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3 Keys To Happiness

3 Keys To Happiness

I got my degree in engineering because my brother was going to school for that and I couldn’t think of any other career paths that I wanted to do. After graduating college and securing a job at Westinghouse I was excited and ready to start my career.  I soon realized that I had made the wrong choice and that it wasn’t what I thought it would be.  The people I worked with seemed lifeless and passionless about their jobs and the feeling was contagious.  There always seemed to be an air of tension among people and the way they acted seemed fake and somewhat nervous.

This corporate world was not for me and it was resonating throughout my life in various negative ways; my health was failing, I felt empty inside, I drank more…

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1. Do What You Love

My first goal was to simplify my life so I didn’t need all of this income to exist. I sold my expensive sports car, moved into a smaller place, stopped going out so much, and focused on getting rid of anything that wasn’t mandatory. I started my own painting company on the side and was able to leave the corporate world for good within a year.  After a few years even this kind of freedom wasn’t enough, something was missing.  All throughout my life friends would tell me I was funny and I should be a comedian.  I finally took this to heart and tried a comedy course at a local comedy club.  Well, that was over a decade ago and I am more passionate than ever about this career in the performing arts.  It has opened my eyes to a new way of looking at life and reignited my spirit.

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You must find that calling that you were meant to do and go for it regardless of the pay.  If you get good at anything there will always be a sector of people who are willing to pay it.  This way you won’t be counting down the years left in your career, but counting up the years that you’ve been doing it and hoping for more. There is no retirement for me, I’ll do this till the day I die.  There is more to life than just getting by.

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2. Have What You Need

Things don’t make us happy, they may be exciting at first but once the thrill wears off you are just left with bills in the mail causing even more stress than before.  If you minimize and simplify your life one step at a time you will create more freedom and free time to do the things that you enjoy.  Money does not equal happiness, it is more just a tool to help you get the things you need.  Don’t just buy things that you want, it is a never ending cycle.  There is always another gadget to buy, another subscription to join, only causing you to fall further in debt and making it so you have to work more.

When I was a little kid I had food to eat, a place to sleep, and transportation to get around and I didn’t need to work 40 or more hours a week to have this.  My goal is to have that freedom back that I had when I was a little kid and it is possible to do.  It doesn’t take much to make you happy if you are doing what you love, that itself is fulfilling enough.  Think of the things you need to feel better;  exercise, sunshine, silence, passion, love.   Most of these things are either free or very inexpensive to have, make it a point to get more of what you need and you won’t want anything more.

3. Help Other People

They say if you want to be happy focus all of your attention on making other people happy, and if you want to be miserable focus only on making yourself happy.  We like to think we are independent but, in fact, we are interdependent beings.   If I put you on a desert island with nothing but your computer and Facebook “friends” you would end up being extremely lonely and very unhappy over time, we need each other.   Compassion, or concern for others, helps to humanize us and connect us making us feel like we are part of something bigger and, in return, making us feel better about ourselves and happier in the process.  Just start in small ways to care about others, it doesn’t happen overnight.  You can train your mind to become anything you want, it just happens slowly over time.  Set your intention to be a more compassionate and caring person and as time goes by you will become just that and end up a much happier person than when you began.

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More by this author

Dave Celestian

Philosopher and Humorist

3 Keys To Happiness

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

Relationships are complicated and when you’re unhappy, it can be difficult to tell what’s causing it and what needs to change.

Sometimes it’s as easy as opening up to your partner about your problems, while other times it may be necessary to switch partners or roll solo to get your mind straight.

When you’re in the thick of things, it can be difficult to tell if you’re unhappy in your relationship or just unhappy in general (in which case, a relationship may be just the cure you need).

Here’re signs of an unhappy relationship that is possibly making you feel stuck:

1. You’re depressed about your home life.

No matter what you do in life, you’re going to have good and bad days. Your relationship is no different.

However, no matter what you’re going through at home, you have to feel comfortable in your own home.

