A 21 year old girl while meeting her mentor for the first time was very proud of the answer she gave when she was asked, “What’s your life objective?”
– To be happy!
– And what does happiness mean to you?
– Well, a good job, family, exciting trips abroad…
A few years later they had a follow-up discussion. The girl was proudly telling her mentor of the achievements over the last years.
– So, did you achieve your life objective to be happy?
– Well, I will be fully happy when I become a manager… when I visit all the continents… when I own a house… when I…
The “I will be happy when…” illusion
Happiness is not equal to success such as material things you own or the position you fill. If it is, then you are chasing a monster which is never satisfied. The joy we receive from each success typically lasts only a while and we adjust to the new normal very quickly. This makes us bored quickly and we immediately aim for more.
This doesn’t sound like a happy life! Continuously chasing higher goals, better results – and aiming to achieve all that faster. While there’s nothing wrong in being ambitious, all your external successes shouldn’t determine your happiness. Because happiness is not about what you have, but rather how you approach things.
It’s an inner feeling of gratitude every day created by your mindset. Today is the best day because I have so much more than yesterday or last year, and I am a healthy citizen living in the most peaceful of times.
But how do you achieve this state of mind?
Apply the beginner’s mindset every day
Do you remember the time you visited a foreign country for the first time? Do you remember how fascinated you were with everything you observed? People, streets, food, language…
When you wake up in the morning, try to apply that Fascinated Traveller mindset again while looking at your own life. Do you remember where you lived when you were a student? Just imagine what life would look like if you have never had the opportunity to study at university and get that first job? Remember the people who coached you in your first roles and helped you learn new things?
Putting on the Fascinated Traveller hat helps us to appreciate the things we have here and now instead of cheating on ourselves that we will be happy when…