We live in a materialistic world where nothing is free. Everything costs something; even there are hidden costs of happiness. The cost of anything becomes apparent sooner or later. There is no such thing as a free lunch, as you might have heard if you have ever taken a flight.
In the same way, nothing can be achieved without paying a cost. If you want to win a basketball match, you cannot do so without practice and without giving up on an unhealthy lifestyle. If you want to earn good grades, you have to put in effort and study at the cost of giving up on video games.
On the contrary, our generation wants happiness instantly. Most of us yearn for instant gratification and instant satisfaction. We want happiness without paying any cost. We say that happiness should be free. But we forget that no pain, no gain. No risk, no reward.
If you are unwilling to sacrifice anything and step out of your comfort zone, it is very unlikely that you will succeed. Happiness is not free. There are hidden costs of happiness you will discover soon.
The least we can do is figure out why we don’t achieve happiness. Where are we lacking? So next, let’s figure out what attitude problems are holding us back from achieving happiness:
Accept and Acknowledging Your Imperfections
There is no such thing as perfect. If you think having a dream life with all the luxuries and amenities will make you happy, then take it from us. It wouldn’t.
Once you have all the luxuries, you will not have your youth like most people. You won’t have the free time to enjoy, or there might not be a stance where you achieve everything you want.
Or once you have everything you once dreamt of as a guarantee of happiness, you might not feel happy because of those things. Your definition of happiness may change.
These statements are not meant to demotivate you. This is what reality is. Life does not always go as planned. Challenges change and transform into more challenging or less challenging circumstances.
Perfection is just an illusion as it is not something that can be achieved. Not everything would be perfect. Not everything would be like the movies or the thoughts in your head. As soon as you realize this, the better it is for you. That is the key to finding happiness.
The more logical approach in life would be to stay happy. Accept that progress means happiness, not perfection. Find happiness in imperfections and what you have.
Don’t stop working for your dreams, but don’t think you will be happy without achieving your goal. You can still learn to be happy with the small achievements and success.
Don’t follow the definition of perfection as set by others. Being happy with your progress is what perfection really is. This thinking will relieve your stress.1
It is the realization that most of our wishes will not be fulfilled. And we will always be mistaken about something. This realization will make us joyful by enabling us to tolerate our and others’ shortcomings. Accepting our imperfections is what allows us to be happy.2
Hold Yourself Accountable for Your Happiness
It’s tempting to blame our troubles on the outside world. It is an easy way out of misery. It’s alluring and might even be fulfilling. When we place blame on others, we get to play the victim.
We resolve ourselves of guilt and act dramatically and furious about all the awful injustices done to us. We dwell in our perceived victimhood to make ourselves feel safe.
But the reality and rationality lie in accepting that we also played a role in causing the problem. Acknowledging our mistakes only leads to our betterment. We rectify our actions and take steps to prevent ourselves from causing the problem again.
Thus, by not playing the victim, you’re doing yourself a favor. It will give you long-term relief and benefit instead of short-term happiness.
Take Control of Your Emotions
The stronger person isn’t the one who feels no fear but is the one who remains steadfast and keeps working towards his goals despite feeling the fear.
Happiness is overcoming emotions, replacing fear with bravery, and working continuously. Failing is not never an option. It is the most credible option you have. It shows that you tried, didn’t give up, and kept working.
Once you fail, you now know what things you did that add up to making you fail, so you don’t do it again. So take control of your emotions, take strength in your hands, and embark on pursuing your goals because even if you fail, you will still find happiness in the end because you will become a more polished version of yourself.
Find a Deeper Purpose
It would help if you found a deeper purpose to stay motivated toward achieving your goals. Something superficial or shallow isn’t a source of long-term motivation.
Some people have the main motivation of earning or getting loads of money. This is a really superficial approach. You would get nothing from this purpose except obnoxious behavior, jealousy, and wrongdoings. A better purpose would be to earn money to provide for my family or charity to the poor.
In the same way, having a certain goal just because it would make you feel accepted by the people around you is also a superficial goal. It means you would be faking your interests to fit in. And besides, people change and are very uncertain. They might not even acknowledge you for the things you’ve done, even if they said they would before.
Relying on people is a gamble because people don’t even have their own lives figured out, so how could they help you figure out yours? Just like an artist does art that no one might understand, it depicts his thoughts and shouldn’t be valued any less than other art forms.
The same is the case with you. Your life will cost you many things and require many sacrifices. The hard work of happiness should be fulfilling. So, find a deeper, more reliable, and more fulfilling purpose if you want to stay motivated and stay inspired to keep on working towards your life goals. Use a vision board to stay on track and motivated on your journey.
Don’t be Afraid to Fail: Happiness Comes with Bravery
All people who achieved great things in life failed at some point. They had to pay the hidden costs of achieving happiness and goals. They did everything they deemed perfect but ended up in failure. But one thing they didn’t do was give up. They embraced the failures and embarrassments and didn’t back down. The result of this steadfastness was that now they are known by millions of people for having done something no one else could
So to attain happiness and your goals, realize it’s going to cost you. But once you’ve achieved your goals, you can use this. Once you’re the CEO of your company, you can charge people and tell them that it costs that much because it takes them hours to develop innovative ideas that run this business. If you become the best doctor, you can charge people for their treatments. You can say it took me hours of work and learning to become a doctor. It took years of dedication and cost me a lot, and now I have the right to take the cost back.
Therefore, remember that you can’t achieve great things until you fall, face failure, remain determined, and get up again.
The crux of all this is that it’s a lie that happiness is free. Happiness costs a lot, and the cost has to be paid by you one way or another. The key thing to remember on your journey to finding happiness is the realization that it’s okay to be imperfect. You play a due part in causing your problems. Controlling emotions is a way for strong people. You need to be brave enough to try and do all this with a deeper, more meaningful purpose in life.