Life is about achieving happiness. As the saying goes, “you only live once.” You want to take the time to enjoy life and find what makes you happy.
But as we all know, happiness can sometimes be a challenge. For some, happiness is fleeting. There are more times spent unhappy (or, at best, “meh”), than there are times you spend happy, and often it seems like life has a way of challenging you and making it difficult for you to find life satisfaction.
Why is Happiness Difficult?
Happiness is, in many ways, a mindset. Or at least, a lack of happiness is. That is because unhappiness is often directly linked to having unrealistic expectations about what you can expect from life.
Think about how you’re raised and what it’s like to be a child. As a child you develop all of these fantasies about the future – what life will be like, how much money you’ll have, how you and your friends will spend time together, and more.
These fantasies are a healthy part of development. It’s good to have goals, dreams, ambitions. As a young person and as you get older, dreams of some form or another are what help you stay focused on achieving the most you can. If you didn’t have some type of dream for yourself, you wouldn’t have been motivated:
- To try in school
- To get your first job
- To leave your parent’s home
The reason you made those changes is because you had some form of ambition, and this directly relates to childhood fantasies.
As an adult, you don’t actually have to lose these fantasies. In many ways, some fantasies can make the idea of life in the future more exciting. But as you move forward to adulthood, you need to learn to distinguish between something that’s more of a childhood fantasy (something that’s fun and motivating) and something that’s realistic.
When you have expectations that life is going to be a constant “high” without challenges, it sets you up for disappointment in a way that affects your happiness. When you look at all the great things that people put on social media and want those things for yourself without thinking about the idea that those people are only putting their best pictures/experiences (ignoring all the challenges they experience), you make yourself feel like you’re not where you want to be.
It is critical to remain grounded, with a balanced understanding of the ups and downs of life. That even though you may not love your job, your job is providing you with an amazing chance for a family. That even though you may not be close to some friends, you have other friends in your life that are outstanding. That even though you may not have a huge house, you were able to have a nice place to live.
There are ups and downs, certainly. But it’s important to remember that those downs aren’t because life is hard. Happiness sometimes comes through hard work, pain, and evolution of character. As long as you learn to adjust your expectations, you’ll learn to see that your life is already deserving of happiness.