How many times have you looked up to someone and thought “If I had their life, I would be happy”? It’s natural… the whole “grass is greener” thing.
When I was a teenager, I was always envious of my best friend, who was so tiny and petite. Years later, I confessed to her that I was jealous of her slight frame, and her ability to wear cute summer shirts. You well endowed women know what I’m talking about. At the moment of my disclosure, she said “You’ve got to be kidding!” She continued “I always felt like a boy next to you; I was so jealous of your curves!” Sometimes you need to get a reality check and look at things from someone else’s perspective.
We rely on material things to make us happy. Sometimes you want a nice car, a big house… maybe a boat, or a $3000 designer bag, or the latest Jordans. You catch yourself thinking “When I get that extra special thing, I will be happy.” And then, finally, you get that thing, that magical unicorn you’ve been dreaming of. As it turns out, the struggle for acquisition was the best part. Once your quest is over, you come face to face with the truth. You’re still the same person, you just have a new possession.
If you’re thinking you need to get another job, or live somewhere else to be happy, chances are you’re wrong about that, too. You’ll be the same person, but with another job, or in another locale. Quite often, we think “If only I could make a fresh start”. You can make a fresh start, alright. But not through external gratification.
Start from where you are, right here and right now. Cultivate happiness within you that has nothing to do with your looks, your money, or your job. All the stuff you have, and don’t have, doesn’t matter a bit. You can add those things into the mix, but if you’re not happy now, those things won’t change you.
How many famous people kill themselves with a self-destructive lifestyle? They’ve got money, fame, and everything that those things can bring. Is that enough to sustain a person? Nope. I love the quote from Henry Ford when someone asked him how much money does it take to make a man happy. His response: “A little bit more”. In the end, we all end up the same situation.
It’s good to have dreams. Reach as high as you can. Stretch right out of your comfort zone. Remember that achieving those things will never make you as happy as the struggle to achieve them. Put another way, it’s the journey and not the destination. Moments in time, being with loved ones, trying your best, believing in yourself. Those are the things that will bring happiness. Lasting happiness. The kind of happiness you deserve.
Be gentle with yourself.