As of late, I’ve noticed a recurring theme that I discussed in one of my past articles back in September 2022 – a level of unsettledness. In that piece, titled “The Great Unsettledness,” I shared insights on creating a positive culture centered around service and hope. While it seemed like we might be turning the tide in 2022, the first half of this year appears to have brought not only unsettledness but a sense of unhappiness, affecting people across all walks of life. I’m seeing it in our work, families, and friendships. After spending some time thinking about it the last few weeks, I’ve arrived at a few conclusions:
Comparing Ourselves to Others – Many blame social media but the reality is, we have been comparing ourselves to others with TV, radio, newspaper, etc. for decades. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” When we compare ourselves to others, we end up feeling inadequate and robbed of our satisfaction. This negative mindset breeds envy and jealousy. Instead, we should focus on appreciating what we have and what we can do. This can help us create a much better mental loop.
Embracing Gratitude – Author and speaker Jon Gordon says, “Abundance will flow into our life when gratitude flows out of our heart.” He talks about how it’s difficult to remain unhappy when we cultivate a mindset of gratitude while serving and giving back to others. So, if gratitude leads to happiness, why don’t we make a conscious effort to practice it more often?
Living in the Present – We spend way too much time beating ourselves up for past failures. Anxiety is all about worrying about the future and what we think might happen next. Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu said, “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are peace, you are living in the present.” The past is done, and we can’t really control the future, so why do we not spend more time in the place we can make a difference – the present?
Self-Care is Essential – Taking care of our physical and mental well-being is crucial to living a happy life. We all know we need to eat right, get rest and exercise to feel our best. We cannot expect to be content with our overall well-being if we neglect these fundamental aspects. Investing in self-care should be a priority if we want to improve other aspects of our lives.
All of these points encourage self-reflection. Our happiness and mindset are closely linked to our own actions and attitudes. Avoid blaming others, being envious, and not practicing gratefulness. Those actions only cause anxiety, stress, and a sense of unhappiness. Rather than placing blame on external factors, let’s turn inwards and take responsibility for our own happiness.
As we approach the end of this year, let’s make a commitment to treat ourselves better – physically, mentally, and spiritually. Let’s find ways to love, be positive, seek truth and serve others.