Yesterday, I wrote about not putting my happiness on hold and trying to find it instead in daily life. In the afternoon, I mowed the lawn and listened to a book (Derren Brown, Happy) which reinforced this point even further. I’ll explain…
A few months ago, I talked about how I used to be fixated on the idea of holidays and travel. I made an unhappy life situation much unhappier because I obsessed about being on holiday or living in another country, and bitterly begrudged the fact that I wasn’t living the life that I could be living elsewhere.
Derren Brown talked about this concept and the fact that many of us think that we’ll be happy when X, Y or Z happens. He quotes the great philosopher, Socrates, who said,
“When you travel, you always take yourself with you.”
Though I didn’t see it at the time, the version of me in the many travel movies I saw in my mind, frolicking on the beach, had the looks and style of a supermodel; the courage of a lion; and a laid-back, good-natured humour that lit up both her and everyone around her. In short, it was a movie character version of myself.
In my longing to be elsewhere, I’d forgotten just who I was taking with me.
Realistically, if I had have emigrated to Australia, the movie version of my fabulous-self would have been quickly replaced with the real me; with all her anxieties and problems and hangups.
Isn’t this empowering?!
To me, it’s another reminder that it doesn’t matter where you are; whether you’re sitting on your own couch or at Sydney Opera House; at the local chippy or climbing up the Eiffel Tower; at a fabulous party or at the coffee machine at work.
The only thing that matters is that you.
Instead of changing a miserable location to a happier one, work on transforming yourself into someone who is generally more grateful, kind, thoughtful and mindful.
Do that and you won’t need to go somewhere or achieve something in order to feel complete/fulfilled/content/found. Nor will you feel disappointed when a holiday, long-awaited event or success fails to live up to your unrealistic expectations.
And when you do happen to achieve something or go somewhere exciting – at least you know you’re taking a pretty awesome person along with you.