Happiness Roadblocks

The following video has some of the text below plus some of my blithering. :)

I read a great article from Stephanie Jacob who gave some thoughts on ‘Happiness Roadblocks’. She said;
The first step is to know what may be standing in your way and then learn how to reroute yourself. Here, some of the most common roadblocks to happiness and a guide for getting around them according to author MJ Ryan;

1. Expecting the worst all the time;

Does the phrase "if I expect the worst, then I won't be let down" cross your mind on a regular basis? All you're doing by worrying or anticipating something that isn't happening (and may never happen) "is keeping the stress response turned on way high and not enjoying whatever you could enjoy in that moment," says Ryan.

2. Passing the buck

If you feel you deserve to be happy and your [insert kid, parent, spouse, job, car or new pair of shoes here] is supposed to make you happy, keep reading. "There's absolutely positive proof that that's just not true," says Ryan. "For a moment something else can actually boost us up, but it's only a matter of time before we're looking for the next thing." It's an insatiable cycle that won't result in long-term happiness.
Rather, your happiness is your own responsibility. Try turning your focus within: What are the gifts that I have, who am I and what do I have uniquely to offer, and when I go and offer that, I feel better and happier. "That's essentially what Aristotle meant by fulfillment," says Ryan. "It has nothing to do with anyone else or anything."

3. Thinking life should be perfect and yours isn’t

For starters, the world isn't perfect. So you're fighting a losing battle if you think yours can be. "Ask yourself three questions at the end of the day," says Ryan. "What am I thankful for today? What did I enjoy today? And what am I satisfied about today? And you can't say 'nothing.' You have to come up with something."

4. Not thinking of others. Ever.

It turns out being generous can make you happier. You don't have to have a million dollars to donate to the charity of your choice to reap the benefits, either. People who simply do five small random acts of kindness -- putting a quarter in someone else's parking meter or opening the door for someone -- have been found to be happier than those who don't, says Ryan. "In doing these things, we activate the part of our brains that give us a little endorphin boost so we feel better."

5. Expecting life to be fair

Life isn't fair. And fretting about the lack of fairness that exists essentially leads to comparing yourself, your life or your situation to someone else's and then feeling worse about yourself, your life or your situation. The trick isn't to stop comparing.
The bottom line.

The trick with all of these is to catch yourself on the negative-thinking road and make a choice to think about it differently instead. "You want to build the positive habits like a road that exists alongside the negative ones," Ryan says. "It's there -- your stress, worry, anger -- whatever it is, but you're building another way of looking at life, approaching life, dealing with people. It's substituting those thoughts for more wholesome thoughts."
While I agree with most of it, I still go back to my same thought process which is ‘Am I purpose-driven or am I goal-oriented?’ For me personally, since I have come to a greater understanding of my existence, I am way happier. When I am chasing gigantic goals, I don’t find happiness. This happens to very rich people who don’t know what else to chase and then they aren’t happy. But when I pay attention to where I am needed on a daily basis in the bigger picture and worry less about myself, I am way happier. I feel more like a warrior or soldier who has a job to do. I don’t question why the universe has me on this particular continent, on this soil, with these people…I am constantly looking at what is in front of me and how I can make that situation better.

Understanding that there is work to be done keeps me fulfilled. Keeping my eyes on where I am needed keeps me content. Whenever I become selfish about my needs, I become less happy.

I also find being part of a community where we all move in a wave makes me way happier than when I was the lone soldier. If you are part of a team and you are injured, your team still has a hope of doing well. But if you head to the Olympics and break an ankle at the airport, you are out of the game completely. We are better as a part of a bigger plan than alone.

Are you able to ask for help? Do you feel safe reaching out to others? Do you know where and how to slot yourself into a bigger picture or are you still trying to do things your way?

If your answer to “Are you Happy?” is yes, I guess you are doing everything right. But if you feel like you are fighting the brick wall with little or no results, I hope you will take comfort knowing you aren’t alone and you can be part of a team who will embrace you and love you.

Yes happiness does come from inside. It is our mindset that matters. But it’s a big, heavily populated world with lots of like-minded spirits and there are so many of us who feel your pain.

In pursuit of the ultimate chocolate ice cream,
Karen :)

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~ Mohandas Gandhi

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