How to be happy again is not a question that’s unique to you. Or me. We all want to be happy, and most of us remember a time that we were happier than we are now, so we’d like to go back to that time when we felt true joy. Makes sense.
Have you ever been on a vacation and wished you could move there? And when you think back on that trip it has kind of a magical aura around it in your memories? It is this writer’s opinion that it has more to do with the fact that you were on vacation from real life than it had to do with the location, but that’s another article altogether.
How to Be Happy and Find Purpose in Your Life
Suffice it to say that most of us can remember being happier than we are now, at least in the way we remember it — and it’s an especially common issue now that we’ve all survived a global pandemic. It seems that our purpose in life could be drifting a little (or a lot), and we’re not sure how that happened.
It is my firm belief that the reason we aren’t finding happiness, or are wondering how to be happy again is because we’ve gradually bought into lies that rob us of real joy and true happiness. Those lies tend to sneak up on us, and without us really noticing anything has changed, they alter what we perceive our life is like and what would make us happy in the first place. So let’s talk about some of those lies. Of course there are many, but here are 5 of the most common.
5 Lies That Rob Us of Happiness
1. I Am My Looks
When we say it that way, most of us would argue that we don’t really believe “I am my looks.” But how we live reflects that it might be more of a problem than we think.
Most of us are pretty self-conscious about our looks, especially as we get older and don’t have that wrinkle-free, skinny, muscular look anymore. Let’s face it though, most of us didn’t really have that even when we were younger! But we all think about it, right? We look in the mirror and judge ourselves based on false or impossible guidelines.
How to Find Happiness
Solution: stop it! We are NOT our looks. You are who you are on the inside, not the outside. That’s so commonly expressed that it’s a cliché by now, but that’s only because it’s true. We need to practice not judging ourselves until we’re really good at it. We must stop comparing appearances. There will always be people who judge us by our looks, but who cares?! They’re no specimen themselves, if we’re honest! And even if they are, it just doesn’t matter.
How to Be Happy
Let’s not judge ourselves on the basis of something that we know deep down DOES NOT MATTER. If we really want to figure out how to be happy, learning to not be self-judging is a great place to start. It will take practice, but it’s doable. And it’s the way to live, and will lead us back to finding our happiness again.
2. Freedom is Doing Whatever I Want
What? How is this the second lie on this list? Because it’s true — real freedom does not come with doing whatever you want. Let’s face it, most of us, when faced with total freedom to do anything we want, we slip into doing things we don’t actually want to do, but we have no guides in place.
Types of Happiness
Whatever we want to do is often based on our feelings, and feelings don’t really care about us. Feelings bounce all over the map, and if we base our lives on our feelings, it’s not going to be pretty. If we construct our life around feelings, we will ultimately destroy the very life we’re trying to build.
True freedom is not being able to go wherever your desires take you, because we so easily become a slave to those desires. That is not freedom. Real freedom is the ability to do what we want, while simultaneously being able to NOT do it. If we can’t not do it, we are not free. Let’s not give any feelings or desires the reins to control us anymore.
3. Friends are People who Tell us What We Want to Hear
Nope. This one is pretty obvious, but we don’t need to be told merely what we might want to hear. We need to be told what is true. We need friends who will protect us from us! Nobody is perfect, and sometimes even we ourselves can’t see the truth about us, and real friends will not let that pass.
We need to surround ourselves with real friends — those who will be honest with us, even when it’s not particularly what we want to hear. We must have friends that straighten us out when we’re thinking wrong, or making bad choices, or damaging our relationships, and so on. Because a real friend actually cares about us, not about how we perceive them as a friend. Let’s find real friends, and trust them when they act in our favor, whether it feels good or not.
4. If I Want Something Done, I Have to Take Matters Into My Own Hands
That one is a little long, but it represents the root of a lot of problems we tend to cause ourselves. We are not made to be autonomous. If we learned anything coming through the recent pandemic, it’s that we’re not made to operate separate from each other.
How to Find Your Purpose and Passion in Life
We’re designed for community, and it’s not all up to us. It can’t be. Other people in your life are there to share the load, whether that’s work or burdens or sorrow or happiness or joy or anything. Negatives are reduced when we share, but happiness is multiplied.
Have you ever noticed that a sunset is so much better if you have someone to watch it with? It’s true, life was meant to be shared with others. It can be a challenge, without a doubt, but it’s still better than the alternative. A great relationship is almost synonymous with happiness.
So don’t believe the lie that you have to shoulder it all by yourself. You don’t. You are not meant to. You weren’t created to do that.
5. Glory and Fame Will Make Me Happy
This is a very, very common lie — one that we all know is a lie, technically, but we still hang onto it like it’s true. One of my favorite Jim Carrey quotes is this one: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of, so they can see that it’s not the answer.” If anybody has achieved their wildest dreams, it’s Jim Carrey, and he readily admits publicly that it didn’t satisfy him.
I love candy corn. So sue me. But I really do love it. At least, the first handful. Then as I keep eating it, its appeal diminishes, and pretty quickly. The last handful is bad (but I still eat it), and then I feel awful, because I don’t know when to quit.
A little bit of drugs never satisfied anybody. We don’t know when to quit, and we don’t always realize when something is bad for us. We just keep going and going.
Sense of Purpose
That’s what happens when we try to fill up our hearts with money or fame or power, or anything on the earth, really. We will never be satisfied unless we base our lives on actual truth. When we know what we were truly created for is when we start truly living. And we were created by God, for God. When we realize that living for him is what leads to true happiness and real joy, we suddenly become entirely relevant and have a real purpose — because that is the purpose we were created for in the first place!
If you’re not familiar with any of that, please watch the video at the top of this article that’s called “Great News for You.” Because if you truly want to know how to be happy again, a relationship with the One who made you is literally the only way that’s ever going to really happen.
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