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The Key to Happiness

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

I remember when I was in the second grade looking at the whiteboard in school and not being able to see it. It felt terrible. I wanted to do the work and get a good grade, but I couldn’t see the assignment. I had no idea what to do.

There was a really simple solution. I needed corrective lenses. So my mom took me to the eye doctor and I got glasses.

I couldn’t find a picture of me in the second grade, but this is me in middle school I think, with my glasses. I still wear corrective lenses now, I just have contacts.

It was such a simple solution for a really big problem.

Complicated but simple

I was writing in my journal today about change. Everyone wants to make a change in their lives. Most of these changes are really simple when you boil it down. But we make them feel so impossible. They feel insurmountable.

One of the most common things that I hear is, “I’m miserable. I don’t know how to be happy.” I’ve been there too actually. That’s how I got so obsessed with MBTI. I was in my dream job, but miserable. I had depression and anxiety and felt like I couldn’t be happy at all, like it was impossible.

I went on this quest for happiness. I tried exercising and became obsessed with it. I spent 2 hours at the gym a day for 6 days a week. That didn’t work.

I went to see a counselor for an hour a week. Once I started seeing her regularly I would cry every time I spoke to her. Then I started crying in the waiting room before the appointment even started, then any time that I even thought about going to the appointment. That didn’t work.

I tried yoga. I loved the teacher that I had, but then I moved and haven’t been able to find another good one. No luck there either.

Why is it so hard when it’s so simple? Can’t you just be happy? Does there really need to be a quest? Am I making this more complicated than it needs to be?

My business class

I’ve been struggling with my business lately so I took a course about business to see what I was missing. I was hoping that there was some missing piece that I didn’t have yet that would make everything the way that I wanted it to be. I’m 10 weeks into the class, out of 12, and I learned what I was missing. The instructor said, “you already know everything you need to know to make it work. Now you just have to do the work. You have to put it into practice. And keep practicing until you’re good at it.

The first one you do will be terrible. Do it again. Keep going. The second one will be terrible too and the third and fourth. But you can’t get to the good ones until you do the terrible ones. It doesn’t get better if you don’t practice.”

I thought, wow. That’s so simple and so terrible and yet it makes so much sense.

You already know

You already have all of the information you need. You already know how to make the change you want to make. You already know how to be happy. It’s so simple. But we make it more complicated because we don’t want to be uncomfortable.

We’re used to complaining. We’re used to being miserable. We’re used to thinking there is some secret that we don’t know that is buried in the next book or course. We think that there must be an answer in a podcast if we can just find the right one.

But the real answer is you already know. You have everything you need to be happy. You just have to do the things that make you happy more often. You have to focus on the happiness instead of the miserable.

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