What It Really Means To Be Happy

(Sarah May Bates)

We often measure the success of our lives by whether or not we’re happy enough, taking the slightest lull in our mood as a sign that something is wrong. However, those long stretches of “middle” are often where we are processing who we are: making decisions about how we feel about our current life and deciding where we want to go moving forward. If you’re feeling just okay about your life, or maybe you’re frustrated you haven’t reached the stage you want to be, consider the idea that you’re exactly where you should be right now.  This is just a part of your road to get there. Think of it as a rare middle in life: nothing is wrong or too late or less-than.  No “should” applies, because this is your life and no one else’s, and it’s all just part of living.  Your next stage simply hasn’t arrived on the horizon yet. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, focus on listening to where you want to go.  Expand yourself as often as possible and traverse this time with open ears and open eyes.  Stay on course and don’t give in to the vortex of negative energy. Your life can be much better than you see it is.

Happiness is a decision you make about how you will approach your life, and because it is a mindset, it can be constant– even when your life in literal terms is not what you would deem as ideal for one reason or another.  Because like a color scale, happiness comes in a variety of shades to match the array of emotional experiences you have throughout life. Some are just brighter than others, or more popular because they come with a chemical thrill. The richness of your life only comes from the palette in its entirety – from the dark to middle to light. Life shouldn’t be a constant gush of euphoria, for that would get boring, and it’d mean you’d lose complete perspective on the true weight and value of your experiences.

As silly as it may sound, to be able to function as a responsible, reliable person who doesn’t give in to impulses, represents a great amount of inner strength and maturity. You are a successful individual with a strong foundation, and you should be proud of this ability – as it’s something built through discipline and honest effort. Know that you will reap the rewards of the stability you foster and as you progress through life it will promote your happiness in ways you cannot imagine. And as you continue to grow, you will grow at faster and faster speeds. Almost like a cartoon snowball barreling down a mountain: the longer you try your best the more momentum you build, and the easier it gets.

Sometimes when we don’t feel enough is happening in our lives, we get anxiety, and that can lead to giving in to impulses and destructive behaviors, which only move us backwards on our path. To maintain a state of inner calm, accept the up’s and down’s, the middle’s, and just be – that is what builds a Launchpad of a foundation.  That stability is what gives you the footing you need to grow into your “best” self. If you feel stuck and you’re getting an itch to do something destructive, replace that instinct with a positive action that broadens your horizon in any direction.  Start taking a new class, try a new kind of exercise, read a self-bettering book you wouldn’t normally think to try, and don’t let yourself be lazy about it. Know that any feelings of anxiety will pass.  Just try to use your smartest thinking and move toward the general direction of your greater goals in life.  When the perfect change is ready to happen, it will happen.  You will see it clearly, it will feel right and easy, and then you’ll just do.

When you make a decision to be positive and act as your best self, what happens is you stop hiding from your true abilities. From the outside in, you rise to the occasion. When you encounter challenges, you conquer them and experience dramatic growth.  When others are petty, you rise above it.  When you could do the minimum, you go for what you know you’re capable of: which is excellent.  It all starts with a decision about yourself. And that decision becomes your reality.  You unlock secret powers inside yourself that catapult you toward the life you really want.

A happy life is a decision you get to make. You can decide to live as your best self. To grow above. To be kind and forgiving. To eat healthier at lunch. To stop wasting energy on what’s negative, and instead look for solutions in your power to change.  You get to decide all of those things everyday.  And once you commit to that decision, the rest is easy. When you stumble, you simply remind yourself of who you are.  And you try harder. And then life falls into place. Just because today isn’t adorned with all the bells and whistles of a cheering crowd and a golden statue with your name on it, doesn’t mean it’s not great.  And it doesn’t mean you’re not a success. Smile and know that you are on the right path, even if you didn’t recognize it at first. Just focus on where you’re headed. Because things move quickly when you aspire to be your best.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top