Hopefully you’re sat there thinking “hey, I’m not miserable, I’m pretty happy really” and if so…fabulous! I would read on anyway…it’s very easy to fall into these few traps at any time.
1. Your expectations are too high
Your expectations are too high. Lower them. Lower than that. A bit lower. Are they on the floor yet? Once they get to the floor, kick them as hard as you can far far away from you. Having expectations about anything, or anyone, is going to make you miserable; simply because your expectations are unlikely to be lived up to.
On the face of it, such pessimism on a blog about happiness maybe comes across as a bit odd, but hear me out. When you have a set of expectations, it’s difficult to be happy when they inevitably are not met.
How much better to accept situations, and other people, as you find them? Meet every day with an open mind, and every person with an open heart and take things forward from there.
2. You’re too busy comparing
I imagine that cave men looked at their mates club and had to have one of equal size, they probably saw the neighbours showing off their new cave paintings and had to get bigger and better ones of their own. In the world of technology we live in, looking at what other people are doing has never been easier. Just remember, that just like you, no one shares their mediocre days on Facebook, or their double-chinned up the nose selfies on Instagram.
When you step into the gym and see the ones on the treadmill, running full speed for what seems like hours without breaking a sweat whilst you’re on the floor having been flung off the back of the bloody thing trying not throw up after 5 minutes of jogging* remember they have been practicing longer than you. You’re on Chapter 1, they are on Chapter 15, there is no comparison.
*absolutely definitely not based on true events.
3. You’re measuring success badly
What does it mean to be successful? We all have different measures of success. Do you want a certain amount of money? Live in a certain place? Have a partner and 2.4 children? Get promoted?
All goals people commonly have, and great things to strive for, but asking for misery if you’re pinning your happiness to them for 2 reasons.
Reason 1 – All of these goals have elements that are outside of your control. The financial markets could collapse leaving you with nothing. There could never be a house for sale in the area you want. Your partner could not want kids, or perhaps you’re not able to have them. For you to be promoted, the person currently doing the job you want needs to leave, it might not happen. If it does happen, you might not be chosen for the role.
Reason 2 – All these goals are finite. Once you have them, then what? Studies show that you won’t live happily ever after; even people who win the lottery go back to the level of happiness they had before winning within 6-12 months.
Think about changing your measure of success to something you are both in control of, and can be successful at, but requires renewed commitment every day. Such as being in control of your finances/having a home you enjoy and take care of/being loving and enjoying to your family/being a diligent employee and improving yourself however you can.