- I read an article entitled “I Wish I Stopped Trying to ‘Fix’ Myself 20 Years Ago” on Psychology Today this morning (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-do-life/201612/i-wish-i-stopped-trying-fix-myself-20-years-ago), and was surprised by my findings. The author discusses how living and being alone makes him happy, and that he wished he had been more okay with this 20 years ago. On one hand, I’m happy that the author is happy with his life. On the other hand, I think he comes off as somewhat miserable. Personally, I can’t imagine living a life with practically no human contact. Sure, I enjoy my alone time as much as anyone and I’m actually finding that more and more people seem to like alone time (I used to feel weird telling people I enjoyed going to events and games by myself sometimes, until I was often met with a surprised look and a response of “no, I know what you mean. I like going to stuff by myself sometimes too actually). But to live a life with zero social interaction? I can’t imagine it. I just wouldn’t be happy with that.
- Another article I read this morning entitled “Wanting is a Trap” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/meditation-modern-life/201612/wanting-is-trap) discusses how not getting what you “want” can cause you to suffer. Personally, I’ve always felt that having expectations is more of a trap. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think you should have goals and preferences, but that you need to manage them and have reasonable expectations. If I expected myself to make $2,000,000 in 2016 by managing my own consulting business, well then I’d be pretty disappointed in myself right now because I didn’t come close to that number. But I had a reasonable expectation, that I was going to make money, acquire some great work related skills and knowledge, and continue to evolve and develop as a professional, which I have. I met those expectations, even though I was never consciously aware I really had them.
But before reading the article, I had never necessarily thought about how simply viewing a “want” as a “preference” instead can actually make you feel a better sense of happiness. Like the article says, “happiness is always present” and I try to point that out to friends, colleagues and clients that you’re in charge of the reality you live in. Regardless of what you think, you actually do have the power to change the reality that you live in.