard to name the emotion and why we feel the way we do.
It can be difficult to distinguish thoughts from feelings too – but remember – they are not the same.
Automatic thoughts or thoughts from the subconscious mind can arise and affect our perception of a situation. We function for the majority of our day from the subconscious mind. By understanding what beliefs and thoughts we hold there we can greatly increase our effectiveness when dealing with difficult situations and people.
This in turn will change our perception and lead to living a more peaceful and enjoyable life.
Live Long & Prosper (In Neutrality)
Staying neutral and not getting emotional has been a game-changer for me. Whenever I stay neutral it seems to neutralize the whole conversation or situation. Obviously, I still get emotional – but on my terms and when I want to. My emotions are kept in check and I do not allow others to push my buttons.
This may sound very “Spock-like” to say and it is a little, nevertheless, I am not a Vulcan and I still cry at the end of “It’s A Wonderful Life” regardless of the fact that I’ve seen if over twenty times.
Doing Shadow Work has meant that I have had to face my “not so favorable side” and I have worked through many negative beliefs and thoughts. One of the biggest things that I struggled with was naming my emotions so that I could deal with them. I persisted in acknowledging my emotions, naming them and working through them – it’s not always easy work but it is worthwhile.
How To Be Happy With Everything
To be happy with everything – you’ve got to choose to be happy. By the way, Joy is also not an emotion for me, it is a state of mind, like being happy.
This is my opinion and is based on my experience. It’s okay if you do not agree but if you are in a very horrible and uncomfortable situation right now then at least agree to do something about it. You deserve to be happy and living in joy. Start with:
The name of The Game is Experience so let us experience Connecting and Sharing.
Tell me a story or give me a comment related to happiness, emotions and thoughts.
Save THIS PIN below to your Self-Esteem or Mindfulness Board to check later and have the information easily at your finger tips.