The search for happiness is one of the most written about and discussed topics of our day. From this famous icon:
…to songs like, “Don’t worry, be happy,” and signing off on a voice mail message with, “Have a happy day!” With references like these everywhere, just what does it take – to be happy? For starters, I would say that you really need to be clear about what you value. You have to decide what matters to you most in this life. Once that assessment is done you can then hold that list up and ask yourself how much of your day and your life incorporates what is on that list.
Now, as I said… that’s just the start. Here’s where happiness has the opportunity to go off the rails. Pick just one of the values on your list. Let’s say for example, “being in a loving relationship” is on your list. Now ask yourself, what you require to feel like you are in a loving relationship. In other words, what are your rules for feeling that the relationship is – loving? Do you need to hear from someone five times a day, get flowers once a week, have one really romantic evening out per month, have the trash taken out without asking… allowed to go out with friends without feeling guilty? You get the idea here. We have a lot of rules and expectations that need to be met around each one of our values, in order for us to check the box. Further, if you are in a relationship – do you know what the other person’s rules are in order for them to feel happy?
Consider this – maybe your rules (what you require to have your values or needs met) are possibly unrealistic or difficult for anyone… even you, to meet. As you can see, just figuring out what matters is not enough. You have to dig deeper and get real with your rules. Maybe now is the time to re-evaluate what your rules for happiness are, and if they are serving you or actually keeping you from being happy in the first place.
Sometimes less really is more….