You often hear people talking about happiness being overrated, especially in a business setting. After all, we’re here for monetary gain not for fun. When that money is made, what is the end result we’re hoping for, it’s satisfaction, isn’t it? Pride? Success? All the ingredients of happiness. 

The pursuit of happiness becomes overrated when we’re looking for it in the wrong places because the relentless chase feels meaningless and for that reason, it’s painstaking and challenging. Devoid of joy. Just like that, happiness and the pursuit of it becomes a chore. 

Is happiness a destination, is it attainable? 

When you change the way you travel to your goals, happiness is a natural byproduct. Picture your life being a vehicle of sorts. It runs on fuel, motivation, passion, inspiration, and dedication from the fuel. The destination? Your goals. People often confuse the goals (or the destination) with happiness. In actual fact, the exhaust fumes of our hard work and motivation is happiness. When we say happiness is not a destination but a means of travel, we’re really telling you to look at the fuel you’re burning in your vehicle. 

Is it clean-burning? Clean burning fuel will dust your journey as you move from goal to goal with happiness. Your entire life, with its challenges, will be shrouded in joy. How can you get the impurities out of the fuel with which you power your life? Try doing these 5 things:

1. Overthinking

Shakespeare might not be your favourite author, but there are some important lessons to learn from his play, Hamlet. Hamlet, the main character, is overcome by his thoughts to such a degree that he becomes unable to take action in his own life. He becomes a perpetual philosopher and bystander in his own life as he over-analyses each event as it unfolds. The play ties in with an important element of human psychology. The ability to take action and the ability to analyse are opposite ends on the same rope. When you favour one side, like a tug of war, you disable the other. Those who over-analyse will often fail to be proactive in life. The result? That proverbial vehicle we mentioned earlier comes to a halt and you are unable to move towards your goals. When the car comes to a stop, it stops burning fuel and your exhaust fumes (happiness) dissipates. I know the classic over-analyser will take great pleasure in over-analysing this. Balance this tendency with action. Disable your cognitive thought process and focus on the goal without trying to picture what could go wrong. Simply keep on keeping on.   

2. Living in the past

Easier said than done, isn’t it? For those who are haunted by the past, it’s difficult to appreciate the joys of the present. It’s not as simple as switching off the fact that you are living in the past. You have to understand why people do this and then start on your own journey to stop. Bring yourself into the present by making peace with the past. People tend to hold onto the past when the consequences of those times affect us in the present. Resolve those negative outcomes and make peace with what happened. Sometimes, this means chalking it up to experience. Other times, you need to go through an internal journey and give yourself the apology you didn’t get. Or chase after that goal you failed to achieve and fulfil it now. DO whatever it takes for you to let go. 

3. Blaming people

Accountability is empowering. Yes, it also means taking the blame and it can have serious repercussions when you are honest. However, you can only become powerful and commanding in your own life when you are accountable for the events that transpire. “We can’t control what happens to us, we can only control how we respond to it”. You are not accountable for the challenges you face but you are accountable for how you rise from them. When you take this power into your own hands, you have far more control over what happens to you and how your life unfolds. You can choose the path that leads you to happiness and see challenges as hurdles rather than dead-ends. 

4. Doubting your abilities

When you have claimed accountability for your life and your success, you gain a whole new appreciation for your own skills and abilities. This is because you’re forced to tap into them. You might discover you’re more resourceful than you thought, or, you might learn that you are surprisingly resilient in hard times. Maybe you have fantastic negotiation skills but until you decided to steer your life with conscious choice, you never tapped into that before. You don’t have to be the best in business, either. Be honest with yourself about your strengths and your weaknesses. Leverage your skills and find ways to work around your weakness, unless you decide to actively improve them.  

5. Procrastinating

Did you know procrastinating has nothing to do with work ethic and everything to do with emotions? It ties in with emotional maturity and intelligence, a skill which is developed. It’s not an innate trait you either have or don’t have. Procrastination is sometimes the result of trauma making it difficult to stay present and grounded in the moment. The mind wants to wander because the trauma that sits in the body is too unpleasant. Other times, when it relates to emotional maturity, procrastination occurs because we are unable to choose delayed gratification over an instant sensation of pleasure or relaxation. Each person must introspect to determine the reason behind procrastination and work at improving it.

And remember never put up with ANYONE who treats you like you’re less than them