On some level, all of our goals in life come back to one central question: what will make me happy? We seek relationships, careers, and adventures that we hope will bring us joy and fulfillment. So why is it that so many people are simply unhappy?
The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that every single one of us is meant to live a life where we are happy most of the time. It’s not just about the big milestone moments, but about living in true happiness every day of our lives. It is not only possible to achieve, but the very purpose for which our souls came into this world.
Here are 5 tips to find and sustain happiness every day:
1. Let go of how you think things “should” be.
Too often, we create a picture in our mind of what we think our lives are supposed to look like or what we need to achieve in order to be happy. When those things don’t happen, we get disappointed, frustrated, and down on ourselves.
Having certainty in the Creator means knowing that you are exactly where you are meant to be for your soul to grow. The times when life is messy, unpredictable, painful, or unknown are when our souls are stretching. Embrace those moments and trust the process. Let go of all the things you thought life should give you, that you should have, or that you are owed. Know that you are being led somewhere so much greater than you could envision for yourself.
2. Work on being more selfless.
We often think of happiness as the effect of something external: a big promotion or a new relationship, for instance, that sparks joy within us. But true, lasting fulfillment comes from within. The way to pursue happiness is by changing who we are and bettering ourselves, enabling us to experience happiness in alignment with our souls.
Every action of selfishness, especially any action we do that hurts someone else, is out of alignment with the nature of our souls, and therefore makes it that much more difficult for us to be happy. The more selfless we become, the more we act in tune with our true essence, and that is what brings inner peace and harmony.
3. Focus less on what others think of you.
We spend so much time worrying about what others think and say of us that it often leads us to pursue the wrong things in search of happiness. We try to impress people or quiet the naysayers by obtaining lots of money, high-powered careers, and Instagram-worthy relationships. While there is certainly nothing wrong with any of those achievements, pursuing them so that other people view us in a certain way is to operate from a place of ego rather than from the soul.
Our souls do not care what anybody else thinks of us. Any emphasis we place on how we are viewed, seen, or what people say about us takes us away from our essence and actually steals our happiness.
Ask yourself why you are pursuing the things you want in life. Is it to change the way others view you or because you have a deeper desire to experience life that way?
4. Find greater appreciation for your blessings and challenges.
One of the greatest ways to achieve happiness is not by obtaining more but through greater appreciation for what you currently have. Every one of us has enough in our lives right now to bring us great joy if we only develop enough appreciation for them.
Awaken appreciation for the current blessings you have. Not just for the blue skies and the birds singing, but also for the challenges and obstacles you are faced with, knowing that they are helping you grow. Our purpose in this world is to transform, and that change often occurs through difficulty and struggle. Appreciation is the key to long-term happiness.
5. Choose to let yourself be happy today.
How often have you thought that you will be happy once you achieve or find something you desire? Maybe it’s a good job, more money, a soulmate, a child. On the flip side, maybe you’ve thought, “If only this challenge weren’t happening right now, I would be happy.”
Too often, we buy into the illusion that happiness is an end goal that we are working towards instead of something we can access every day, even in times of difficulty. We think that once we achieve our destination, we will have lasting happiness. We are waiting for it to happen. Too often, even once we reach those goals, we find we are still somehow unhappy.
Most people don’t realize we can choose happiness each day. Allow yourself to be happy today. Happiness is not the end result; it’s a tool we can use in the here and now to alleviate any darkness and reveal the Light within our blessings in its fullest capacity.
So many people just want a simple thing in life: to be happy. Yet it can seem so hard to obtain, and the reason is that we often pursue happiness in the wrong direction. External things may add to our joy, but they alone cannot be the foundation of our happiness. The more we let go of our own expectations, as well as those of other people, and work on transforming ourselves into more selfless, appreciative people, the more we can find happiness in life’s messy process.