I like to think we all want to be happy and live the life we want. However, what does it take to be miserable and never live the life you want?
In some ways, that might be easier than the former. Let’s see.
1. Think the Purpose of Life is to Be Happy.
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” -Albert Camus
There’s a paradox in the pursuit of happiness, that is: Everyone thinks they know how to get a ton of it, but in reality, everyone’s lost trying to find a little piece of it.
We mistakenly think that achieving more goals, making more money, or even getting in a new relationship will do it, but we’re never quite fulfilled
And the reason is that we don’t actually want success in the first place. What we’re all really after is to be the best version of ourselves, and the reason we’re never satisfied is that there’s no limit on how good you can become.
As Jeff Goins has said, “We don’t want success. We want growth. And those are two very different things.”
With that, don’t focus on being happy; focus on becoming the best version of yourself, and happiness will naturally result.
2. Live a Life that Impresses Other People, Rather than One that Impresses Yourself.
“The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself.” -Rita Mae Brown
We have been raised in a society that rewards conformity and obedience. Thus, it is a natural instinct to try and impress others. We want to be liked, and we want to be chosen.
However, no matter how many people you impress, if you don’t impress yourself, it will be very hard to wake up with joy and excitement to face the day. You can only not be yourself for so long until it leads to misery and despair.
The solution? Stop playing by the agreed-upon norms within which other people operate and create your own rules to live the life you want. Because in the end of the day, you’ll be the only one you have to answer to if you’re not happy with where you end up.
3. Seek the Path of Least Resistance.
“A life of ease is not the pathway to growth and happiness. On the contrary, a life of ease is how you get stuck and confused in life.” -Benjamin P. Hardy
Your brain wants your life to be easy and predictable. It doesn’t care about the sort of life you lead or whether you’re happy. Instead, it only has one priority, and that is your survival.
Thus, it will be a natural instinct to seek the path of least resistance. However, you cannot grow and move forward in life within the realms of your comfort zone.
By definition, growing means doing things you’ve never done before. It means stepping outside of your comfort zone and transforming the way you live.
In order to experience who you should be, rather than simply living out what’s comfortable, you absolutely will need to do things that scare you. You will have to get used to doing things that might not work and open yourself up to criticism.
4. Allow Jealousy and Envy to Poison Your Life.
“Every minute you spend wishing you had someone else’s life is a minute spent wasting yours.” -Unknown
Jealousy and envy are not feelings you want to be filled with.
Anything anyone else has, you can have as well. But you’ve got to stop being a spectator of other people’s accomplishments and jump on the field to earn them for yourself.
Turn envy into curiosity, and study how other people got what they got so you can get it too.
5. Make Excuses about Why You Can’t Live the Life You Want.
“I suggest that you become obsessed about the things you want; otherwise, you are going to spend a lifetime being obsessed with making up excuses as to why you didn’t get the life you wanted.” -Grant Cardone
You can come up with all the excuses in the world about why you can’t do the things you supposedly deem “important,” but no excuse exists that can or will get you what you want.
The only thing powerful enough to continually pull you towards where you want to be in life is a firm and unwavering commitment to your goals.
You develop a firm commitment to your goals by making your dreams deeply enrooted and emotional to you, which is a matter of;
- Making a committed decision about who you want to become and then working every day to become that person.
- Journaling about your dreams and goals each day.
6. Consume Things That Don’t Enable and Empower You to Reach Your Future Goals and Ambitions.
“Only seek information that enables and empowers you to achieve your goals and to live your highest standards in life.” -Benjamin P. Hardy
When you spend your time in the present consuming anything that doesn’t enable and empower you to reach your future goals and ambitions, life will just start happening to you.
Rather than shaping and creating the future as you desire, things will become increasingly complex, confusing, and hectic. It will feel like you’re a victim of your destiny rather than the master and creator of it.
However, this is not how your life should feel, and nor are these feelings healthy on your mental state.
So, here’s the solution: Consume only the things that are going to help you get where you want to be, and leave the rest behind. The news, social media, and Netflix are all designed to distract you rather than to help you live the life you want.
7. Live For the Present Moment.
“The present moment by itself is too small, too hollow. We all need a future. Something beyond and greater than the present, at which to aim.” –The Triple Package
People who live for the present moment don’t achieve very much.
Sure, it’s easier not to think, not to do, and not to care. It’s easier to turn to the numbing and lulling of distraction and entertainment, but that’s only going to leave you miserable with no progress in the years to come.
Indeed, don’t sacrifice a better future for the present pleasures. Instead, make the present count for a better future.
8. Focus on the Destination, Not the Journey.
“Most assume mastery is an end result, but at its core, mastery is a way of thinking, a way of acting, and a journey you experience.” -Gary Keller
Most people are solely focused on the destination of their goal that they think it’s totally out of reach. They go to the gym once, and when they don’t see a 6-pack, they give up because the road simply looks too long.
What they miss, however, is that big results are produced over time. If you want to get great results, you must fall in love with the process because achieving anything worthwhile is a path you go down, not a destination you arrive at.
So, appreciate the journey, celebrate the small successes, and one day you’ll be able to pause and reflect to see just how far you’ve come.
Liked this article? Join my email list to stay in touch.