Most humans spend their entire life in pursuit of happiness, but many never stand a chance of finding true happiness. So what is the reason that so many people are not happy? What is the secret to happiness? There are actually three important roadblocks to our personal happiness.
The first, and most critical, hurdle to finding true happiness is that we do not know ourselves. The real secret to happiness is knowing what is important to you personally. The simple truth is that there is not one universal path to happiness because every person is different and has different dreams and needs. While for one person creating something might be the path to happiness for another person it might be nurturing others. However, we are too often focused on the wrong goals because we listen to popular culture or other people. If we spend the time and energy to really concentrate on our dreams, and shut out the distractions, then we can find the key to unlocking our own happiness.
Another roadblock in our pursuit of happiness is giving too much power to things that do not matter. I have a friend who obsesses over having a clean house and making sure her family is clean and neat whenever they leave home. She gripes about how much time these obsessions take away from her time with her family. I am the opposite. While I do wish my house was cleaner I decided when my son was born that when I was old I would not look back and regret having a messy house but that I would regret not spending time with my child. While cleaning is on my priority list, it always falls below my child and when he is old and gray I am confident he will remember that as well as I do. Too often we spend a lot of time and energy focused on things that do not matter in the long run. Letting the dishes sit in the sink one night while you play a game with your child or pursue a hobby you love will contribute more to your happiness than making sure you do those dishes and then missing out on the life you love.
The final critical element that blocks true happiness for many people is not giving the things that make us happy enough weight in our life. Too often we dwell on the things we do not have–the bigger house, the newer car, the better job–rather than what we already have that makes us happy–the significant relationships, the happy home, the rewarding career. The next time you feel unhappy make a list of all that is going right in your life. Chances are that list is a lot longer than you thought and simply reviewing it will make you feel better.
The pursuit of happiness should be a lifelong journey but the path to finding true happiness can be rewarding and enjoyable if we remember to know ourselves, let go of the things that do not matter, and remember the things that do.