First, the quick fix: With each generation there seems to be an exponential increase in attention deficit disorder. This isn’t a, “let’s pile on millennials” comment, rather a commentary on the mirrored evolution of our collective inability to slow down. Paired with the advances in technology, distractions, and things to do, the pace and expectations for life have changed.
Further, we are living longer. We have more conveniences to help complete responsibilities and chores in less time. And we are healthier. Yet despite having more time, we act like we have less. Like we have no time to take care of ourselves and waste time on an esoteric search for happiness. Nonsense. No. Not the esoteric search for happiness, rather, the idea that we don’t have the time to do so.
Another issue with “the quick fix” is that it is fools gold. It doesn’t deliver what it promises. Perhaps temporarily but not in the long run. It requires quick fix after quick fix to pacify you. These detours and distractions take many forms, I’ll leave it to you to fill in your blanks of where they may manifest in your life.
This reminds me of the of notion of the criminal, or lazy person, and if they would put as much energy into honest work as they put into getting out of it, they’d be okay.
Second. Making actions dominant over fears an intentions. And I’ll add a third component to this one, a sense of obligation and responsibility.
Socialization is a necessary reality of any society. However, a drawback is the one size fits all conditioning for what makes a “good life”. A “successful life”. A “happy life”.
When this conditioning is at odds with what we truly want or for whatever reason do not have, it can torpedo a positive self-image, create stress, and unhappiness. I’ve counselled many clients and friends who feel trapped by their situations, when in reality they are trapped by their own fear, and the limitations they are putting on themselves. They either can’t see their options, are afraid to take them, or use their circumstance as an excuse. Unhappy marriages, jobs, and vices, do not have to last forever. Black and white thinking and inability to see options add to this dilemma.
Reasons, excuses, whatever you want to call them, if they are fueled by fear then they are an obstacle to your happiness. However, obstacles can be overcome.
Another element to consider is the idea that we can have it all. Like the increase in ADD, there has been an increase in the desire to have it all. Many of us want more, and appreciate less. This is not a recipe for happiness. There is almost an addictive mechanism to the freedom and opportunities we have. And like a drug, we build tolerance to it. We take for granted that which we have and feel the need for more.
Freedom and opportunity are obviously basic human rights that all of us should have. However, if, and when they foster an attitude of selfishness, entitlement, spoiled nature, and a lack of appreciation for what we do have, then they may needlessly sabotage happiness.
The path to happiness can be challenging to varying degrees for each individual based on too many factors for me to get into here, but if you’re not already there or if you feel like you can use a spike in happiness, that will be easier if:
- You can accept the things you can’t control.
- You can appreciate what you have.
- You augment goal oriented thinking with a focus on just making good choices and validating yourself for doing so.
- You name the fear inside of you and deal with it.
- You explore the current balance you have between choosing the practical over what is in your heart.
- You explore the current balance you have between planning for the future and living in the moment. (And if you do not understand what living in the moment means, I urge you to do so.)
- You evaluate how you are taking care of yourself, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and are open to improving.
- You read part III of this post… Coming soon! (Okay this last one isn’t as important as the rest, but humor your humble blogger! 🙂
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