Perhaps one of the biggest myths that society continues to reinforce is the notion that “the more I have, the happier I’ll be.” We see it in the shows we watch, the advertisements on TV, the influence that we place on celebrities. Social media has exploded the pressure that young people feel to get ‘likes’ or followers – most often tied to their appearance. The myth that the more we have the happier we’ll be gets tied to material possessions and the notion that happiness is found out there. And as soon as we begin to believe this myth, the “if only’s set in.”
“If only I could be a smaller size, have a different body shape, be shorter/taller….”
“If only I could find love/ fame/ fortune….”
“If only I had a bigger house/ a fancy car/ the latest toy….”
“If only, if only, if only.”
The moment we get trapped in this loop, we will be chasing happiness. We will achieve the ‘if only’ just to then replace it with the next one. We are much better served to seek the feeling of contentment. To understand that joy is a feeling that can’t be chased, but rather felt in the here and now. It comes from within. When we actively seek joy in every day living, when we can feel content in the ordinary, that is when we no longer believe what society tells us. We can enjoy what life brings us (which may include the fancy car), but it doesn’t come as an expense to our sense of self. Instead, it is tied to what we already know – that joy comes from the inside out.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@jayicastor