Written by Brian Swope
This article was originally published on PhiladelphiaMFT.com. Be sure to check out their site for professional relationship and sex advice.
Happy New Year. We say it every year. Sometimes “happy” may be a goal – not a New Year’s resolution, but something to achieve at some point in time.
Happiness doesn’t require more money, more time, less work, etc. etc. It requires a new perspective on what you have, where you are (going) and how you got here now.
If happiness only comes from obtaining things, then we are telling ourselves there is always something more we need to be happy. That iPhone will be old in a year. That car, too. Those shoes, that game system. That dream job, your partner not nagging you, etc. etc. Vacation to be happy? By leaving behind your day-to-day? It begins to fall apart when vacation is over.
Happiness isn’t a secret to be found. It starts when you stop looking for it. A few things to consider:
1. Love yourself as you are. There may always be something about yourself you want to change, but if you can’t love yourself as you are (that which can’t really be changed), you can’t love what you can get.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others. Do and be who you are. There are about 7 billion people on this planet. Comparing yourself is an endless task with no benefits.
3. Be grateful for what you have done and for whom you care. Maybe your old car was the first one you bought for yourself. Do you feel a sense of pride in doing that? The time and energy dwelling on what you don’t have now is for later.
4. Live in the present. Let the past be the past. Learn from it. Don’t anticipate tomorrow, but do give yourself the tools to face whatever the next day may bring.
If happiness is a goal for yourself, it may already be time to forget some of those resolutions and start with what you have right now.