It’s all wrong.
You’ve been hunting happiness for years, but have only captured it for moments.
You started out believing it would be wonderful, incredible, magical, but ended up finding it slippery, fleeting and ethereal.
And now you’re wondering if happiness itself is the biggest myth of all.
The truth is happiness isn’t a myth, but there are a number of entrenched myths surrounding it.
And they’ve sent you on a fruitless quest for a needle of happiness in a haystack of misinformation.
Myth 1: Achieving your goals equals happiness
You are told that daily striving for your goals and dreams is all well and fine, but true happiness lies in the moment of achievement – the medal, the applause, the glory.
Sure, achieving your goals can give your happiness a temporary spike. But post-achievement blues are very common.
Not surprising really, you have given it your every waking thought and ounce of mettle and suddenly, after a brief celebratory euphoria . . . a void and a strange feeling that daily life goes on.
Enjoying the ride, that’s where happiness is really at, the day to day doing. After all, that’s where you spend 99% of your life.
Myth 2: Money will buy you happiness
Apparently, you’ll be happy when you’re rich. Money will purportedly magically soothe all your ills.
Do you really think money will give you the power to suddenly lose the ability to worry, stress and over-think?
Money is just a concept, a means of exchange. It isn’t a cure-all. It brings its own problems, its own demands.
Happiness is a feeling, a state of mind. It isn’t embodied in gold coins or excessive bank balances.
See money for what it is – a useful addition in life. See happiness for what it is – a priceless commodity you cannot live without.
Myth 3: Some people are just born happy
You’ve been told that happiness is genetic, it’s innate.
Sure, others have had stronger role models in seeing the positives in situations or more experience in finding what lifts them up.
But these are learned skills and acquired knowledge, not the magical effects of molecular, happiness DNA.
You can master your own happiness; it’s simply a case of learning how. Research shows that happiness is at most 33% inherited.
The rest is up to you.
Myth 4: It’s natural to be negative
Negative emotions feel stronger and more prevalent because they’re generally unpleasant and the human brain is hardwired to notice and avoid pain.
However, positive, happy emotions can become the larger part of what you feel if you simply call upon them more often. By consciously surrounding yourself with only happy, upbeat people, reading and viewing positive material and indulging in only joyous activities, you can create your own, positive emotional balance.
Myth 5: Happiness is all about what you have
What you own is key to who you are and to your happiness – at least that’s the line those who would grow rich on your spending feed you.
In reality, an insatiable consumer appetite signifies that your diet is sadly lacking in happiness. The need to possess often masks a hole in another area of life, one that is harder to fill than whipping out a wallet.
Basic human needs aren’t satisfied by items with price tags – love, self-esteem and belonging aren’t one click away.
Find genuine happiness in people-centric living.
Myth 6: Happiness is the same for everyone
There’s an ideal touted as being the one to guarantee you’ll be happy, as if happiness could be laser copied. A ‘one size fits all’ model.
Your individual happiness drivers will bring you joy and contentment, not some cookie-cutter ideal.
Question every happiness model you’re shown. The right home, car, career, family, bank balance? These may not even feature in your personal house of happiness.
Happiness and peace of mind may be dependent in your world on factors far removed from those society places so much store by.
Find a version of happiness that suits you, not one that suits everyone but you.
Myth 7: Happiness is a destination
It’s a wonderful image that’s painted, that point of nirvana, where happiness supposedly awaits.
Shame it doesn’t exist.
Realize happiness is a state of mind. It’s a positive attitude that can be cultivated by finding joy in the present, by seeing what’s great about where you are right now.
The only barrier between you and happiness is the belief that something needs to be different in your present situation.
Instead, redefine your belief to see that you are already standing in nirvana.
Welcome to happiness, it was there all the time.
Stop Chasing The Myth Of Happiness, Start Living The Reality
You’ve missed out on being happy because you’ve been pursuing an illusion.
Your happiness has been stolen by these over-touted myths.
Start pursuing your personal version of happiness. Understand by letting go of some long-held beliefs. Happiness could be yours today.
See that happiness is with you now, if you just reach out and welcome it.
About the Author
Learning to say No to the things we don’t want to free up time for the things we do is one of the biggest skills in leading a happier life. Grab Laura’s free cheat sheet: 5 Guilt Free Ways To Say No Without Offending Anyone (Even If You Hate Conflict).