I can’t help but brag that I have found the key to my happiness. I have realized that the best way for me to be truly happy is to forget about making you happy. To some, that may sound awfully selfish, but is it really? Living for my happiness does not mean that I am going to harm or walk over anyone to achieve my emotional center. Living life for my happiness means that I am making decisions centred around my approval and not yours. Aren’t we all responsible for our own happiness?
I know I am not alone with this life thieving mindset. I am too willing to sacrifice my happiness to ensure that I keep peace with my friends and family. I am all too willing to give away my likes and dislikes just for the approval of others. I am all too willing to be a transparent fake so that others will like me. I’ll sell my soul just for your love. Yet, every time I do this, I am completely miserable; especially when the people I am trying to impress do not take what I am giving. When I think about it, living my life for your approval sounds to me to be a lot more selfish!
This past week I had made the decision to not attend an event that I had a passing interest in. I had really struggled with making the decision to go, or not go. Why? Because I was afraid I would let others down by not attending. I had almost convinced myself that I should go and set aside my happiness, just to please others. I had almost passed on an opportunity to spend some quality time with my family in the forest… the thing that really recharges my batteries and makes me deeply happy. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I constantly waste my energy worrying about what others think of me? Where will they be when I am knocking at death’s door filled with regret?
When I finally made the decision to not go, I was proud that I was able to set my happiness first. I felt relieved. I can’t remember the last time that I did that. When I asked myself one simple question: “If you were laying on your deathbed tomorrow, what would YOU regret not doing?”, my decision was made very easily. Yes, it seems like a drastic question, but it is one that really makes sense.
It is sad that so many of us are easy to sell our own happiness to gain the approval of others. The person who said that living life for your own happiness is selfish probably died a very unfulfilled and regretful life. Doesn’t it seem that the people we admire most are those who have mastered this “my happiness first” lifestyle? We never question what makes them happy and we gravitate to their enjoyment of life. We never question who they are as they make it clear in their decisive decisions. Thing is, we rarely see them as selfish. So why the hell should we think that of ourselves?
Carpe diem friends.