Happiness is a term that is becoming increasingly popular.
I think this is because our whole perception of what brings happiness is shifting. For generations before us, it meant getting the well paying job and house in the suburbs. It meant living the American dream and being able to afford a comfortable life.
Sure, these things were important and life was indeed comfortable for many in a material sense, but was anyone really happy? Were they waking up everyday with a curiosity and excitement about what was to come? Were they growing their emotional intelligence and working on being their best selves?
While most of the population was achieving success and buying the next item, I think most lost sight of what mattered. See if all the possessions were stripped away, how would they really feel about themselves?
Happiness is going to mean something different for everyone, but I can argue that it does not come from constant achieving, burning yourself out, or having all the money you can imagine. Once you do the inner work of finding what lights you up, your reality will shift to bring you even more prosperity.
I like to use happiness and fulfillment interchangeably, because they essentially mean you are feeling full of gratitude for the life you have.
I want to dig a little deeper into what you may feel on both sides of the spectrum so you can start doing some investigative work into your own circumstance.
Below are the ways you can feel unfilled or unhappy, see how they resonate with you:
-You dread waking up and starting the day.
-You are constantly putting yourself down, often letting anxiety get out of control.
-You are secretly jealous of friends, family, and coworkers that “achieve more” than you do.
-You are single and think a significant other will suddenly make your life exciting.
-You are in a relationship and that person is your only source of fun, excitement, and fulfillment (talk about pressure!)
-You are in a relationship and you are miserable but dread being alone.
-You do not take time for yourself and you have trouble saying no to people.
-You end your day completely run down and exhausted and just accept that’s how it is.
-You either overly restrict food or are emotionally eating many times in a week.
-You look in a mirror and immediately see flaws or comparing your appearance with others.
-You do not take time to make plans and dream big about your future.
-You let family dictate your every decision, still feeling like a child.
-A feeling of guilt is something you feel frequently, even every day.
Now of course it is natural to compare yourself with others and have days you aren’t really feeling confident, but if this is your default mindset you are not living to your potential.
Now on a better note, here are ways that a person who is fulfilled will feel.
And you can get there too! As long as you commit to a path of finding your authentic self it will come for you.
-You wake up feeling excited and curious about what the day has in store.
-You dream big about your future, even setting “unrealistic” goals that will push you.
-You have hobbies and passions outside of the workplace.
-You eat healthy and exercise in a way that makes sense for you.
-Your body is not attached to your self worth.
-You are genuinely happy for loved ones when they meet goals and accomplishments.
-You are single and are fully content with life, learning about what is important to you.
-You are in a relationship and are bringing your best self to the other person because they aren’t your only source of happiness.
-You end relationships (romantic and platonic) that are toxic.
-You seek out help and advice for the areas in your life that you struggle with.
-You do things that scare you or outside the norm.
-You cherish the time spent alone, recharging your batteries.
-You know that love, confidence, and empowerment comes from deep within you and will always be there no matter what happens in life.
How did these statements resonate with you? Did you find yourself feeling a majority of one end of the spectrum? Were you sad that you weren’t answering yes to more of the fulfilling statements?
So in what ways can you start feeling more fulfilled?
Well start doing the basic lifestyle changes I have blogged about many times, i.e. eating better, getting more sleep, addressing anxiety, savoring alone time, and so on.
But also the number one piece of advice (that is also the most fun) is to start dreaming BIG about what you want your life to look like. No goal is too outlandish or farfetched, just have fun with it.
You are never tied down to anyone circumstance in your life and you are in the driver’s seat. Start taking action and finding more fulfillment!