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Are you happy?

Our culture is absolutely obsessed with the concept of finding a happy life. Social media teaches us that every single person has the opportunity and right to be happy, and that if we feel this isn’t our life, we should abandon it in search of a newer, better one.

No other generation before us has had the resources we do at our fingertips. Technology allows us to learn, research, find friends, travel spontaneously, post for money, and more. Ironically, depression rates have also literally never been higher. Sometimes, more choices combined with the opportunity to see small windows into the lives of literally anyone who chooses to post a picture, doesn’t give us the contentment we crave.

Personally I don’t think we are meant to have “happiness” be a driving factor of our lives. What I mean by that is, happiness is an emotion, and often fleeting. That means it’s based on something temporary, and in many ways is a choice we can make or refuse on any given day.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we are meant to be miserable creatures (lol). I do understand why people ask the question “how do you stay happy?” However, I don’t think that question is really what they are trying to ask. In my mind, what they actually mean is “how do you find joy and purpose in life?” Those two qualities are much deeper and richer in meaning. 

Joy reveals a level of deep satisfaction and contentment. Just because you don’t feel happy for a period of time, doesn’t mean you don’t have joy. I think the key to finding true joy is a mixture of finding purpose in life, understanding where your worth comes from, and finding sincere pleasure in the process of learning rather than obsessing over a picture-perfect outcome.

For me, I do have to say that my personal faith plays a really big role in this. I don’t say that to preach, but simply because I would be dishonest to exclude it. I know a lot of facts about how our brains use action, motivation, mindset, etc… Even with all the knowledge I’ve learned and will continue to learn, that alone is not personally enough for me. The only thing that has ever truly fulfilled my deepest void of wanting purpose and a sense of self-worth has been my faith in Jesus. But since this blog is not a “Christian blog” and I’m not trying to force feed anyone anything who hasn’t asked to hear it – I’ll leave it at that.

If you take away anything from this blog post, I would say to ask yourself some hard questions. If you feel sad or discontent, is it truly only because of circumstances, or is it because of misplaced expectations? Or maybe because you’re so focused on what you don’t have, that it’s hard to pay attention to what you have right now, at this moment. (Also not saying you can’t be sad, clearly. Difference between feeling the feels and chronic discontentment in life, know what I’m sayin’?)

If that’s the case, maybe it’s possible to feel “happy” now by focusing on a lot smaller things to be grateful for. It truly is a mindset shift that just needs practice. Joy is not quite so simple and easy to find, but nothing deep and worth a lot comes easy. If you feel you are in this place, I suggest focusing on practicing that growth mindset I won’t shut up about. Focus on the process rather than the result. Embrace the potential over what is lacking, and move forward just one day at a time. ❤️

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