Everything we do in life is ultimately in the pursuit of happiness. It’s a common goal we all share regardless of our age, sex, culture or background. But there is a common misconception about how to get there.
Many of us have a vision of how different we’d like our life to be and some of us even set goals to work toward it. We may also have a vision of how we’d like our perfect relationship to be and even choose a partner based on the potential we see in them, hoping one day they will live up to that potential and give us that ‘perfect relationship’.
We tell ourselves that once we make that change or achieve that goal, it is then that we will be happy.
As a former life coach and now today working more specifically as a healer, it is interesting to hear people’s perceptions around how my life ‘should’ be versus how it really is.
My life must be perfect right? I must have it all down pat?
I apologise in advance but I’m about to burst that bubble.
Do I ever argue with my partner? Sure I do. Do I ever feel anxious or stressed? Absolutely! Hell, I even skip a gym session to binge on chocolate here and there.
Is my life perfect? Hell no! But I am happy and I do love it!
So I guess what I’m trying to say here is, the misconception is that happiness comes from making changes on the outside when it’s actually about making changes on the inside.
Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are. It solely relies on what you think - Buddha
So here are 4 of my top tips on how to live a happier life:
1. Avoid trying to create a perfect life and having control over every aspect of it
Rather than trying to control influences and situations outside of yourself, focus on controlling the way you respond to those situations.
For example. You can’t control if your friend is running late for your dinner date, however you can choose to respond vs react by trying to understand why they are running late. The more you understand someone else’s actions, the more you can accept it avoiding either an argument or you bottling up negative emotions that won’t serve you.
2. Learn to be grateful for what you already have
Where focus goes, energy flows so rather than focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do! Making a conscious effort to have an attitude of gratitude will help you to appreciate and love your life just the way it is.
Take the time, even if it’s just once a week, to write down 3 things you’re grateful for about that week focusing on - career, personal, relationships and whatever resonates for you.
3. Begin to see challenges as blessings
Even though it may be hard to see at times, every challenge we face allows us to learn and evolve so that we can continue to expand in becoming the best version of ourselves.
Remember a few moments ago when I mentioned I have arguments with my partner? I wouldn’t change that for the world because that is where a space is created to learn and understand each other and ourselves on a deeper level (again this is where the respond vs react rule comes in as effective communication doesn’t come from yelling and screaming, trust me been there and learnt from that)
4. Stop comparing yourself to others
One of your friends may have what you perceive as the ‘perfect job’ and another may have the confidence you wish you had but let me tell you, even their life is NOT perfect and I have no doubt they admire you in a different way. We naturally tend to focus so much on what other people are achieving that we overlook what makes us amazing! Make a conscious effort to focus on your own unique strengths because you are going to achieve a lot more doing just that. Celebrate yourself!
So there you have it, my 4 top tips to have a perfectly imperfect life that you will love!
Chanel De King, Therapist at The Melbourne Centre of Healing
Specialists in Addiction Recovery (including Ice Addiction) and Mental Health at our Addiction Rehab Centre in Melbourne, Australia.