If you constantly dread going home because your significant other is there, there’s a problem. Maybe it’s something you already know about, everyone has an argument or just needs some alone time.

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When that yearning to be alone becomes an insatiable obsession over the course of months and years, it’s time to realize you’re not the exception to the rule.

You’re unhappy in your relationship, and you need to take a look in the mirror and do whatever it takes to make yourself smile.

2. You aren’t comfortable being yourself.

Remember all those things you discovered about yourself when you first got together? The way your partner made you feel when you met that made you fall in love with him or her in the first place.

If they don’t make you feel that way anymore, it’s not the end of the world. If your partner makes you uncomfortable about being you, then her or she is only dragging you down. It’s up to you to decide how to handle that.

You need to be comfortable with who you are. This means being comfortable in your skin and with the way you walk, talk, look, breath, move, and all the other things that make you uniquely you.

If the person who supposedly loves you doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, know that you can do better. They’re not even one in a billion.

3. You can’t stop snooping.

Mutual trust is necessary in any relationship. The only way to get that trust is with respect.

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I can find you anywhere online, no matter how private and secure you think you are. The odds of you having a password I can’t crack are slim. If we’ve met in person, I could install a remote key logger on your device without even touching it.

Finding your information online hardly takes a clandestine organization. Any idiot with a Wi-Fi-enabled device can cyberstalk you. I’m just the only idiot in the village admitting it.

So now that we know everyone snoops, it’s time to address your personal habits. Governments snoop because they don’t trust us. If you’re snooping on your partner, it’s because you don’t trust them.

It’s ok to have doubts, and it’s perfectly normal to look into anything that looks weird, but keep in mind that data collection is only half of an investigation.

If you find yourself constantly snooping and questioning everything, clearly there’s a trust issue and the relationship likely needs to end.

4. You’re afraid of commitment.

If you’ve been dating longer than a year and you aren’t engaged, it’s never going to happen.

Commitment is important. People will come up with a million ways to describe why they can’t be committed.

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No matter who you are if you like it, you need to put a ring on it. Find an engagement ring, stick a gemstone in it and marry the person. If you’re not legally able to get married or you don’t believe in it for one reason or another, have a child (or adopt one, however you’re able to) or treat your partner’s family like your own. It’s a huge financial and mental commitment.

If you’re not ready for one or the other after some time, don’t waste anymore of your precious life on the relationship.

Your relationship should be something that propels you forward. If it’s not going anywhere, make it an open relationship and call it what it is—dating multiple people.

5. You imagine a happier life without your partner.

If all you’re doing is imagining a happier life without your partner, it’s a sign that you’re in the wrong relationship. You’re unhappy and you need to get out.

Your partner should be included in your dreams. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a future with someone.

Try to remember what you dreamed of before you got your heart broken by the realities of life, love and the pursuit of human success.

Remember when you would crush on that cute kid in class? You would secretly imagine marrying him or her and going on an adventure—that’s the way life should be.

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If you’re not at least imagining adventures together, then why are you in that relationship?

6. You resent, rather than love your partner.

When a relationship starts to crumble, you begin to resent your partner for all the things you once loved about him or her.

When you’ve reached this point, your partner has reached at least No. 2 on this list. From your partner’s perspective, your unhappiness with them is picked up as bashing them for being who they are.

If you’re both unhappy in the relationship, it’s better if it ends as quickly and painlessly as possible.

7. You chase past feelings.

It’s okay to reminisce about the past, but if all you do is wish things were like they used to be, it’s a sign you’re not on the right path.

You’re unhappy and, at the very least, you need to have an open dialogue about it. This isn’t necessarily a sign that the relationship should end, but it definitely needs a spark.

When you talk to your partner candidly about what it is you’re looking for, you never know how they’ll react. The risk alone is worth it, good or bad.

Final thoughts

If you’re feeling stuck in your current relationship, it’s time to reflect about it with your partner. Don’t ignore these signs of an unhappy relationship as they will slowly go worse and harm both you and your partner in long-term.

Featured photo credit: josh peterson via unsplash.com

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