Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

Does Your Definition Of Happy Make You Unhappy?

Love, Self

While looking for what we think is going to make us happy we miss out on what happiness really is.

We all have our own definition of happy. Have you ever considered that yours is making you unhappy?

When we picture certain events happening in our lives before we can be happy (promotion, marriage, new home), we look for those specific situations and set ourselves up to miss out on many experiences that may have lead us to happiness in a different way.

  1. What if that thing that transforms our life for the better takes on a different appearance than we're looking for?
  2. What if we are supposed to experience something other than what we have our heart set on?
  3. What if we are missing the whole point of this life along with fabulous journeys we can't even imagine because we are so set in our vision and definition of happy that we have become blind?
  4. What if happy is something we become instead of something we find?

How Can Some People Be Destitute And Happy?

Some people are what we would consider destitute, poor and sick and still seem happy. It may be all they know. They are not waiting for something or someone to make them happy. Happiness is already inside them. They are grateful to be here and live each day.

No matter what their situation seems to us, they are likely happier than we are because happiness comes from within instead of from other people and situations. They are without things we think are necessities but are happy inside.

  1. Are these people ignorant to what life has to offer and uneducated? Maybe, in our not-so-humble opinion.
  2. Have they never imagined what it would be like to have a house and car and plenty of food on the table each night? Maybe.
  3. Are they still happier than many of us are because they don't live in a rat race and worry about what others think of them constantly? Probably.
  4. Do they have a spiritual center that keeps them strong and balanced no matter what the hardship? I believe they do.

Whether they know it or not and whether we acknowledge it or stay stuck in our pride, some people we think should be unhappy, based on our definition of happy, may have cornered the market on happy.

We may see them as unfortunate but are we the unfortunate ones? Are the people who can be happy no matter what they do or don't have the fortunate ones? Are the people who hold so tight to their definition of happy that they are miserable their entire lives possibly the unfortunate ones? Is this a bit of a perspective shift?

Happy is something we are not something we find. Happy is a decision, not a destination.

How Can Some People Be Financially Wealthy And Miserable?

Some people are so poor the only thing they have is money. They are missing quality relationships, love, sincere friendships, good health and spiritual connection and although they have what so many seek in order to be happy (money), these people are miserable. Many destroy their health in their quest for money and then spend all of their money in an attempt to regain their health, which is never truly successful. Keep Reading...

Jumping into the rat race may seem like the way to earn your happiness but it's killing people daily. Stress is one of the leading causes of failing health, unsuccessful relationships and crime.

What if we all had good health, successful relationships and an absence of crime?

Would that make us happy? Possibly, but happiness is an inside job. It takes introspection and focus on who you truly are without concern for what others think and say about you.

We are great at blaming our unhappiness on someone or something else.

What if we simply adjust our definition of happy and take responsibility for finding it inside of us?

What if we allow ourselves to be happy even before we get the right promotion or man or make the right amount of money or buy the right vehicle or home?

What if we make a decision each day that our definition of happy is being able to list five things we are grateful for?

  1.     People who care about us (they don't have to be our perfect mate)
  2.     A beautiful sunset (we can enjoy it all by ourselves)
  3.     The opportunity to improve our physical health (we don't have to be our ideal weight)
  4.     Peace of mind in knowing we did our best at work and our intentions were positive (it doesn't have to be our ideal job or the best we've ever done)
  5.     The ability to pay for our life (even if there isn't much left over to play with)

Gratitude diminishes fear, expands our heart and destroys arrogance, which is born of low self esteem and keeps us stuck in a happiness-seeking rut, overlooking where it actually resides - inside.

Take a good look at what you think you need to obtain before you experience ongoing happiness. Is your definition of happiness making you unhappy?

Kelly Rudolph is a Certified Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Founder of www.PositiveWomenRock.com. Are you tired of stress, lack of confidence and fear about your future? Kelly can help. Begin getting her free Life Strategies now.

Explore YourTango