The sad truth is that there are a lot of unhappy people in the world. The tragic truth is that many of those unhappy people could lead happier lives if only they gave up the misconceptions they have about happiness. Even those of us who consider themselves relatively happy still cling to some of these untruths. Why? Probably because it is easier to blame someone else for our unhappiness when the simple fact is that no one else has power over our happiness. We give that power to others but that is our choice. Once we take control of our own happiness then we will be happier, but in order to take back that control over our happiness we need to rid ourselves of three popular misconceptions about it.
One of the greatest misconceptions related to happiness is that you need money to be happy. If you take some time out to study people around you then you will see just how little substance there is to this belief. Rich people are not automatically happy and poor people are not automatically unhappy. In fact, once you begin looking at individuals and families then you will no doubt spot a great many unhappy rich people and even more happy poor people.
The truth is that once your basic needs are taken care then money will not have a major impact on your happiness. In fact, making it dependent on the attainment of a certain amount of money is often a recipe for a very unhappy life. Pursuing money is a bad goal because so often people get caught up in a rat race they can never win. For people who consider money the ultimate measure of success there is never enough money so they will never be happy.
In fact, one reason many poor people are happy is that they realize that once their family is fed, clothed and housed then money isn’t that important when you compare it to love, friendship, and laughter. Those things are important and can’t be bought at any price.
Another big misconception about happiness is that you need someone else to be happy. Happiness comes from within yourself. You are the only one who controls your happiness. You do not need friends or significant others for it. You do not need children or grandchildren for it. You can be happy without the acclaim of others and without being famous. While having other people to care about is an important element of human contentment and therefore happiness, it can be a great mistake to place to great of an emphasis on the need for one specific relationship. If you have a loving family and friends then that is what is important not the fact that you lack a spouse. Having love in your life is what counts not the source of that love.
The third big misconception about happiness is that you need to be lucky to be happy. Happiness is not about luck but rather about opening yourself up to it, looking for it in unlikely places, and allowing yourself to be happy. Many of the people who subscribe to the luck theory of happiness are the same people who believe that they do not deserve to be happy. Everyone deserves to be happy and everyone has the capacity to be a happy person. Don’t wait for happiness to come to you but rather open your life to it and you will find it.
You can be happy and you can lead a happier life if you just let go of these three misconceptions. You don’t need money, other people, or luck to be happy. You have the power over your own happiness if you only open your heart and your life. So be happy!