Channelling your inner chameleon
We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognising and appreciating what we do have. Frederick Keonig
On our quest for happiness, there will be times where you selfishly seek more. You may forget the people in your life, the things you have achieved and your original reasons for starting the journey, and start looking at how you can change to live a fuller and happier life. But what happens when you continually change until you are only content outside your comfort zone?
Everywhere you look it tells you to “change” for happiness or make the “changes” to be happier. But what if you live your life, continually changing and continually striving for happiness? Change can become a barrier if you are trying to escape or avoid something from the past. Rather than facing it, it can appear easier to run away and continue changing. Unfortunately, this can be addictive or become a pattern, which can lead to an unsettling and extremely isolated existence.
This is why it is important to be mindful of your thoughts and actions, appreciative of the things you have and accepting of things as they happen.
Selecting the right change for you
It’s critical to select changes that influence further positive changes. Change can be like a domino effect – pulling other changes along with it – so considering a single change carefully, before you make the change, is essential. So how can you guarantee that the change ahead is right for you?
- First consider why you are changing. Are you changing for the right reasons? You should only ever change for yourself and to ultimately benefit yourself. You need to want to change. Changing for someone else will reverse if the situation with that person changes.
- Weigh up the pros and cons of the change. Is it the right decision for you? Consider any implications (or further changes) it may bring and how this will affect you.
- How will the change affect you in the long term? Think about if the change is permanent or temporary? And if it is temporary, why is it necessary and how will it ultimately further you?
- Will the change affect other areas in your life? For example, moving away will affect career, family and friends. Are those areas in your life something that you want or need to change at the moment?
- Ask an honest friend who knows you. As social beings, we tend to ask friends and family for their opinion and seek guidance in our decisions, but it’s important to appreciate that they aren’t dealing with the consequences of whatever decision is ahead. (It is also important to accept this when we offer advice or guidance to those who are seeking our opinion on something.)
- Is the change in line with your values? Make sure the change will further you in some way, otherwise be happy with what you have.
Remember, while you can hope for happiness and adjust your sails so life drifts in that direction, you can never plan for it or be fully assured that it will come because of a change we make. Sometimes, the grass is not greener. If you change, will the important people in your life come with you on the journey or is this the point where you lose them? It’s important to accept that no one experiences happiness every single day, and with that in mind, are you ok with sitting with today?