So many of us put others interests before our own. It’s a good trait to have as we should always strive to help others to succeed. But like all things in life, there is a balance. When you set aside your happiness for that of others’; then you are living someone else’s life. You can never be happy doing that.
Parents are often guilty of this, especially mothers, in putting the interests of their children’s happiness beyond their own. While there is a degree in which all parents are supposed to help their children find their happiness, it should never come at the expense of their own. Children need to learn how to find their own happiness and not expect it to be delivered so quickly by their parents.
When we are perpetually giving others happiness and never focusing on taking the time to create our own, we can never generate enough joy offset the drain. Ultimately this drives us to exhaustion and resentment.
Eat your dessert first and focus on finding your happiness ahead of others. This is not being selfish by abandoning others’ wellbeing. In fact, when you take more time trying to give others happiness instead of focusing on your own from time to time, you are selfish in assuming that others around you cannot do it themselves without you.
For so long, I had chosen to make others happy in my life. Wanting to please my parents, my wife and friends before being happy with myself. This constant need to make others happy left me without a sense of self. When I finally broke off my unhealthy relationship with my parents, I was left without the ability to find happiness within myself; in the fallout, I became depressed. I was worthless without having a way to give away my happiness.
Choosing to be happy first is not selfish, far from it. You are not choosing to focus on your happiness in spite of others, you are choosing your happiness in support of others. It is impossible to make others happy if you are broken and it’s impossible to get happiness from those who are not happy. Like the oxygen masks in an airplane, you can only help save others if you are saved yourself. Eat your dessert first and you will find life to be much sweeter before you take on the main course of others.
This blog post is part of a series of 26 that focuses on finding your inner happiness. Please check out the rest of the series here: The ABC’s of a Happy Life