· By Case Kenny
What will actually make you happy?
Maybe we’ve been going about the things we want in life backwards?
Have you heard the quote that says the following?
“It is not happiness that brings us gratitude, it is gratitude that brings us happiness.”
I’m drawn to this quote for the conclusion I take from it when it comes to the process of life.
Maybe the RESULT of our big goal is what we should focus on instead of the goal itself?
We think that happiness makes us grateful… well, maybe gratitude will make us happy?
Do you fall into the human trap of setting a finish line without perhaps considering that the things you think exist there are actually the things that will help you get there?
Maybe it’s not happiness that makes us grateful… maybe it’s being grateful that makes you happy?
What are some common BIG goals we've set for ourselves?
We want to be loved…
Well, maybe it’s not a relationship that makes us feel loved, it’s loving ourselves that brings us a relationship.
We want to be successful..
Well, maybe it’s not a paycheck that makes us feel that label of successful, it’s being successful that brings us a paycheck.
We want to be confident…
Well, maybe it’s not being liked by others that makes us feel confident, it’s being confident that makes people like us.
What if we’ve been chasing these BIG things - being loved, being successful, being confident… and we’ve set finish lines there but all along it’s the things after the finish line that will help us get to there in the first place...
A relationship is certainly part of being loved but is that THE path? What if you switched it up?
What if you loved yourself and saw what happened? Practically I can tell you for a fact that in dating I could always sense when someone loved themselves or whether they were filling a void by looking for a relationship.
Practically, loving yourself is a huge step towards actually finding the partner who’s right for you.
Loving yourself makes you confident, gives you a strong sense of self, shows you what you bring to the table.
In the instance of wanting to be successful… I’d venture that most of our definitions include some reference to a paycheck.
But what if we’re so focused on dollar amounts to finally feel worthy of the successful label we miss the fact that success is what breeds $.... not the other way around.
What if we focused more on our hard and soft skills and the paycheck will come.? What if the practice and the craft makes us worthy of that label?
Practically, I’ve made more in my career as a result of leaving behind guaranteed paychecks (that on paper were successful) and instead investing in the things I’m good at, taking risks and letting them lead me to my definition of success.
We tend to think confidence is the thing we get when we’ve conquered our demons and don't care what people think because we’re just walking confidence magnets and people are drawn to us.
But maybe it’s not being liked by others that makes you feel confident and worthy, maybe it’s confidence that makes you people be drawn to you?
Confidence doesn't come from the result of people liking you. It comes from reps. It comes from experience. It comes from failure. It comes from rebounding from that failure.
Maybe we have things backwards?
We tend to look at the little things that folks like myself in the wellness space talk about - gratitude, being present, self love, etc. and we think those things come AFTER the big things - a relationship, from success, from confidence. But maybe that's reversed...
Ask yourself… what would be the result of the BIG thing? What would being loved by someone give you? What would be successful or confident give you? You might say inner peace, lack of pressure, gratitude, presence…
Well, what if you tried those things first instead of waiting for that big thing to give you those things?
What if you stopped being desperate for a partner and stopped overthinking the why behind failed relationships and love? What if you stopped pressuring yourself, and instead loved yourself so much that it emanated from you in everything you do?
What if you stopped pressuring yourself to measure success by some paycheck or a title and instead went all in on a skill or talent, and you showed it to the world, you showed it to your boss, your company it and you see what happened?
What if you stopped wanting everyone to like you and you stopped looking at other peoples’ reaction to you as a sign of your confidence and instead you TRIED to fail, you embraced yourself, you embraced awareness as much as possible and see the confidence THAT gives you?
What if we tried the little things today that we thought would be given to us tomorrow as a result of getting that little thing?
What if we practice gratitude today and see how happy that makes us?
What if we practiced radical self love today and see how that affects our dating lives?
What if we embraced failure and awkwardness and see how that boosts our self confidence?