How to be happier & more fulfilled

So I started thinking about this a few weeks ago when I found a note that I wrote to myself. I can’t remember exactly when I wrote it (at some point in the last year) but it said:

Help w/ happiness & fulfillment 
1. Don’t compare yourself to others OR your past self. 
2. Don’t place your self worth in other people or things.
3. Be honest with yourself & ask what YOU truly want. Don’t let other perceptions get in the way.

I found this note when we were unpacking the new house and it made me a little sad that I wrote it. I feel like I’m a very positive person–not unrealistic but I always look for the silver lining in situations, and feel like I find happiness in the everyday little things. And I definitely wouldn’t say that in general I’m unhappy or unfulfilled. But if I’m being honest, as much as I love my job working as a blogger and influencer, there are moments where it weighs on me and I think it has gotten worse over the years as it has transitioned from a hobby, part-time, to now full-time job. Like anyone who is human, I get caught up in the comparison trap on social media and I feel like it can be amplified even more because my job is social media. So if I had to take a guess, I’m assuming I wrote that note during a time where I was struggling with those feelings on a deeper level.

That being said, after I found that note I have been thinking a lot about happiness and what makes, me, us as people, happy? Not that I am a philosopher by any means LOL but I have just been thinking about the “I’ll be happy when” mentality and how dangerous it is. And honestly, I think so much of the comparison game comes down to that sentiment. We look at other people (on social media especially) and what they have and think, “well, I’d be happy if I had that” or “once I have what she has, then I’ll be happy.” Is that really true though? Will we be happy when we have all those things?

I started thinking about certain times in my own life. When we were in our apartment before our first home, I started thinkings towards the end of our lease “when we have a house, things will be so much better!” Then we moved into our first home. And don’t get me wrong, were there things better about it than the apartment? Yes, definitely. It felt great to have a own place, more space, better natural light (which did make my job easier/less frustrating lol). But then the newness fell away, and overtime I would occasionally catch myself looking at other houses that were bigger, nicer, etc. and would think, “it would just be so nice to have a bigger kitchen, a better closet. ” Then we moved into our new/current house, and I got all those things. And then a week after we move in, I passed houses a couple miles away from us that are worth 2x what ours is worth, and I caught myself thinking about how much nicer those houses are.

This is something I feel kind of embarrassed to admit but I just want to be honest with you guys. And it’s not that I’m not ungrateful for what I have, don’t get me wrong. But my point is, I think it’s human nature to always want more, or to automatically compare what you have to someone else. There isn’t anything wrong with wanting more but I think it can be a slippery slope when you feel like your happiness is dependent on it.

So am I any happier now than when we lived in the apartment, our old house, etc? Honestly, I can’t give you a resounding yes. And the reason is because it’s not that I was unhappy when I had “less.” I don’t look back on those years and think, I’m so glad that we now have “XYZ”–I’m so much happier! I do think in some ways I’ve felt more fulfilled over the years but not because of better/more “stuff” –it’s because I’ve worked really hard towards certain goals and they’ve paid off, but I think that is very different. I mean, do I appreciate having nicer things now? Of course. But would I say I’m “happier” now than in the past? No.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” I read this recently in a book and it really resonated with me. I also was like, this sounds so familiar and then realized it’s the quote Stephen has in his IG bio LOL. Anyway, what I take away from this is that most of us are in control of our own happiness depending on what perspective we decide to have. We can continually focus on what we don’t have and think that if we just had XYZ then we would be happier, and life would be better. Or we can focus on what we do have and realize that while it’s fine to work towards certain things, that those things don’t ultimately dictate whether we are happy or not.

So going back to my little note/reminder to myself–I’m not an expert but I think these are some pretty good rules to live by: 

1. Don’t compare yourself to others OR your past self.
2. Don’t place your self worth in other people or things.
3. Be honest with yourself & ask what YOU truly want. Don’t let other perceptions get in the way.

Do you guys have any thoughts on this topic? Would love to hear! xxC


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