Here's The Secret, Mama- Happiness Is An Inside Job - by Sara Wiles for MotherHustle
“Instead of being happy with what we currently have, we’ve convinced ourselves that happiness lives not within us already, but just around the corner.”

If you want to be truly happy, all you have to do is this:

Figure out what you want in life.

And don’t you think figuring out what you want should be as easy as RSVPing YES to an Emmy after party invite where the entire Fab 5 from Queer Eye will be hanging out? Well in my experience, it ain’t that easy. You see, for most of us, figuring out what we want in life is really freaking hard.

Why?

Because our modern definition of happy is massively flawed so we’re looking for happiness in all the wrong places. And, we never actually find it because it doesn’t exist (nor has it ever) in the all places we’re searching.

We’re told in ads, commercials and billboards that happiness can be found in a jar of anti-wrinkle, anti-aging, anti-everything face cream, inside a pair of ultra-slimming and ultra-expensive yoga pants or at the bottom of a pint of organic, grass-fed ice cream. We’re told happiness is a sparkling luxury car, a new 2-story home or a designer purse made in France (you know which one I’m talking about, yes?!).

Now listen, I am not going to lie to you. All the stuff I mentioned above…I like that stuff, too!

And wanting it does not make me (or you) a bad person. But thinking those things are going to bring us real joy will leave us filled with all the pumpkin spice lattes we can handle while still being empty of the actual thing we’re after…true happiness.

And that’s because instead of being happy with what we currently have, we’ve convinced ourselves that happiness lives not within us already, but just around the corner.

We tell ourselves we’ll be happy after we buy the thing, get the raise, have the baby or own the home in the fancy neighborhood.

But the problem is, when we finally get the thing we think will make us happy, we realize we don’t feel like we thought we would and go searching for another thing to provide us with that feeling. Inevitably, we’re initiating the “must-acquire-more-things-to-be-happy” cycle that dominates Western culture and keeps marketers, businesses and organizations in the green. And based on the fact that so many people are still searching for happiness by getting more things, I can tell you that definitely doesn’t work.

So how do you figure out how to be happy if it’s not in the items, homes and job promotions?

After 30 years on this earth vying for things and never really, truly, deeply being happy I finally looked inward and figured out how to find it.

Newsflash: it turns out happiness is an inside job.

Step 1:  Determine the experiences and times you’ve felt truly happy, fulfilled or joyful in your day to day life.

For me, these look like taking care of myself (through exercise, eating healthy foods, meditation, reading and journaling), spending present time with my family and building a business that makes an impact on women. It’s important to think about what makes you happy in your day-to-day life, because while we can find momentary happiness on the beaches of the Maldives (shoot, who can’t?!), that vacation won’t happen every day and waiting for the next vacation to be happy ain’t happy, y’all.

Step 2: Set those items you determined as the ones that bring you daily happiness, fulfillment or joy as priorities in your life.

Now that you know what fills your  ̶w̶i̶n̶e̶ ̶g̶l̶a̶s̶s̶….errr….cup, you need to fill that sucker consistently. That probably means you’re going to be spending less time scrolling mindlessly through Facebook to make more time for meditation (raises hand). It also means you’ll need to spend less time complaining about what you don’t like in your life and more time actually making changes in it. Setting priorities and then acting on them is what creates long-term happiness. Decide you’re in and act like it.

Step 3: Give yourself permission to make changes.

Listen, sometimes we think we know what makes us happy only to go for it and realize that it doesn’t. Like the time I thought becoming a yoga teacher was my calling in life only to realize eight months later that I didn’t like teaching those classes. Listen sister, there is no need to beat yourself up. Knowing what doesn’t do it for you is called clarity (HOORAY!) and it’s something to celebrate. Now, you can move forward and try something new and become that much closer to finding your true happy.

At the end of the day, what I know to be true is this: you don’t have to have it all to be happy, you just have to be happy with all that you have. And for me, that means setting priorities and finding joy in sticking to them.


Sara Wiles is an Online Business Mentor for done-for-you service providers starting and scaling businesses. She is also the co-founder of The Happy Thoughts Show. She spent 8 years traveling the U.S. producing high-end corporate + celebrity events before becoming an entrepreneur. Sara is also a mother, champagne enthusiast and four-letter word addict. Follower her on Facebook and Instagram.

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