I think I have it figured out.
And by “it” I mean happiness. I find that most of my negative emotions come from two situations.
The first is when I am thinking about mistakes I have made in the past. The second is when I am feeling anxious about a bleak future. I call this time traveling, it is a really bad habit.
I think this could be said for most people. Some people may lean more towards the former, others toward the latter, but I think we all dwell a little too much in each of these mindsets.
So how do you avoid these traps?
First I will start with thinking about the past.
There is absolutely nothing you can do to change the past, period.
Oh, gosh. That sounds horrible right?
You may not be able to change the past, but you can change the way you think about it. The only way to make sure that your past mistakes and bad experiences were not in vain is to learn from them.
You didn’t know the stove was hot until you touched it, right? Even if you parents told you not to touch it you have to learn some lessons yourself. But as long as you didn’t touch the stove after that instance you can say that it was a “good experience”.
Believe me, you can learn from even the most horrible mistakes or experiences.
Look at that. Now all the terrible things that you have experienced in the past are the reason you are stronger, wiser and more complete as a person.
Use them as the launching pad to your future.
Which brings me to my next point.
All of your predictions for the future are WRONG.
When I was seven years old I was diagnosed with a blood disorder called I.T.P. and it was a very scary time in my life.
I was told there were two types of this disorder, acute and chronic. In children it was usually just an acute case and it would go away within six months. If it lasted more than six months, you were considered chronic.
I passed the six month mark with no end in sight.
I thought I was going to die. I honestly remember being eight years old and already having to come to terms with my own possible fate.
When I was diagnosed there wasn’t very much known about the subject.
Maybe I was over-reacting, but I was a kid.
I had this disorder from when I was seven until about the age of fifteen. There were a lot of close calls, a lot of lonely nights in the hospital, and a lot of emotions I still don’t think I have fully dealt with.
I could go so much deeper into this subject, but I will leave it at this for now.
I am still alive and I now consider I.T.P. to be one of the greatest blessings I have ever experienced. I learned so much through it and it greatly shaped who I have become.
No matter where you think you will end up you have to realize that you are completely wrong. No one can predict the future, though I know you are going to do it anyway.
If you are wrong, and you are going to imagine a future anyway, why not imagine a positive one?
Happiness is more about where you are going, and less about where you are.
“Pain pushes until vision pulls”
Let your vision of the future be as unrealistically amazing as possible.
When you think negatively about the future, it drains you. It takes away from your mental energy. It steals your motivation. This in turn causes you to head towards that negative future which you were worried about in the first place.
It is a self fulfilling prophecy.
The same can be said about thinking positively towards the future. When you imagine a bright future you become happy. When you are happy you are more motivated, you have more energy, and you are more willing to reach for those crazy goals.
The cool thing about this is when you feel this way you start taking little steps in the right direction. With each little step you start to realize “maybe my goals aren’t so crazy after all?”.
Your positivity will start to snowball. Who knows what could happen from there?
Maybe you could be happy.