Who doesn’t love having something new? It could be a new hairstyle, a great fitting pair of jeans, a shiny new car, new job, new girlfriend… You get the picture.
But on the flip side, how do you make sure that you’re also happy with what you do have, rather than what you don’t?
Because you know, constantly needing the next ‘fix’ isn’t any good for anyone.
The following are some time-proven ways to make sure that while you aspire for more, you’re also happy with what you actually have.
Stop comparing yourself to others
Constantly making comparisons between you and others is soul destroying. It’s also guaranteed to make you unsatisfied with your life as it is. Sure! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself… But hey – here’s a secret that most people won’t let on about. And that’s that everyone (yes, that includes you), wants to make out that their life is so very, very good!
And guess what? That ‘oh so glamorous’ job that your friend has? Bet it’s not so glamorous if you could actually live it…
And that ‘perfect’ family – with the 2 beautiful kids, all that money, and the gorgeous home? Well, do you actually know the sacrifices that they have to make in order to live that lifestyle? Does daddy even get to see the kids grow up…?
Listen, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t aspire to better things. Or that a healthy amount of envy won’t get you pumped up enough to achieve more. But what we are saying is that constant comparisons are not the way forward. All they do is make you forget what it is you’ve already achieved – and that only leads to further dissatisfaction.
Vary your positive experiences
Ever had that feeling that something that used to make you happy doesn’t any more? You know, a 15-minute run around the block in the morning used to get you fired up and ready to face the day. Now the thought of hitting the streets at that time fills you with dread.
Well, that’s because we can easily become complacent when it comes to positive experiences. So the trick is to mix them up a little. Using exercise as an example, why not have a swim some mornings, or join a boot camp? Get on your bike or go hit a ball around a tennis court with some friends.
This same variety can be used in every aspect of your life. After all, you wouldn’t go and eat in the same restaurant every time you went out, would you? It’s the variety that keeps life interesting.
Relish the ordinary
It’s so easy to become completely unaware of the amazing things that surround us all the time. It’s human nature to become blind to something that’s constantly there, and the trick here is to re-awaken yourself to such experiences.
Raise your eyes when you’re walking around during the day. Have you noticed the changing of the seasons, or that the birds are singing? What about your partner? Has he/she changed their hair, bought some new clothes, been working out and is looking fiiiiit!
It’s time to take note of what’s happening in front of your eyes. Because it’s these little, super-ordinary things, and our appreciation of them, that are going to help us live the happy and contented life that we all yearn for.
Realize that you can never get back time
Have you ever stopped to think that the one thing that is lost to us every second of every day is time? Do you honestly want to spend your whole live ‘chasing your tail’, and forgetting to live and enjoy the life you’ve got now.
Even while you’re aspiring to better yourself and/or your life, you should be having fun along the way. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination”. And this is such a truism.
Remember, no-one ever lies on their death bed regretting the fact that they didn’t do such things as ‘spend more hours at work’, or ‘buy more pairs of shoes’. What people do regret are things such as doing what makes them happy – like spending time with the ones they love.
Relish each precious minute we have – don’t waste it in worrying about what you don’t have, when you should be taking full advantage of what you do.
Don’t make yourself miserable
Constantly blaming outside influences for what is ‘going wrong’ in your life is, we’re afraid to say, destructive and pointless. You, and only you, are responsible for your own happiness. And yes, you have a choice to be miserable. But why on earth would not having everything you want make you miserable?
Ambition – be it for a job, qualification, to earn more money, drive a better car, live in a flashier house – is all well and good, but it certainly shouldn’t be a trade off for not appreciating what you already have. That is a guaranteed equation for making yourself unhappy and unsatisfied.
Remember, trading today for tomorrow is all very well. But today is guaranteed – tomorrow might not be…