Things That Scare You Can Make You Happy

Being comfortable is nice, but if you want to live your life to your fullest potential. It is important to do things that may scare you, and take you out of your comfort zone. You will never improve, or have self-development sticking to your usual routine. Once you overcome your fear. You will feel good about yourself for being able to do something you didn’t think you can do. This can help improve your self-confidence, and it will allow you to try other things.

There have been things that scared me, and were outside my comfort zone, but if I didn’t overcome them. I wouldn’t have achieved the things I have, and would have settled in life. Life is too short to settle. You got to do things that will make you happy, which means doing things that are scary and uncomfortable. It is the only way to fully live and be happy.


Find Strength in Positive Thinking

Getting caught up in the negatives can be quite easy. I have recently had some negative thoughts about things. Life is tough, and a struggle. It is something we must accept.

I decided to pull away from my negative thoughts, and start looking at the positives. It really does take strength to focus your mindset on the positives in life. It is there, but you have to look for it. When I go for my walks, and get immersed in nature, and look around. I can see the beauty in this world, or when I listen to music, or think about all the achievements I have made in my life. I think about all the things I have overcome, even when I thought I couldn’t do it.

The thing is, positive thoughts don’t come to you as easily as negative thoughts do. It may be more difficult to focus on the positive, and find happiness, but I choose the positive and happiness path, over the negative and miserable path. You have the choice, be sad, or be happy.

Just remember when you are caught up in sadness and negativity nothing productive happens. That causes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Things are bad, because nothing is getting done. Change must happen, but that can only be done with a positive mindset.bryant-mcgill-your-struggle-strength


Try Not to Make Comparisons to Others

Never compare yourself to others. That is a recipe for unhappiness. Always put the focus on yourself, and improving who you were yesterday. We may think a person’s life is what we want, but no one’s life is perfect, and they have things they want to improve as well, and I am sure they have their struggles.

You just have to remember it is their path, and you have your own path. Focus on following your path. They may have something you want, but that should motivate you to work harder to get what they have that you want, but try not to waste your time being negative, and jealous. Put your energy into helping yourself improve.

Also, remember that you are probably focusing on the good parts of the person’s life, and the bad parts of yours. There are good and bad parts to everyone’s lives. Look at both. Nothing is as good as it seems. You will get your time, just work for it, and be patient.





Living a Meaningful Life

Happiness is an important goal in life. I have mentioned that mindfulness and positive thinking contributes to happiness, but there is another thing that can bring us happiness. That thing is having a meaningful life. What is a meaningful life? Living a meaningful life is about doing things of value, worth, significance etc… Roy Baumeister and Kathleen Vohs believed there were four main needs to having a meaningful life:

  1. Purpose: Present events draw meaning from their connection to future outcomes — objective goals and subjective fulfillment.
  2. Values, which can justify certain courses of action
  3. Efficacy, the belief that one can make a difference
  4. Self-worth, reasons for believing that one is a good and worthy person

We don’t want to feel useless or worthless. We all want to bring something to the world, and to others. We want to be able to inspire, or influence others with our talents. It can be writing, drawing, composing, painting, designing etc.

You just have to find that thing you are passionate about to share to the world. When you are able to do this it can bring much happiness and satisfaction into your life. We all like to feel like we are contributing something to the world, or in people’s lives.

Humans always want to find meaning in life, so it isn’t surprising that we want to live a meaningful life. It can be with work, hobbies, family, or friends. We should find meaningful connections in these areas. It is great to have a job, family, and friends, but it won’t bring much happiness, and fulfillment if there isn’t any meaning there. There needs to be a deep connection. A feeling of worth and value.

I read an interesting article about some differences between happiness and meaningfulness that I like to share. In a study by Positive Psychologist Jennifer Aaker, she found that happiness and living a meaningful life don’t always go hand in hand.

