Holding on to certain happiness myths could actually be what makes you unhappy. I've heard most of these myths before from well meaning individuals, but couldn't figure out how they would make me happy. Some people try desperately to cling to these happiness myths. Turns out, they're just holding themselves back from the joy of being genuinely happy.
1. Money Makes Everything Better
Don't get me wrong, having a fat bank account may just put a smile on your face, but money isn't everything. One of the biggest happiness myths is you must be rich to be truly happy. What people don't realize is rich isn't just about money. It's about friends, family, hobbies and a job you enjoy. You could make six figures a year and be miserable while the person making minimum wage always has a smile on their face. It's not about money, it's about doing what makes you happy.
2. Never Compromise
I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say compromise is a bad thing. If you never compromise on anything, odds are you get left behind. Some people believe compromise means you're settling for something that doesn't make you happy. Small compromises mean you're open to new experiences which could very well be exactly what you need to find true happiness in life.
3. Don't Be Too Happy
This one blows my mind. Apparently, if you're too happy, you're not happy at all. While most of us aren't going to burst out into song and dance through the streets to express our joy, it's perfectly okay to smile often, have a positive attitude and act happy. There isn't such a thing as too happy. If you feel it, let it show. The people who truly care about you won't mind at all.
4. It's All in Your Head
Did you know that happiness doesn't really exist? Believe it or not, some people don't believe happiness really exists. Instead, they see it as a simple emotion and nothing more. Happiness is more than an emotion; it's a state of being. It can be just as powerful and consuming as depression. Yes, happiness is in your head and in the way you act, feel and go about your day.
5. Happiness Isn't for Everyone
After a particularly bad day, an ex-friend consoled me by telling me that happiness wasn't for everyone and maybe I wasn't meant to be happy. I was so taken back that I actually forgot about my problems and started focusing on that. It's actually a common misconception. If bad things happen, then you're not destined for happiness. I say those people have no clue what they're talking about. Happiness is for everyone.
6. Based on a Goal
I see this myth in action more than I care to admit. I'm guilty of it and many of you likely are too. How many times have you told yourself that you'll be happy when you reach a certain goal? Why should you be miserable in the process? Wouldn't reaching the goal be easier if you were happier? Basing your happiness on a future goal is a quick way to make you feel worse and possibly even set yourself up for failure.
7. Kindness is the Key
Volunteering and doing nice things for people can definitely brighten your day. However, some people devote every waking minute to caring for others in their search for happiness that they forget about themselves. Remember to work on your hobbies and spend time with those you love. Ignoring yourself to volunteer 24/7 will simply run you down and even make you resent doing random acts of kindness.
8. Must Be Perfect
I don't succeed at everything I try. I'm not perfect and I accept that. At least, now I do. I used to believe only perfect people were happy. Making mistakes or failing at my goals meant I didn't deserve to be happy. I couldn't have been more wrong. You don't have to be perfect to be happy. You just have to be yourself.
I know many people believe in the power of the stars and live by their horoscopes. These don't define you nor do they determine whether you have the right to be happy. I actually watched one friend dissolve into tears because of her horoscope. She was happy moments before. Nothing came of the rather morbid message, but she believed in it and it ruined a great day. Base your happiness on you, not on horoscopes or anything else.
I honestly believe we all have the right to be happy. If you currently base your happiness on any of these myths, you could be holding yourself back from feeling amazing. Just let go of the misconceptions and let happiness find you. Which of these myths have you had to work through in your life?