I think it's fair to say that most people want to be happy. Waking up in the mornings with a smile on your face and going to sleep feeling content is priceless. It's a feeling that some people never achieve. Unfortunately, there are misconceptions regarding what it takes to be happy. Some people seek happiness in the wrong places with little success. I might not know everyone's secret to happiness, but here are seven things you don't need to be happy.
1. The Perfect Circumstances
Some people think they'll be happy if this, that, and the other happens. But nobody has perfect or ideal circumstances. Life always throws a curveball. Just when you think you have things figured out, something happens to throw you off course. If you allow every mishap or unexpected event to steal your happiness, you're going to spend most of your days sad and discouraged.
2. Approval from Others
You can't control how others feel about you. So your happiness shouldn't depend on the approval of others. Understandably, some people suffer from anxiety problems or depression which makes it difficult for them to be happy. But if you don't have any of these issues, you can choose to be happy or be sad. Don't give people control over your happy state.
3. Acquiring a Lot of Money
Money isn't going to make you happy. Even if you get a windfall and you're able to take a trip and pay your bills, this is only temporary happiness. Money can alleviate financial worries, but it doesn't solve every problem. For example, it might get you better healthcare, but it doesn't guarantee you won't get sick from a terminal illness. It might pay for a nice, fabulous wedding, but it doesn't guarantee you won't get a divorce.
4. Getting Material Possessions
The same way money doesn't bring happiness, neither does material possessions. Many people use retail therapy as a way to lift their spirits after a bad day or dig themselves out of depression. It can work, but this euphoric feeling only lasts a short time. Some people find themselves in a cycle of constantly spending to feel better, which can result in a lot of debt and financial troubles.
5. Thinking You Need Complete Control over Your Life
Some people are only happy when they feel in control of their life. But the truth is, we're never in complete control. We might make responsible decisions, but the actions of others can complicate our life. Your boss might lay you off, your landlord can decide not to renew your lease, etc. Take each problem one day at a time, and if you feel your life is spiraling out of control, be grateful for what you have and focus less on the bad.
6. Thinking You Need a Romantic Relationship
If you're depressed as a single person, chances are you'll be depressed as a married person or someone in a relationship. This goes back to not relying on another person for happiness. You might feel complete in a relationship, but you need to learn how to be happy with just yourself.
7. Being Happy 24/7
Nobody is happy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We all deal with stress, anxiety, anger and sadness. We're not robots, and these emotions are a normal part of life. So don't think you have to be happy every single hour of the day to be a happy person.
Many people chase happiness, but never find it. Happiness is possible. However, you need to change your mindset and learn how to make the best of your situations.
What do you think contributes to happiness?