In searching and discovering our own happiness, it appears everyone has an opinion on the choices we should make. Apparently we can’t be successful if we don’t graduate from college. We’re not driven if we don’t wish to climb the corporate ladder. Our lives are at risk if we want to become an entrepreneur. Dating someone with children is the worst idea. We’re not ambitious enough if we want children at an early age. Or the flip side, we’re told that we may regret our decision if we don’t have a child now. And apparently, we’ll end up sad and lonely if we focus on our current passions and interests rather than creating a family.
It seems like we are always in the wrong.
I can’t lie and say the comments I receive from family and friends when I express what I want in life don’t play with my head occasionally. And before I even know it, I found myself asking the same question “am I wrong for thinking this way?”
But here’s one question I don’t think we ever asked ourselves: “Why are we wrong when happiness is subjective and the future is unpredictable?”
HAPPINESS IS SUBJECTIVE
There is no other you. Our wants and desires are unique from one another. And even if there are similarities in our wants and desires, the degree of how much pain we are willing to endure to get to our wants and desires will vary. Perhaps I want to have a family and a home while I’m young and you want to travel around the world. Maybe I am willing to endure the loneliness of a long-distance relationship because my heart and mind tell me how great the relationship can be in the future. Maybe you cannot. Perhaps I can date someone with children, but maybe you cannot handle those responsibilities. Perhaps I want to continually climb the corporate ladder and live in an amazing house. Maybe you’re content simply doing the work that you love, even if it means living in your car.
We cannot tell people what will make them happy because we don’t have their heart and mind to know what they really want. And vice versa, we should not be impacted by people’s judgment of what we are pursuing in life because they are not us.
FUTURE IS UNPREDICTABLE
People will most likely tell you that “they just want you to avoid pain because they have gone through something similar.” I get it. Along the way we make good decisions, but we also make mistakes that cause us pain. However, pain is not something we should completely avoid, if it’s what our heart and mind desire. Pain is just an opportunity to get us closer to what we want because we now know the actions that don’t work for us. The physical, emotional, and mental hurt only provides growth, if we have the right mindset. That’s why any action we take to get closer to what we want is never a waste of time.
People will also tell you that your chances are slim that you will be successful. And they are right that chances may be slim. But what people can’t tell you is the amount of drive you may have and how much pain you’re willing to endure. Perhaps you’re willing to work 70 hours a week to get to the top. And they’re not willing. Maybe you’re okay sleeping in a car if it means you get to pursue your dreams. And they’re not willing. Maybe you’re willing to love someone despite their history. And they’re not willing. One’s willingness can lead to amazing things.
We go through life a lot wondering if we are making the right decisions because it’s not conventional and the chances that we will succeed and not have to go through some sort of pain are slim. We continually ask ourselves “what if we make the wrong choice?”
Remember, no one has a crystal ball. We shouldn’t be asking whether or not if we are making the right decisions if we will never know the outcome. We should be asking what is it that our heart and mind want right now and go from there. Because all we have is our drive, endurance, and determination that predicts the highest percentage of success.
So remind yourself every morning on what you want and figure out what you can do currently through the day to get to where you want to be. Remember the past you can’t change and future you can’t predict. If all you have is what is in front of you today, why not focus on the best you can do at the moment? Don’t beat yourself up though when your best effort doesn’t lead you to where you want to be today. Best is never a wrong path. When there are no 100% guarantees in life, our best always leads us to an amazing destination or opens an unexpected chapter in our life, even if it wasn’t the one that you thought of initially.
Perhaps we are dreaming big, dreaming of the impossible or the rarity of the situation. And maybe you even knew that others would think you were possibly a little cray cray for pursuing what you wanted. But perhaps, it’s not necessarily that anyone is particularly crazy or foolish. Because sometimes it’s a good thing to hope big. The thing about life is that there is always at least one success in the swarm of failures. But toward this journey to your success, be prepare to have your ego bruised, be prepared to question yourself and ruminate on the bad. Just remember that happiness is about accepting temporary pain for permanent happiness.
So keep dreaming for the unrealistic because the key to happiness is ensuring what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. I know I will…