Let’s face it, life is constantly going to throw a bunch of unexpected challenges and situations our way no matter how well we plan or think we have things under control. One of the most common reasons we experience decreases in happiness and increases in anxiety is the illusion of control. We mistakenly conclude that if we are able to control outcomes we will experience greater levels of certainty, success and ultimately happiness. The problem is that this line of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth.
Now before you gather up your pitch forks, lanterns and cry blasphemy consider this. If the ability to control every outcome was even possible, how long would it take to become discouraged due to the monotonous predictability of life? Not only that, but how would we learn new skills, how would we personally grow and how would we ever create or innovate? The truth is that the most colorful and lively aspects of life are found in embracing the unknown. But how does the average person transition from a need for certainty to embracing uncertainty? Well it all starts with mindset.
Interestingly the more we surround ourselves with people who are travelling the path towards greatness the clearer this distinction becomes. We are creators of our own reality as a result of the rituals and habits we keep. And whilst there’s a fascination with a magic pill/quick fix/microwave outlook, the consistent application of small seemingly trivial practices have an enormous compounding effect on our overall outcomes.
So before you go and spend a bunch of time/effort/money on some widget that promises to solve your problems, begin with training your perspective, so that it can support the increase of happiness within your life.
Are you constantly chasing happiness? A lot of us see happiness as a destination, but I don’t think this is the right way to look at it. In my opinion happiness is a by-product of engaging in meaningful and fulfilling projects and activities. The primary focus shouldn’t be to find or pursue happiness.