Happiness. It seems like the one universal desire in this crazy busy world. Multi-billion-dollar empires are built on promises that this makeup, this diet pill, this dress, will finally make you happy. But those promises are lies; eventually that new possession isn’t enough, so you have to buy another, and another.
And honestly, I used to believe that too. When I was younger, I often felt that if I bought certain things, if I did what other people did, that I’d find the elusive secret to happiness. I tried so hard, for so many years, to live the way that happy people seemed to live. Somehow, no matter how hard I tried, I never seemed to get to happiness.
Why wasn’t I as happy as everyone else? What was I doing wrong? It took me way too long to figure out the key to happiness, so I want to share it with you today.
The problem with finding happiness was that I was looking at everyone else rather than myself. I was spending so much time and effort looking at how others were living—what they were buying, what they were wearing—that I had forgotten to be me. Why should I copy what others do? Why should I live as they live? I had to learn to listen to myself, to love myself, to take care of myself first and best.
Once I stopped worrying about others’ lives and how mine didn’t measure up, I found that I could better appreciate all of the things I had. And I found that I didn’t even need all of the things that I had. I’ve been letting go of so many possessions and so many attitudes that weren’t making me feel better. Living more simply has shown me how much freedom there is in letting go of comparisons.
So here’s the key to my happiness: Share, don’t compare. Don’t worry about how other people are living. Don’t spend too much time staring at their smiling pictures on social media and making yourself feel bad because you think their life is so much better than yours.
Instead, share who you are and what you have with others. Share your story. Share your truth. Live as if your life were precious and wonderful and too good not to share—because it is.
I get it—sometimes it feels easier and more fun to complain about how difficult things are or about how we wish we lived somewhere else, had better possessions, or did a different job. But, even if we made all of those changes, we’d still be unhappy because we would be looking outside ourselves for happiness.
So there’s the secret. You are already enough, right now, right where you are. You are already precious and wonderful and too good not to share. Get out there and live.