Why everything you’re taught about happiness is a Llie
Top Tips
  1. As Flava Flav said “DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE” – happiness is not a final destination
  2. Accept ALL feelings – the good, the bad and the ugly
  3. Seek authenticity, not happiness
  4. Discover what your darker emotions are telling you
  5. Read: When Happiness Is Not Enough by Chris Skellett

I met up with a friend who I hadn’t seen in ages, and she asked me how I am going. I answered honestly and told her that I’ve had the hardest two years of my life.

She asked “but aren’t you happy?” to which I replied, “no, I’m not especially happy right now”. She was gobsmacked. “Well, if you’re not happy, then how are you qualified to help others?” There are reasons why I sometimes doubt my abilities, but not feeling super happy right now is sure as hell not one of them!

So I said “Come on, what do you expect?!?! My brother just died, my sister was killed last year and my dad passed the year before that and much, much more.”

Why the f*ck would (or SHOULD) I be at an ALL-TIME HAPPINESS-HIGH after the all curve balls that life has thrown my way recently?

You wanna know what I AM feeling after all I’ve been through recently? Empowered, hurt, upset, trusting, grief, accepting, vulnerable, loving, anguished, open, anxious, inspired, devastated, centered, unsettled and yes….also HAPPY. All of these have played a valuable role in my human experience of growth and fulfillment. Happy is just one small piece of the puzzle.

“Don’t Worry Be Happy” – what a load of crap!

I can’t stand it when someone says “just think positive”. My cousin passed away recently, and her 18-year-old daughter posted on Facebook about her total and utter devastation. Most replies to her post were along the lines of “chin up darling”, “just remember the good times” and other useless advice. I was FUMING, to say the least. Let the poor kid grieve without trying to talk her out of her feelings.

Us humans are so desperate to get away from our pain that we deny ourselves the soul-level acknowledgement that the situation calls for.

We need to allow ourselves to feel whatever emotions come up, and then let them pass. But instead, we stuff them down, deny our momentary truth and cajole our way back to an emotion that is more socially acceptable than the one we are feeling. Medicating and self-medicating our emotions as if they were an illness - WTF?!?!

It’s counterproductive to be so obsessed with happiness

I can’t stand it when someone says “just think positive”. My cousin passed away recently, and her 18-year-old daughter posted on Facebook about her total and utter devastation. Most replies to her post were along the lines of “chin up darling”, “just remember the good times” and other useless advice. I was FUMING, to say the least. Let the poor kid grieve without trying to talk her out of her feelings.

Us humans are so desperate to get away from our pain that we deny ourselves the soul-level acknowledgement that the situation calls for.

We need to allow ourselves to feel whatever emotions come up, and then let them pass. But instead, we stuff them down, deny our momentary truth and cajole our way back to an emotion that is more socially acceptable than the one we are feeling. Medicating and self-medicating our emotions as if they were an illness - WTF?!?!

As we push down so-called “negative feelings”, cases of anxiety, depression and substance abuse continue to rise to unprecedented levels. We’re trapped in an endlessly insatiable pursuit that Buddhists refer to as the Realm of The Hungry Ghost. Always seeking, never finding.

Why we mistakenly think happiness is a destination

There’s actually a scientific reason why us humans have fallen into the trap of thinking that happiness is our be-all-and-end-all. It’s called the Pleasure Pain Principle. Aristotle and Freud were the first to explore our instinctive seeking of pleasure and avoiding of pain in order to satisfy our biological and psychological needs.

So we are trapped in a perpetual state of seeking and never finding. Thus, if we want to take our lives to the next level and feel more content we need to transcend our primitive hardware – after all, it’s been functioning at this capacity for the past 10,000 years. Time for an upgrade perhaps? If we can’t upgrade the hardware, then let’s upgrade the software.

So many of us have done all the things society has told us we need to do in order to be happy. Now we’ve checked all the boxes, we are left wondering “so why aren’t I happy?”

And, here’s why…

We’ve been misled to believe that happiness is something that comes to you when you’ve collected all the external items: the education, the good job, the relationship, the car, the house, the kids etc. etc.. We’ve fallen for the bullsh!t hook, line and sinker!

Happiness is an inside job. It’s not about *DOING* all the stuff society tells us, it’s about *BEING*; being accepting of what comes our way and creating a fulfilled life.

Know That Happiness Is Just One piece of the fulfillment puzzle

Happiness is awesome (who doesn’t love feeling happy?), but what about the satisfaction of being OK when sh!t’s not ok? True fulfillment includes acceptance of one’s circumstances, connectedness to others, opportunity for growth and more.

So while I may not be experiencing extreme happiness levels right now, I feel authentic AF and deeply fulfilled, so therein lies the difference to creating an amazing life. I just might start a new hashtag #happinessisoverrated.

I’d love to hear what you think about what we’ve been taught to believe about happiness. Your comment below may just be the inspiration that inspires someone else’s breakthrough.

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Comments
4 comments
Ruslan
Happiness is awesome (who doesn’t love feeling happy?), but what about the satisfaction of being OK when sh!t’s not ok? True fulfillment includes acceptance of one’s circumstances, connectedness to others, opportunity for growth and more.
Reply
Ruslan
Happiness is awesome (who doesn’t love feeling happy?), but what about the satisfaction of being OK when sh!t’s not ok? True fulfillment includes acceptance of one’s circumstances, connectedness to others, opportunity for growth and more.
Ruslan
I’d love to hear what you think about what we’ve been taught to believe about happiness. Your comment below may just be the inspiration that inspires someone else’s breakthrough.
Hello!
Happiness is awesome (who doesn’t love feeling happy?), but what about the satisfaction of being OK when sh!t’s not ok? True fulfillment includes acceptance of one’s circumstances, connectedness to others, opportunity for growth and more.
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