  • Getting what you want and need: Having things you desire can bring happiness, but it doesn’t cultivate meaning. You can buy all the things you want, but it won’t give you a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
  • Past, present and future: Being in the moment/mindfulness can cultivate happiness, but can also decrease meaning. One must link the past, present and future to live a meaningful life, which may decrease happiness.
  • Social life: It is great to hang out with family and friends. This can increase happiness, but deeper connections can increase meaning. If there isn’t a deep connection than meaning decreases. It may want us looking for more.
  • Struggles and stresses: Struggles in life are very important in creating meaning in our lives. Our struggles make us stronger, and teach us lessons. We can also help others from our struggles, so struggles and stress may reduce happiness, but create meaning in our lives. There are plenty of jobs that can cause stress and can make a person unhappy, like Social Workers, Nurses, EMT’s, Doctors and many more, but they can also bring meaning to their lives.
  • Self and personal identity: Self-awareness and self-worth are key in creating a meaningful life. Getting attention from others can bring you happiness, but might not give you meaning. It is great to get likes and attention, but what happens when you don’t get that attention? Your worth decreases. This is why self-acceptance is important.

Now happiness and meaning doesn’t have to be polar opposites. Meaning can create happiness. For me meaning in life gives me a sense of happiness. Being able to help others with my knowledge of psychology brings satisfaction and happiness in my life.

I am sure there is something you may be passionate about that gives you satisfaction. You just have to find that thing that intrigues you. That thing that you can share to the world and others. That gives you a sense of fulfillment.

Now the research by Aaker’s showed that meaning and happiness don’t always go together. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to incorporate the two together. You can find friends whom you can have a deep connection with, which can increase both happiness and meaning, or if you have a stressful job, find time to do something that can relieve the stress-meditate, use mindful techniques, exercise, do an activity, or hobby you enjoy for a couple of minutes.

You can try to live in the moment as much as possible, but also use the past and future to inspire meaning in your life. There are ways to bring both meaning and happiness to your life. You just have to find it, so you can live a happy and meaningful life.







Finding Your Happiness

Happiness is something we all want in life. If someone asks what do we want in life. We will most likely say happiness. How we define happiness is different for all of us. It is hard to describe what it is. The one thing I am sure of is we should learn to find happiness from within ourselves. We should learn to put ourselves first. That may sound selfish, but it is not selfish at all. Being happy is very important.

Happiness within ourselves can spread happiness toward others. If we are happy, this can benefit us in our careers, relationships, and family life. Being happy gives us an opportunity to see things more clearly. This all starts with looking within ourselves to find what makes us happy, and doing exactly what makes us happy. We tend to put others before ourselves. Sacrificing our happiness for someone else’s happiness, and that is not how one should live.

Being happy allows oneself to live to their full potential. It allows you to achieve your goals. It creates many opportunities. Happiness goes hand in hand with a positive mindset, and as I mentioned in my previous post. Positive thoughts cultivates many opportunities for oneself in life. We seem to think that we have to live our lives for others, and yes we should give to others, but to give to others fully. You have to start by giving to yourself first.

Even if you do something for yourself for 30 minutes to an hour a day. That gives you an opportunity to seek happiness. We all have something that makes us happy. For me it is writing for this blog, gaining knowledge, viewing nature, meditating, or mindfulness.

Some like to draw, write music, write stories, dance etc. Whatever it is that makes you happy go ahead and do it! It will benefit you greatly to make time for yourself. The more love you have for yourself. The more love you can give to others, this includes your spouse/partner, friends, children, family members etc. Your happiness can spread towards them. Your life should not evolve around another. If you can find someone else to do things that make you happy, great!, but it is also great to do things on your own as well. Whatever it takes to do things that makes you happy, you should try to do it.

I do believe that attaching oneself to a person, place or object to find happiness is not the way to find happiness. Happiness must come from within. Only you can make yourself happy. Do not give a person, situation, or object power over you. Think about it, if one of those things go away, what happens? You become upset, sad, and depressed. This causes unhappiness.

I am not saying all those things can’t make you happy, but it should not be your sole reason of happiness. Do things that make you passionate, or help you learn and grow, or gives you purpose. These things is what makes you truly happy.

Material things and objects are great, but they don’t last, and the happiness for those things fade. There are many things I bought that made me happy for the moment or for a bit, but after awhile, I got tired of it. One thing that I will never get tired of is my love for learning, or my love for Psychology and helping others, or going for a walk in nature.

These things are true happiness. So go out there and find what truly makes you happy, and go do that. Your happiness is most important. It should be valued. Take care of you first, then you will be able to take care of others in the best way possible.