When considering the motivation behind virtually any action, the most common answer is “to be happy.”
The pursuit of happiness is so central to our way of life that it’s written in the United States Declaration of Independence. Why does joy sometimes seem so fleeting in many people’s lives?
It’s easy to lose perspective on the things you truly value in the shuffle of everyday life. Between work, marriage, kids, friends, running a household and a multitude of other commitments, feeling stressed is sometimes more common than feeling blessed.
It’s wise to periodically stop and identify “joy stealers.” These are the mental exercises that shift your focus from abundance to areas you may be lacking in.
Striving for more is not a bad thing. After all, it’s what pushes people to set goals and work toward achieving them. But when you postpone happiness while waiting for something else to come along – a promotion, Mr. or Mrs. Right, or shedding the last 10 pounds – you lose the precious gift of the “here and now.” So many people are busy searching for what’s next, or coveting what others have, they don’t appreciate the good things in front of them.
Here are 5 of the most common joy stealers. Which ones are interfering with your happiness today?
It’s easy to look at someone else and imagine how great their life is while grumbling about what you lack. Sometimes jealousy offers clues as to what we feel we are missing. For example, if you envy your friend’s job, maybe it’s a sign you need to make some changes in your career. If you envy one of your girlfriends for having many close relationships. Perhaps it’s time to invest in deeper friendships.
The fear of inadequacy or not being good enough can ruin your day, career and relationships. Take some time to figure out why you are feeling insecure. Whose expectations are you trying to live up to? It may take professional help, meditation or friends you trust to give you some solid feedback. Look for new challenges to boost your confidence.
Mark Twain said, “Comparison is the death of joy.” Many people know the feeling of judging themselves unfavorably against others. Comparing your path to someone else’s is an exercise in driving yourself crazy. There will always be someone smarter, faster or better in certain areas.
Your job is to make the most of your unique talents and gifts to create a life you treasure. If you kick yourself because you are not in the corner office, stop and take stock of your own achievements. You’re probably doing much better than you think you are.
Whether it’s food, family or friends, ingesting poison on a regular basis will eventually take its toll. Seek out who and what adds more spring to your step instead of situations which drain your confidence. Build relationships with people who help you be your best. Also, place a priority on your health. Eat nutritious food, get enough sleep and exercise daily. Removing toxins in your life will help you to start feeling better about yourself.
Living with a Joy Stealer
Attitudes, whether good or bad, are contagious. It’s hard to fill yourself with sunny optimism when you are in close quarters with someone who’s constantly finding fault.When possible, make every effort to surround yourself with people who lift you up instead of deflating your self-worth.
Be sure that your network includes loved ones and trusted friends who help you find happiness in life. Join a group, go to networking events and position yourself in surroundings where you will meet and expose yourself to exciting new acquaintances that can turn into solid friendships.
You may also like How to Successfully Conquer These 5 Joy Thieves. For more of Diane’s etiquette tips read her posts on Inc., subscribe to her articles on The Huffington Post, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Order Diane’s forthcoming book, Modern Etiquette for a Better Life here.