I want to take a slightly different approach to today’s healthy living update. I had a thought yesterday and decided to have a little talk about why playing the “If-Then” game will crush your chances of being happy.
I lived a large portion of my life playing the IF-THEN game. I was not a happy or fulfilled person and I felt like I was underachieving. And this feeling of underachieving came from a place of unhappiness. My feelings fed my thoughts which in turn created an insecure thought process, which created even more feelings of discontent; a never ending cycle of insecurity. One continuously feeding the other in a symbiotic relationship of discontent.
I thought that IF I were to own my own business, THEN I would be happy. IF I were to win a golf tournament, THEN I would be content. IF I were to have more money, THEN I would have less stress and thus be happy. IF I were to be able to have all the stuff I desired, THEN I would not have such a confused mind. And I played this game for so many years.
And many of you play this game as well.
The truth is that it doesn’t matter what you do, your personal fulfillment or happiness as some reference, can only come from within. Many people that struggle with being overweight believe that IF they were to lose 100 pounds, THEN they will be happy. IF they lose 50 pounds, THEN they will see a different person in the mirror and like who they see and then they will be happy. IF they lost 200 pounds, THEN they will finally be the person they have always dreamt of being, resulting in happiness.
Unfortunately there is a major flaw in this belief. Happiness or fulfillment can and will only come from within you and nothing you do in the outside world will ever fix that broken You that exists inside the body in which You live.
Humankind is cursed with a nature that is constantly striving to achieve something. And we all believe in some form that if I can just get to a certain place in life, that is where happiness exists. Always looking ahead or always looking to the next milestone. And we search and search and search, longing for something that we will never find.
I know I believed this for a long time and still find myself falling into this thinking on occasion. And I have to correct myself and remember that my fulfillment can only come when I stop and become okay with the person that I am right here, right now. I have to fight the natural inclination to compare myself to others and measure myself against other’s accomplishments or against the perceived happiness of others.
For too many years I thought that if I had the life that some of my friends had, then I would be happy as they are happy. The interesting truth is they were looking at me and thinking the same thing.
The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. – Steven Furtick
You must realize that you will never get to a point where you are content because you have achieved a certain level of success. Having enough money to eliminate money problems is not going to make you happy. Having a better job is not going to make you happy. Having less debt is not going to make you happy. Losing weight is not going to make you happy. Having a better living situation is not going to make you happy. Having more obedient children is not going to make you happy.
With this mindset you will always be haunted by the false belief that outside events will fix the insecurity that exist inside the real you; this is the real human dilemma.
I believe the level of discontent that exists inside a person is directly equal to the level to which that person compares themselves to others.
You must find a way to accept yourself as you are; a flawed, broken mess of a person. And this is okay!! We are all broken. We are all a mess. Stop comparing the behind the scenes You to the highlight reel of others. Stop looking to the world around you for your fulfillment. Stop expecting something to happen in your life to result in you finally finding the happiness to which you so desperately seek. It will never happen.
I believe our discontent or unhappiness is a direct result of comparing ourselves to others. Once we stop this and accept ourselves for who we are, then and only then can we begin a new journey; a journey of acceptance. You see, the journey of seeking happiness is like trying to catch the wind. If you believe you can, then you are doomed to a life of chasing after that which you will never possess. This is why so many people are frustrated; because they believe they can catch the wind.
It is not happiness in itself that causes humanity problems, but it is what we identify as the source of happiness that causes us so much pain and suffering!!
You must stop. Stop and be still. You must accept who you are, where you are. Stop. Be still. Accept your flaws. Accept your dysfunction. Accept yourself exactly for who you are in this moment. Until you realize this fact you will always be that person believing they can catch wind in a bottle. Running, chasing, seeking.