What makes one person happy is not necessarily going to be the same as what makes another person happy, but while their requirements may be different, they both have the need to be happy. This is something that most people on the planet want to experience; with their being many ways in which one can experience happiness.
However, even though this is what people want, it doesn’t mean they are able to fulfil this need. There are going to be some people who are generally able to fulfil this need, and then there are going to be others who are unable to do so.
One reason for this could come down to the fact that they are doing the wrong things. In their mind, happiness may be something that occurs when they have everything they want.
It might be possible for them to attain certain things, but there are likely to be things that are going to remain out of their reach. When this happens, one could blame the external world and end up feeling like a victim.
If they were to talk to someone else about what has been taking place in their life, they might end up being supported. The other person could say that only some people can have what they want and that life is not fair.
Yet, one could also meet someone who says that it’s not possible for one to always have what they want. They might say that one should feel happy with what they have and not expect so much.
Once they stop focusing on what they don’t have and start to appreciate what they do have, their life will being to change. In this case, one is being encouraged to let go of their desire to have everything and to come to a place of acceptance.
Through being grateful for what they have as opposed to being frustrated with what they don’t have, one will be able to experience contentment. One may get the impression that this means they should no longer want anything.
A Bit of Both
The other person may say that it is not that one should no longer want things, but that they should appreciate what they have whilst having the need to have more. Through having this outlook, one is not going to be as attached as they were and they are not going to lose the ability to be happy in the present moment.
If they don’t talk about how one can’t have everything they want and that they need to be grateful for what they have, it could be due to another outlook. Here, one may say it’s not so much about attain things as it is about living a life of purpose.
This doesn’t mean that one will renounce their desires; what it means is that they will experience happiness through the kind of life they live. Through this, one is going to feel connected to what matters and this is going to allow them to experience happiness.
There are going to be times when they are happy and there will be times when they are not, but this is going to be a lot easier for them to handle. They are doing what they need to be doing and as they are on track, their need to happy all the time is likely to subside.
When one experiences happiness through living a life of purpose, it is clear that they are not going to be happy all the time. This may cause one to believe that this is not the option to take if they want to be happy all the time.
Yet, if one believes that getting everything they want will lead to happiness, they are not going to end up in a better position. Ultimately, one is chasing an illusion and even if they do feel happy in the beginning, it will soon wear off.
One only needs to think about something they wanted in the past, and how once they received what they wanted, it didn’t take long for them to want something else. The level of happiness that they experienced in the beginning may have gradually declined or it may have disappeared more or less straight away.
It is through having the ability to feel unhappy, that one is able to appreciate being happy. Therefore, each aspect plays an important role in one being able to live a life that is not only fulfilling, but a life where they are able to grow.
However, just because someone wants to be happy, it doesn’t mean that they believe they deserve to be. This could be something one is aware or it could be something they are unaware of.
Either way, it is going to make it hard for one to be happy and even if they are, it might not be possible for them to embrace how they feel. In this case, it is not going to be other people who are stopping them from being happy, this is going to be something they are doing themselves.
One is then in a position where they have earned the right to be happy or they might not even allow themselves to get this far. This could mean that one not only puts their happiness on hold, they also put their life on hold.
Not only is this going to affect one’s ability to enjoy what they have worked so hard for, it could also make it hard for them to enjoy everyday moments with friends and family, among other things. Part of them has the need to be happy and another part of them feels uncomfortable with this need.
This is not just going to be seen as something one believes about themselves, it will be seen as something much deeper. They may feel as though they are worthless and that they don’t deserve to experience good things in life.
While one may have this outlook because of what has happened during their adulthood, it could also the result of what during their childhood. What happened during these early years may have set them up carry toxic shame.
During these years, one may have been physically, emotionally, verbally and/or sexually abused. How they were treated would have been taken as a sign of their worth and it wouldn’t have been possible for them to question what was taking place.
This means that one doesn’t feel shame from time to time, they are stuck in shame. It has gone from being a feeling that they experience, to something that defines them - it is who they are.
One is then going to be cut off from their inherent worth, and the only thing they will be aware of is a sense of being flawed. They are then less-than human and don’t deserve to exist, let alone be happy.
In order for one to let go of the toxic shame within them, it will be important for them to face how they feel and to process their emotions. Through tolerating how they feel and allowing the change to discharge, one will gradually be able to let go.
This may also involve grieving unmet childhood needs. The assistance of a therapist and/or a support group may be needed here. Through the support of others, one will gradually be able to realise that there is nothing wrong them.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.