We are a nation obsessed with feeling good. And there’s nothing wrong with that. What everyone wants in life is to be happy. We want to be as happy as possible, the fastest way possible and with as little work as possible.
The problem is, there are no shortcuts to long term happiness.
We want to be an overnight success. A reality star, an Instagram model. And we don’t just want to feel good. We want to look good too.
We’re not living our lives with Instagram filters, we’re living our lives IN Instagram filters. Where if “it’s” not good, we can edit it to look better than it is.
So what that means is a lot of people don’t work harder at making a better life, they work harder at making their lives look better. And that sucks.
It sucks because while people are trying to look good, no one’s actually genuinely good. And then the seeking starts to put a band-aid on a flesh wound.
The drug of choice becomes the new filter. Whether its opiates, shopping, sleeping, or binging on Netflix or Oreos, the filter manipulates you and you get hustled into thinking your life is happier than it is.
How do we get real? How do we start to create a life that’s truly happy?
#1. We get honest about what’s really going in
That means we make a decision to stop bullshitting ourselves and people around us. And if they start to feel threatened by that, then we know right away that those aren’t the people we want around us. Mainly because they are just going to bring us down. We find someone to talk to. We get a life coach and we lay it out. We get a therapist and we dig it up, we check ourselves into a program that will help us get our head on straight. We decide to stop pretending that everything’s fine.
#2. We stop trying to put band-aids on flesh wounds.
I’m not talking about throwing a filter on a beautiful moment we actually experienced. I’m talking about the people who market their business with a woman standing on a yacht but can barely pay her rent on her studio apartment. I’m talking about taking a substance to feel better right now instead of doing the work to feel better long term.
We are an instant gratification society.
People in older generations understood that things take time. They just forgot. Younger generations get impatient when a website takes 5 seconds to load.
We need to be willing to be in our lives for the long haul. The good, the bad, the real.
If social anxiety is a problem for some, find a person who can help you be better at being with people. Don’t pop a Xanax.
If your marriage lacks intimacy or passion, work with someone to fix the problems within you that prevent you from connecting the way you won’t. Don’t drink 4 glasses of wine.
If you are in a job you hate, quit and find something else, don’t take pills so you can be motivated enough to go in and punch a time clock.
If you aren’t happy with your business, don’t spend hours trying to find out how you can “brand” yourself to look more attractive. BE more attractive to yourself by removing anything that actually robs you of your self-esteem.
#3. We decide who we really are and what we really want and pretend it’s 1980 and no one’s watching.
Seriously, if no one gave a shit, what would you be doing? How would you be spending your time? Who would you be spending it with? What really makes you happy? How are you wasting your time? What really matters at the end of the day?
Find out what fulfills you and peruse those things.
#4. We take 100% responsibility for our lives and everything in it.
We stop blaming people for what went wrong 20 years ago or today. I get it. I know your parents didn’t give you everything you needed to be successful. I know that ass hole left you and you felt blindsided. I understand that you lost everything at some point in your life.
So what, now what?
Instead of waiting for the proverbial pat on the back from you dad, or an
“I’m sorry” from your mom or the “I was a fool to leave you” from your ex, what if you decided right now to be the father to yourself you always wanted? What if you were going to take on the role of mother to yourself? What if you were going to be your own true love and you decided to take yourself seriously?
You’d take your happiness into your own hands. You’d stop medicating with food, alcohol. pills, or Instagram filters.
You’d just find what makes you happy. But then…you would actually do the work necessary to get there. Because as your own mother, you’re not simply obsessed with looking good. And you don’t really on feeling good either.
If successful people only did what they felt like doing, nothing would ever get done.
So, you have to be willing to stop trying to feel good all of the time. You would embrace the frustration. Because you know that sometimes it takes being unhappy to give yourself the push to start moving in the right direction.
If you want everything to feel good, you’re screwed. And if you want everything to look good, you’re lying to yourself.
It doesn’t always look good. And you know what? I think people really appreciate that.
Do you know when I find I get the most respect? When I’m real about what’s really going on in my life or when I call other people on their bullshit.
People appreciate the relief it brings what someone actually says, “Hey Sandy, the jig is up.”
It’s like she can finally breathe.
If you were a good mother to yourself, you would allow all of. The good, the bad, the ugly, the brilliant, and then you would lovingly cajole yourself in the direction of your bliss. You would understand that sometimes it’s going to be messy. Sometimes it’s going to hurt. But you would welcome the divine dissatisfaction because you know it’s ok to not always be happy.
You wouldn’t run to medicate your life with filters.
You’d feel ALL of your life and then you’d get to work making it what you really want it. So, let’s start today!
What are you willing to be real about? What needs your attention rather than medication?
I love you,