I was asked that question a few years ago and it shocked me. Think about it, how often do we try to convince ourselves to be happy because our lives are better than they used to be or because our lives are better than someone else’s?
If your marriage is difficult, but your neighbor’s is worse, you feel grateful for what you have, right? If you want to lose 10 lbs but your friends remind you that you look great compared to most people, their words can make you feel better. But happy?
Adjusting our expectations because of the mediocrity around us is a trap. When we do that, we lower the bar. That kind of thinking keeps us from excellence, from becoming the best possible version of ourselves. It smothers our passion for life. We’re NOT happy when we settle for “good enough.” We’re not happy when we catch ourselves thinking, “Relatively speaking, things aren’t that bad. They could be worse.”
We’re happy when we love the life we’re living, when we love who we are in the world, when we’re working toward the goals we set for ourselves, and when we find ways to give back. We’re happy when we’re proud of ourselves, when we’re chasing our own personal version of great.
Do you want to be happy? George Eliot said, “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” Try working on that and you’ll find happiness and passion for your amazing life.