I felt unhappy most of my teen years and if you know my story, you also know the “whys” behind my unhappiness. But there is one thing you don’t know and that is how and why my entire self-development journey started.
It started precisely because of that forever lasting feeling of unhappiness and emptiness that I was experiencing for several years.
What once began as a hunt for answers to finding happiness evolved into a life-long journey of self-development and enabled me to create the SELF DEVELOPMENT SPACE years later.
In the beginnings when I was searching for how to find happiness and feel complete, I came across many guides, advice, and ideas on websites and in scientific articles or books. And I tried every suggested step I laid my eyes on desperately waiting for that “one thing” to suddenly make me feeel happy and fulfilled.
What have I tried?
I exercised regularly, adjusted my sleeping cycle, forced myself to hang out more often, learned meditation, created a routine for life and I even escaped to the other part of the world in hopes that maybe I will find happiness by completely changing my life surroundings, environment and society I lived in.
I tried a lot, and nothing worked for me.
So how did I find happiness after all?
I realized I am finally on the right path the moment I fully accepted the fact that there is no quick fix to unhappiness.
Yes, all the things I tried have made me “happier” or even happy but only for a short amount of time. The emptiness hovered over my head shortly after I was done with any of the activities suggested by the sources mentioned above.
Once I became aware of the fact that achieving long-lasting inner happiness is a journey, I could start building mine.
It took me years to get where I am in life now, and I hope that sharing with you the exact three steps I took to get there, will help you build your happiness much faster. Here they are.
1. step – PRESENT MOMENT
It might be annoying to hear: “be present” or “live in this moment” from every corner lately, I get it, but let me explain why is it essential for happiness.
At the beginning of my journey, I was always focusing on finding the happiness, on the future, on the moment when I will finally feel happy. The problem was my fixation on everything else, but the present moment.
I forgot to live here and now and wasted years of my life on thoughts about the past and on imaginations about the future.
Accepting that past is gone, and future hasn’t happened yet has been tough.
I always thought that past, present and future are somehow connected – now I don’t allow them to be.
The present moment has the power to twist the past and change the future. It gives you the power of decision.
Only here and now you can decide what to do, who to be, what to say and how to feel – happy, or unhappy.
The funny thing is that being present is an ability that we are born with. We already knew how to be present, and actually, we didn’t even know how to be anything else back then.
Eventually, by growing up in modern society and learning about the past and future, most of us have lost this ability altogether.
It’s not too late.
We have a saying in my country: “what you learn as a kid, when old as if you just found it.”
In this case it means that since we knew how to be present when we were kids, it must be there in us somewhere. We just have to find our way back.
Then slowly but surely, and with some practice, being present will become natural to us again.
There are many ways how to achieve being present, and I will share with you the steps I took myself.
You can read those 3-steps as usual in the HOW TO Be Present guide.
2. step – PURPOSE
Once you are in the present moment, you can focus on the “now” and analyze it.
What is the reason behind your unhappiness? Does it have anything to do with the past? Perhaps with the future? If so, it does not exist at this point, and the only thing you can influence in your life is the present moment.
You might ask if having a purpose in life is a must? The truth is, it isn’t. But if you want your life to be meaningful, I believe it is a must-have.
A purpose is an engine behind our behavior. It is the “action” behind our “reaction” to the world. It is the invisible yet the most powerful asset we can possess.
A purpose is what makes people extraordinary, successful and fulfilled and living for that purpose on a daily basis and acting accordingly in every situation life puts in front of them is what makes them the happiest people you will find.
I believe everyone has a purpose in life, but very often they don’t consciously realize it yet or worse, the purpose was chosen for them by someone else.
You are living and doing things every day – there must be a reason behind it, something drives you every day to do those things. Ask yourself, what is your engine? It might not be visible in the beginning, but it is there. Trust me.
To help you find or discover your true authentic purpose you can read the HOW TO Find Purpose guide later.
3. step – CHOICE
Happiness is a choice.
Why is this sentence not taught at school? Or even better, sang instead of the national anthem every morning?
Happiness is a choice.
The choice to decide for happiness over unhappiness and our decisions are the ultimate power over our life.
It’s a decision to be grateful for what we have, for our life, the decision to live every second and not waste our time on this planet.
To make the decision to be happy is a tough task and no one can do it for you.
Happiness has to come from within.
Something or someone can’t “make” you happy.
So many people think that this, or that will make them happy. And it works, but never for a long run.
The new car, bag, destination or a boyfriend can make you happy for a short amount of time – just like a drug and then the feeling vanishes. It’s gone and only buying more or doing more of whatever gave you that “rush” happy feeling can make it come back – again, very similar to the drug usage.
Right now, if you don’t know how to be present yet, you can be pissed about it and frustrated and sad. But that is only your decision.
You are free to decide to be happy about it because to learn how to be present is a journey and every journey is exciting and makes you grow, and that’s positive. It’s only up to you what emotions and approach you choose in every moment of your life. And choosing happiness is always the right choice.
If you will live in the present, dedicate your life to a purpose and make the right decision I guarantee you, you will be happy.
- The Happiness Challenge – are you ready to be happy? Take up this unique challenge that includes the scientifically proven way of making people instantly happy and lift them from feeling down every single time.
How to Be Happy – Tara Parker-Pope is sharing more great tips on becoming happy and one of them is writing, and rewriting your story. Tara explains how using expressive writing can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness. Check out the details in her article.
How To Be Happy (Nearly) All The Time – one of my favorite guides on happiness published lately in Forbes by Jodie Cook. Jodie is sharing 6 tips on perspective and approach to life that you can apply immediately.
How to Be Happier in 2018 – yes, it is 2019 already, but Matthew Trinetti’s 11 reflections for living a happier and healthier life are timeless and will have the same effect on your life this year as well as any other following.
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