I have always been an emotional tampon. When friends and acquaintances have problems, they dump their problems on me and often ask my advice. Of the hundreds of times I have been asked for advice, I can count the number of times they have followed through and used that advice to solve their problems on three fingers. Of the three times someone has asked and taken my advice, three of them solved their problems and lived happily ever after.
I have always known that advice is easier to give than it is to take. The “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” cliche is more than appropriate, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that if something isn’t working, you should change it.
I have found that most people would rather do nothing than to take a chance or do something that leads them into unfamiliar territory. I suppose that my experiences have led me down a path of understanding that some other people never venture down. Fear maybe a great motivator, but it is also the most powerful roadblock to success in any situation.
The biggest excuse I hear from people when, after they refuse to take my advice, they continually fail at life is, “You just don’t understand… its different for me!” The thing is, all problems are actually less complicated than people make them out to be. They infuse situations with a varied assortment of problems that are either trivial, or at worst, imagined.
The most popular problem I hear deals with happiness… how to find it or how to get it back.
To this problem I often say, “Happiness isn’t a destination.”
That may sound cryptic I suppose, but really its simple. You choose to be unhappy, consequently you can choose to be happy. Most people over complicate their lives and the pursuit of happiness is the first thing that gets overly complicated by our own perceptions and expectations.
Want to be happy? Simplify your life and you’re more likely to be happy. It really is that simple.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you are in a dead end relationship… one that no longer brings you happiness… and you spend your days day dreaming about a life that was filled with happiness. You can complicate the situation by infusing the problem with fear of the unknown, timidity of purpose, lack of understanding, or even downright laziness. “I just don’t think i can find better…” or “I can’t just think about myself!”
The truth is, this situation has a simple solution in two parts. If you are with someone that doesn’t make you happy, part one is to leave them. Part two is discovering what makes you happy. Whatever other obstacles block your path are part of the journey on the road to happiness.
I know what you’re thinking… it isn’t that simple. But it is. You make things complicated because it allows you to DO NOTHING. Nothing in life comes without action. Few of us can say that the best things in our lives fell in our laps without any effort. Happiness is no different.
The only question someone should ask themselves when faced with the decision to remain unhappy or find happiness is, “Am I worth it?”
Once you can answer that question with a yes, the decisions become easier.