Without this, you have no hope...

WARNING: I'm going to have a minor rant in this post, so continue with caution!

I don't know about you, but to me there seems to be A LOT of talk about finding happiness, the pursuit of happiness, the advantage being happy can give you, and so on. 

But does that all seem a little shallow to you? A little too 'IAAM' {aka, 'it's all about me'} perhaps?

CAVEAT: Please don't misunderstand me with what I'm about to say as I want it on record that there is a great deal of great things to come from being happier than not! And let's face it, happy feels good, helps you do good, and helps you make a positive difference to someone's day. Happy is good!

So I'm not dissing 'happiness' at all, I'm just beginning to question the quest to find it in the oft suggested ways as I see a lot of them being somewhat shallow.

You see, when we seek 'happiness' for its own sake, we often find the acts that we engage in are good at the time, but have limited effect on us long term.

They're often surface level activities you do in the moment.

Doing them gives you a 'happy high' - the kind of buzz you get from doing a good deed for someone, reading a good book, going on a holiday, etc. Don't get me wrong, these actions are good things to do and they spike your level of happiness, but it's just that, a 'spike'.

And because every action has an equal and opposite reaction, the laws of physics tells us that you will inevitably come down to a low point at some stage.

But because you're being bombarded with messages that say 'just do whatever makes you happy', when you find yourself in an emotional dip/slump/crater, it often translates in your brain that you've not accomplished your 'happy' goal. 

In essence, your brain registers 'failure'. 

And when this happens, it triggers a whole host of chemicals that serve to make your emotions fall lower still, therefore moving you even further away from being 'happy'.  vicious cycle if ever I saw one.

So how do you change this to help make 'happy' your natural resting state {without having to go sit under a tree and eat your apple mindfully}?

I think it's got a lot to do with HOPE. 

In my mind, the opposite of 'hope' is 'despair'. And when you're despairing, you are about as far from 'happy' as you can be.

So what I'm saying is this; 

Trying to find 'happiness' in surface level yet intrinsically 'good' activities will make you feel good at the time, but if these aren't anchored in something deeper than simply wanting to feel good, then they won't help you weather the storms of life when they hit {and hit they will beloved, time and time again}. 

This is why 'doing what makes you happy' may work at the time, but the impact for you in the longer term is quite limited. 

So instead of seeking 'happiness', why not seek the thing/s that give you 'HOPE' and focus on that/them instead? 

When you have HOPE, you have a fundamental belief that good things will happen. Hope creates possibilities. Hope instils in us a sense of expectation and anticipation that there is something better to come. And when your hope it is anchored in something greater than yourself, it can give the secure foundation you need to press on toward the prize.

  • Hope has depth.
  •  Hope has meaning.
  • Hope is forward looking, future focused.
  • Hope can come in the smallest of forms - all you need is a glimmer.
  • Finding hope can help you find your way again.
  • Hope anchors the soul.

Did you get that? Can I say it again? {thanks!} 

It will best serve you if you search for happiness in something greater than yourself. Something with meaning. Something that has value. That which gives you a sense of HOPE {even if it's just a glimmer}.

Because without hope beloved, well, you've got no hope {see what I did there tying in my subject line like that, lol!}

If this has struck a chord with you, wanna have a chat? 

I'd love to if you do. Here's the link to my calendar - grab a time that suits you and we can go from there. 

Talk soon!

With love + joy
Cath xo

Find freedom. Start flourishing.

P.S. If you like to skip to the bottom for the key points, here they are: 

  • An endless search for happiness can leave you feeling empty and even further away from feeling 'happy' than when you started
  • Pursue what gives you HOPE instead of pursuing what makes you happy
  • If you wanted to have a chat about this, grab a time in my calendar and we can catch up online

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Catherine Doocey