WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
We tend to postpone our happiness because we have been conditioned that we can only be happy when we achieve a specific objective. The unpredictability of the times that we are living in make life a very painful experience for individuals with this frame of mind.
I once asked a young man in his mid twenties what would really make him happy? He responded and said, “I would love to retire and live in a small cottage close to the sea.” It was difficult for me to comprehend the long postponement of this young man’s happiness and then asked him, “What will make you really happy in your work?” He stared through the window for a while and then said, “I will only be really happy when I become managing director of the company that I work for.” You might think that this young man showed a lot of ambition, but I diagnosed him as a chronically unhappy boy.
It is good to have long-term goals, but it is better to learn to enjoy each step of your journey. Only when you learn to enjoy the current moment will you achieve real contentment.
Happiness is not something that you need to strive for or that must be handed to you by someone else. Happiness is something that must be allowed to escape from your heart. Happiness is the ability to experience happiness notwithstanding what happened in the past or what might happen at some future date.
If you knew that you have only one month to live, will you be able to enjoy every last second before your date with fate? If you are a person that is truly happy you will make the absolute best of the final hours of your life. You will give and receive love unconditionally. You will not waste time to accuse others of past mistakes that they made. What you will do is to live life to its fullest. Why then do we need to know that we will die soon before we actually live the final hours of our lives? Live each day as if it is your last on this planet and see what difference it will make. Stop looking for happiness from some outside source. Happiness is already in your heart; all you need to do is to release it.
The fear that something might be wrong with you is causing you to search for happiness in all the wrong places. Your beliefs that something or someone else will make you happy move your attention away from “here” to a place or destination away from yourself. It activates the perception that the “now” (current situation) is not the place where you will find happiness and that you can only expect happiness at some future time at a different destination or location.
Most of us are always busy pondering our “next step” and forget to appreciate what we already have. People search, struggle and strive, but never really arrive at their desired destination because they cannot get past the feeling that something is missing. I have met so many people that find it impossible to enjoy the present moment, the present company or their present partner because they feel that there is always still something missing.
The reason for this is because most people think that happiness must arrive from a source outside them. This perception is at the root of feelings of unworthiness and unhappiness. Most people are waiting for their friends, partners, children or employer to make them happy. This self-enforced feeling that something is missing and that happiness will mystically appear do not only put themselves under constant pressure, but also cause a lot of discomfort to the other players in his or her game of life.
I am convinced that you have met many individuals that are constantly unhappy. Such people also tell endless stories how people have let them down or how they have been taken advantage of. In short these people love to play the role of a victim and enjoy the moments of attention that it provokes in their listener. The problem with people with this disposition is that they are unable to see the whole picture. They look at things selectively and only see the things that will confirm and support their negative point of view.
When a happy person looks at a wonderful sunset he or she will allow themselves to be swept away by the kaleidoscope of colours and shadows. They might even experience a moment of deep respect for the creator. The habitually unhappy person will also look at the sunset, but will not even see the amazing play of colours. He or she might still be upset because his or her partner arrived late for their appointment.
I often tell people that you must not only listen to music, but feel the music as well. When you become a person that live your life in the now you usually become optimistic and appreciative. Unhappy people live in the past or the future. They usually drag trainloads of bad experiences with them. They find it impossible to let go of past failures and setbacks. They also cannot stop worrying what might happen in the future. While you are still busy congratulating them with their new job they will already speculate about things that could possibly go wrong at some future date. I am sure that you might think that this type of person should be classified as a perpetual pessimist, but I see people like this everyday. In fact I do not know a lot of people that I would classify as happy. When you take a careful look at all the things we do and strive for you will discover that our yearning to be happy is behind most of our actions and decisions.