For as long as I can remember I have been chasing happiness. However, the concept that I had to do certain things to achieve it has blocked my ability to obtain the level of happiness I was looking for. I’ve found myself constantly searching for the next step to take:
- If I get good grades and get into one of the best universities, I will be happy
- If I go to that big party and meet new friends, I will be happy
- If I travel the world and fill my life with adventure, I will be happy
- If I live in the mountains and explore nature, I will be happy
- If I live by the beach and spend my days in the sun, I will be happy
- If I do yoga and meditate on a regular basis, I will be happy
Although all these thing are good goals and involve some of my hobbies and passions, they themselves will not “give me happiness”. However, it’s the outlook and mindset you come into each day with that will.
Recently, I was discussing how I was trying to work on self growth with a friend when she suggested I read one of the books her mentor gave her. Its called Shift Happens – How to Live an Inspired Life… Starting right now by Robert Holden. I am only 17 pages in and have already teared up about the shocking reality of how close the book hits to home.
One of the first things that Robert discusses is how “Happiness is not an it. Happiness is not in things; it’s in you.” When I was reading this I found myself nodding my head yes as the words sunk in. I realized that has been one of my problems all along, I am constantly searching somewhere else instead of inside myself for my own happiness. I have always thought that if I wasn’t doing the right thing or in the right place I wouldn’t be as happy as I could be. I would look at others that have appeared to find copious amounts of joy in their lives and try to figure out how they lived differently or what they did differently to achieve that and try to adapt those concepts into my own life.
Robert goes on to say “You are not here to find happiness; you are here to extend it. you are inspiration packed, wisdom infused, made with love, and blessed with joy. The fear that something is missing somewhere in you or in your life is the greatest illusion of all. It is a rogue thought that can wreak havoc with perception, creating much self-doubt, self-criticism, and self-attack. It is a dastardly magician that conjures up mental tricks of lack, loss, isolation, neediness, dependency, and much pain. The fear that something is missing in you is what leads you to search somewhere else for happiness. You overlook what is already here as you chase after there; you miss the sacred now as you ponder your next step; you forget to be grateful for what is as you prey after more. You search struggle and strive, but you never arrive because you can’t get past the thought that something is missing.”
Reading the above shocked me. It’s like he knew exactly what I was thinking and how I’ve struggled to achieve true happiness. He took those thoughts and he crushed them. Now I can’t say that just reading that bit of wisdom has completely changed my way of thinking because I know there will most likely be times that I still feel the same way, but what it has done is given me new perspective. It’s given me the goal to focus more on self growth and continue to try to attain a positive mindset at all times instead of focusing on what I may be missing or lacking.
I’ve been trying to rid my life of negativity and remain engaged only in the things that I am passionate about. I find that when I don’t surround myself with positivity my life reflects the negativity around me and I start feeling poorly as if there is something lacking, even when there isn’t. In the words of Dr. Holden “shift happens whenever you practice unconditional self-acceptance, whenever you give yourself a break, whenever you choose kindness instead of judgment, forgiveness instead of self-attack and laughter instead of condemnation. Life is always better when you treat yourself better.”
The positive mindset I have been living has resulted in me quitting my job for a job with a brand new company with less pay. Stop. I can almost hear your thoughts echoing what?! why?! That’s crazy. It’s not crazy when you look at it from my perspective. You can’t put a price on your own happiness! Everyone at this unnamed job didn’t enjoy themselves. It was rare to see a colleague crack a smile throughout the shift unless it was close to closing time. It was one of those jobs where not only was it a far commute, but the management was so disorganized you couldn’t possibly get through a shift without something going wrong. I had to ask myself why do I want to put myself through this when I can find a job closer to home that makes me happier and lets my passion shine.
I set out on a journey with a hand full of resumes hoping that somewhere in the town I was living in would hire me and it would be a better fit than my current place of employment. Not long afterwards I was offered a job at a local small-scale pub situated along the water, the perfect location to watch the sunset. However, it wasn’t all roses and rainbows after all. When I went in on a sunny afternoon to sign my contract I saw management in tears and arguing. Although it wasn’t a good impression of the establishment, I signed my contract and headed to a beach BBQ with some friends thinking in the back of my head that maybe I shouldn’t stop looking for a new job after all…
Opportunity is around every corner! And wow I had not believed it so wholeheartedly until just a few days ago. The beach BBQ I was at turned out to be my friends staff party. After a relaxing evening on the beach management offered me a position within their company. Not only are they an amazing group of people who I know will be fantastic to work with, the locations is beyond gorgeous (photos below) and there’s opportunity for advancement and to get experience with PR and marketing – the degree I’ve ultimately decided will be best for me to complete in the future.
So that’s it. That’s where I am now. I’m one month into my move across the world. I’m super happy and super excited to see whats to come and I know that things will all work out in the end. I’m going to continue working on self growth and maintaining a positive mindset at all times. I’m going to continue engaging myself in the Robert’s wonderful read and hope his words continue to speaks wonders to me.
I’ll keep you posted.
xx Backpacking Breeze