We always like to keep things real at Lioness and that means addressing the things we don’t want to talk about in order to get more of the things we do want. Each of us are striving to live our best lives every day. We all fluctuate through periods of want and excess. However, some of us stay in periods of want longer than others. How do we bring more happiness into our lives? Today we take a look at why you don’t have the things you want in your life right now:
You spend more time ignoring the things you want to change than actually changing them.
Complacency is the worst type of living. It’s done because it requires little effort and comes with the illusion of safety. Many of us wake up each day and go to a job we despise because it pays well or because it’s just what we do. We feel no passion for our work or the relationship we’re in but we stick with it because it’s there. In order to live a life that is fulfilling, you have to acknowledge what it is that brings you joy and set out to get it, and that requires action. Start searching for that ideal job or company you want to create and then do it. Time is promised to no one. Why would you waste it staying in a space that doesn’t bring you true happiness? Yes, it’s scary to make change. However, that is what is needed to get where you want to go. Develop a game plan and execute it.
The “I’m going to…” syndrome.
Procrastination gets the best of us. But procrastinating on our happiness and a work project are two different things. “I’m going to…” syndrome looks a little something like this:
- “I’m going to lose weight.”
- “I’m going to start looking for funding.”
- “I’m going to talk to my husband about what’s really bothering me.”
- “I’m going to confront my colleague about inappropriate comments.”
- “I’m going to start going to church next week.”
You always keep putting the issue off until the next time. But that time never comes. You have to start living in the now and that means facing situations head on when they are unrolling right in front of you. Don’t allow things to fester. When they do, it takes what could have been a closed issue and drags it out at length – which does nothing for your emotional, mental or spiritual health.
We call girlfriends to vent instead of calling for ideas to solve the problem.
We all need to unload our feelings. It’s healthy. Venting is an exercise of releasing the negative, but how do you reverse the energy once you’ve done that? Instead of calling your friends to just vent, get your feelings out and then use the rest of the time to come up with ways to combat the problem. Walking away from the conversation with workable solutions means the time was well spent. Otherwise, you’ve just released a cloud of negative energy that is still hanging in the air around you.
People usually say they feel better after they’ve vented. Why? Because you’ve gotten your thoughts off of your chest. However, the initial problem still remains. Does this sounds familiar?
YOU: I have to tell you about what an idiot my supervisor is. She keeps taking on new projects for our team and then unloads all of the work on me.
FRIEND: She is such an ass. You could do her job so much better. What are they paying her for anyway?
YOU: Right? Let me tell you what she did last week …
You hang up feeling relieved, and maybe even good for a while. But you know what happens? You return to work and a week later your supervisor does the same thing. Think of the difference it would have made if after you vented about her idiocy, you and your friend came up with two good ways that you could approach your supervisor about your heavy workload and some ways to alleviate it or create a project priority system.
We follow routines instead of interjecting change into our daily lives.
Sometimes our lives mirror a file path on our computer’s server: Wake up>shower>get the kids ready for school>go to work>come home>cook dinner>check homework>get kids ready for bed>do it again. As adults we often lose the sweet spontaneity we coveted in our youth.
All lives should have some sort of consistency. However, each day we should seek new avenues to keep ourselves motivated and educated. Try to incorporate something each day that is new. Whether that is taking five minutes to read a new chapter in a book, trying a new walking route or DVRing your favorite show so you can check out something new. Keep it fresh and interesting. Otherwise, your life may turn out to be nothing but a new version of Bill Murray’s “Ground Hog Day.”
We are surrounded by the same friends and family we’ve had for the last 10 years.
I constantly hear women say things like “I keep a tight circle” or “I don’t need new friends.” Yes, you do! New people bring fresh perspectives and challenge us to try new things. They spark growth. I’m not suggesting you ditch your old friends. Welcome new ones. They don’t have to become your best friend. Make time to open yourself up to new ideas, cultures and opinions. It keeps you well-rounded and exploring our great universe.
Whenever I meet people who don’t have a few different friends (whether in race, age, religion, sex, education or cultures), I worry that they may be small minded or closed off to new ideas or experiences. Everyone should at least have one friend that nobody else in your circle knows very well.
