unknown person holding balloons outdoors

I Hope You Choose Sustainable Happiness

Modern society does a pretty good job at selling the concept that the more money you have, the more powerful you are, and the more powerful you are, the more you’re able to get exactly what you want out of life to be happy. Those who seek happiness in this way don’t realize how the “happiness” they strive for is not real happiness at all—it’s happiness and satisfaction that’s superficial and fake.

Real happiness is not the absence of negativity; it’s not getting everything we want, either. Fixating on the negative—what we don’t like, have, or want—makes achieving happiness impossible. Doing so figuratively and literally seals our minds off from healthy, productive thinking. 

Our own egos can get in the way of finding happiness anywhere, because our ego tells us, “I’ll be happy once I get exactly what I want.” Keeping up this mentality, however, creates an endless cycle of believing happiness comes from external things, becoming disappointed when those things don’t go our way, and then blaming those bad feelings on everything and everyone else but ourselves—even though it was our own selfish egos that led us there.

If we tell ourselves we can only be happy whenever our egos are satisfied, we’d be closing off so many actual opportunities to not only feel happy in the moment, but to also be happy with our lives in the long-run.

Sustainable happiness is acknowledging the negativity and either letting it go, learning to accept it, or changing your attitude about it for the sake of lasting peace of mind—for actually being happy.

How can you reach happiness when you’re focusing on everything that prevents you from even experiencing it?

How can you be happy when you’re focusing on what’s making you unhappy?

How can you experience true happiness when you let your ego dictate what’ll “make” you happy rather than being at peace with any outcome?

No matter the darkness in the world, in others, or in our own minds, happiness can be found anywhere when you’re actively looking for the light—or at the very least, the good things that can come from any situation. When you truly seek out that kind of light rather than only looking at the negativity or toxicity that’s present, you make room for appreciation, mindfulness, and mental clarity. 

How else are you supposed to achieve those things when you’re too busy questioning, judging, or criticizing?

Objective reality would not function without opposing forces coexisting. Just like the very gravity that keeps our feet on the ground, as long as all the forces of positive light exist in this world, all its opposing forces of darkness will exist too. Without light, we would be surrounded by darkness; and inversely, without the dark, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the light for what it is or for what it does.

This life will never stop presenting us with millions of reasons to be unhappy, whether it be from the unfairness we experience, the hate we see in others, or the mental torment we put our own selves through. Staying fixated on these feelings won’t ever help to make them stop or go away—making the commitment to fostering sustainable happiness by actively choosing acceptance, awareness, and inner peace will.

You can get everything you want and still be unhappy. It’s also not impossible to still be happy, even when things don’t go how we want them to. Happiness, in that sense, really is a choice. 

We don’t have to keep making it a difficult one for ourselves, though.

About the author
Most of the time, I don’t make sense; but I record my best attempts. Follow Melissa on Instagram or read more articles from Melissa on Thought Catalog.

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