The past few days I have been contemplating why people (myself in particular) do things that they KNOW will make them LESS HAPPY.
Gaining weight and waking up with a mind-numbing hangover certainly do not improve the quality of our lives so why do we eat at McDonald’s and consume alcohol?
Aren’t humans supposed to be smarter than this?
I ask this question because my actions lately have had me contemplating just how much I sincerely want to be happy.
I have recently FULLY (or so I thought) committed myself to health and happiness so it seemed odd to meet that I would suddenly resort to old, unhealthy patterns.
I had to dig DEEP below the surface to discover my reasoning behind this but think I may have figured some of it out.
Our old patterns, as self destructive as they may be, are incredibly comfortable. They are familiar, safe, and provide us with security. Sure, in the long run our habits are damaging to our health, happiness, and well being but I’ll be damned if they don’t feel like a warm, fuzzy teddy bear in the moment!
I have a list of activities I want to incorporate into my life and goals I want to achieve. And guess what? Just about everything on that list is scary and unfamiliar and makes me want to crawl under my covers.
But my alternative list, the list of things that I am familiar with and that elicit minimal anxiety, are no longer positively serving my life and my purpose.
So the way I see it, we have two choices: either continue on this safe, smooth road that leaves us feeling unchallenged or worse, regretful and unhappy OR create a new path which may feel bumpy and uncertain at first, but will undoubtedly ADD happiness to our lives.
No matter how scary new things in life may be, I always try to remind myself that they are getting me one step closer to reaching my biggest goal in life: happiness.
You would be surprised how much it helps to actually write out a list of the things in your life that are causing you pain and unhappiness along with a list of things that you want to create or incorporate more of into your life. Focusing your time and energy on that second list will allow for less attention to be aimed at that nasty first one.
Contrary to how it often feels, our lives are created by OURSELVES. When we start to hate what it looks like, it is time to question the artist behind it.