Shh.. don’t’ tell anyone but I am going to give you the secret to happiness!
Here it is. To be forever happy all you have to do is eliminate all insecurity, all fears of failure, all negative thinking, uncertainty and sadness from your life. In short, to arrive at a place of constant happiness all you have to do is learn to live a completely inhuman life.
A casual stroll through your local bookstore says it all. Don’t worry, be happy… this is the thing so many strive for, yet, hopelessly never achieve. Despite major advances in technology, our collective mood seems desperately paralyzed in a place of solemness. Even higher education and an increased choice of consumer products seem to do very little to propel us towards happiness. Yet, the pursuit of happiness is a billion dollar industry.
Motivational speakers abound in our country, packing auditoriums with the “good news.” All you need to do is learn how to replace negativity with positivity and you are well on your way to happiness. Tape a few affirmations to your bathroom mirror and your day is bound to go smooth as silk. Have you ever tried this? I have, and guess what? It didn’t work. In fact, in all my efforts to banish negativity from my life and fill my thoughts with all things positive, I have become exhausted and frustrated… generally more unhappy than I was when I began the pursuit of happiness.
Forced positivity is a train wreck waiting to happen
So, why does positive thinking not work? The simple answer it is that life throws us all kind of curves, some are joyful and some are hard, very hard. If we don’t ever learn how to navigate the rough waters of life, learn how to enjoy insecurity, embrace uncertainty and become familiar with failure… we will never be happy. Fake or forced positivity is nothing short of a train wreck.
If we don’t learn how to be content, dare I say, even “happy,” in all things, we go through life unprepared for what will undoubtedly come before us at some point or another. Happiness must be an undercurrent, a constant, a no matter what.
Learn from troubles
We all go through difficult patches in life, this is to be expected. The key to staying happy in all things is to remember that there is something to be learned from every mountain we must climb or ditch we find ourselves in. Sometimes we learn something about ourselves and sometimes we learn something about other people. No matter what, treating each wave as an opportunity to grow, and an opportunity to become a better person.
Don’t pretend that everything is ok
Remember that having an open and accepting attitude towards a challenge is what will keep you grounded no matter what storm enters your life. Meet the negativity in your life head on with an open mind and seek the tools you need to get through the difficulty. Just applying a positive thinking band-aid will not allow you to really work through the issues to find a solid solution, it will merely hold the bad feelings at bay for a short stint of time.
Live a healthy life
Living a healthy, well-rounded life is far more important than mastering the so-called art of positive thinking. Eat a diet that is rich in whole foods, eliminate refined and fast food, get plenty of rest and exercise daily. Adopting a healthy lifestyle will prepare your mind and your body to work through stress and challenging situations.
Yes, being an optimist is a good thing but don’t let positive thinking be your excuse to not deal with the difficult things in your life! Choose happiness in all things.