Why aren’t people choosing to be happy?
It is my firm belief that happiness is the natural base state of humanity. If we think about a small infant, it is perfectly happy and contented until it encounters an issue; such as being hungry or cold. Only then will the infants’ state turn from one of happiness to distress, and once the issue is dealt with, they return to being happy.
Likewise, a toddler will be perfectly happy playing with toys or drawing a picture, but this happiness can suddenly end when interrupted by another child taking their toy or wanting to share the crayons. Again, once order has been restored, the toddler will go back to being happy and content.
I don’t believe this should be any different for adults; our natural base state should be one of happiness. But unfortunately for most adults. it seems that happiness is no longer the natural base state; instead people are conditioned to adopt a negative emotion as their base state.
I have listed a top five of the key reasons that undermine peoples base state of happiness. How many of these affect you?
1 Conditioned to feel inadequate
The advertising industry was born out of making you feel inadequate. If you give some thought to any kind of advertising you encounter, it is always promoting that you need something to make you, a better you. There is never an element that promotes that you can be happy just as you are.
2 Negative people
A world full of people believing they are inadequate leads to a lot of negativity. Just think about the last ten people you held a conversation with. How many of those conversations consisted of something negative, dwelling on some aspect of their life they are unhappy with, or a person or an experience they are upset by.
3 Making comparisons
Do you have an inherent ability to underestimate your own capabilities, skills and potential, whilst at the same time overestimating the equivalent capabilities in others?
Whilst we are all connected, each of us is completely unique. To judge yourself against others will seldom be a source for finding happiness.
4 Trying to control everything
Do you attempt to control everything, including the future? Nobody can control the future and to attempt to do so will lead you on a journey of frustration, disappointment and unhappiness.
Many millions of things are happening in your world at any one time, it’s highly unlikely you could fully control even a handful of them; you have absolutely no chance of controlling them all.
It is however possible to influence the future, which can achieve through a combination of setting goals, removing duality and taking consistent action.
5 Lack of purpose
What’s the purpose of life? This is a topic of much debate. With reference to happiness, a more relevant question is what is your purpose in life? What is the thing which is driving you forward today? It is all too easy to step on the treadmill of life, and let it becomes a sequence of chores and routines.
Your purpose doesn’t need to be grandiose and it can be transitory. It just needs to be something that you have decided for yourself that you want to pursue, it should feel natural and not forced and it needs to be something that gets you out of bed with a feeling of vigour and excitement.