We create exit strategies for our businesses but not other things of importance in our lives.
All good things, eventually, do come to an end. Why would you make plans for your retirement, but not your relationships or apartment? We should not enter anything without plans on how we want to leave them.
You marry your mate and know you want to have kids in three years. You spend so much time focused on your children and their activities, that over time you and your partner grow apart. Your kids head off to college or to begin their lives and now you’re facing one another twiddling your thumbs because you hardly recognize the person on the other end of the dinner table. How many times have we heard of couples divorcing after their kids are grown? People change. They are supposed to, but you need to allow room for you and your mate to grow and change and evolve together.
Go in setting goals. Whether that means the last weekend of the month is always a getaway time for you and the hubby or that every three years you guys take a week vacation alone, it will always give you something to look forward to and establish time to get to know your partner and where they are currently at in the stage of their lives. Don’t forget that even though you are a couple, you are still individuals living your own journeys.
The same goes with your current living situation. Don’t lease a condo without thinking about how you plan to exit or transition from it to a house or another living situation. Plan ahead so you don’t spend years living in a place that no longer suits you, but you haven’t made actual plans to leave. How many times do we find ourselves suddenly scrambling to find a new apartment or decide whether to sell or build onto our house? Live your life with the same intent and goal-setting you would establish for your company.
We chock bad things in our life up to karma, God testing us or it not being our season.
If you leave without remembering any of these items, REMEMBER THIS ONE. As adults we are experiencing things based upon the decisions we have made. While we cannot control everything that happens to us (illness, natural disasters, abuse, death, layoffs, etc.), we can control our responses and reactions to those situations. If your relationship is loveless, you need to reflect on how you guys got to that point in the first place. Have you slowly stopped doing all of the little things that early on made you feel connected? If your broke, what financial (and spending) decisions have you made over the last 12 months. I can’t tell you the number of times people have said they aren’t getting the job they want or something in particular because it’s not their season. Let me make this clear: it can only be your season because you have put in the work for your harvest.
We become defensive when people criticize us.
I don’t like to hear negative things about myself. Who does? But when people I trust and respect tell me something, I listen and decide if what they are saying is true. If more than one person has pointed out the same negative thing about you to you or you consistently find yourself in the same disappointing situation, you might want to reflect on whether or not you are exuding a particular behavior that is the root cause. It’s rare that two people who do not know one another will say the same negative thing about you and there is not some slice of truth to it. Some times the very thing they are pointing out may be blocking you from the happiness you seek.
We ignore red flags because we like our rose colored glasses.
Wouldn’t the world be a bright sunny place if everything went just how we wanted it to? Unfortunately, that’s not reality. In fact, because all of us want different things, the world would probably be even more chaotic if everyone got exactly what they wanted. When things aren’t right for us, there are usually small warning signs along the way. We choose to ignore it for many reasons: I don’t want to deal with that right now, acknowledging it means bringing about a big change or I want to keep things peaceful.
What happens is that eventually we find ourselves in dire situations because we didn’t address the issue at the first warning sign. Don’t fall deeper into a hole. Stop the free fall and pull yourself out before it’s too late. The sooner you confront something, the sooner it’s over and you can move on.
We aren’t up front with ourselves or others about our needs and expectations.
Live your life with intent. Doing so means that you are vocal and transparent about what you need to be your best self. No, the world is not going to bend to your every whim. However, being honest with those around you keeps everyone on the same open page and away from surprises.
If you know that you don’t like a man who smokes, why doesn’t your dating online profile reflect that? You can’t start dating a smoker and then be all over his back when he’s not interested in quitting. You can’t go work at a very small company with four employees and then complain that there is no room for growth. Stop taking what you can get and then flipping the script when things are incompatible with your needs.
We need to be upfront about the things we are willing to be flexible on and our non-negotiables. No job, no relationship, no self-help book or daily mantra is going to complete you. However, you can pull all of those things together to create a life that is rewarding, and ultimately, happy.
What does happiness mean to you? Tell me in the comment section below.