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Is Happiness Really What You Want? What To Aim For Instead

Written by: Bernice Fabi, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


You’ve worked long and hard for it. You have your dream job, your dream partner, your dream car. You’re even on track to have or already have your dream house and your dream family. You’re happy! for the moment. Maybe for today and even for this year.

The truth is that happiness is an emotion and all emotions are temporary. Unfortunately, we can be so caught up in seeking happiness in life that we live in disappointment as a result. Here’s why.

Every one of us will face challenges, heartache, and loss that will bring us to our knees at some point or another. We are NOT on this earth to live in continual bliss.

Hear me out. Our lives are made up of personal seasons just as there are seasons on earth. We will experience each of these seasons in emotionally different ways.

Winter can be barren and empty. The financial crisis, loss of a job, sickness, or loss of a loved one will confront all of us. We will find ourselves feeling angry, sad, broken-hearted, and lonely during these times. Winter is also a time to rest, prepare and learn.

Spring brings about newness in life. Perhaps it will be a new job, home transition, or a look into ourselves that will bring insight or interest into a new pursuit. Spring is a time of growth, new beginnings, and new opportunities. Our hearts fill with hope, excitement, and anticipation.

Summer is a time of continued growth but also a time for reflection. The clarity of goals in progress certainly accompanies this time, however, it’s also important during this time to stay grounded in what we’ve learned and prepared for in the winter months. Summer is not all fun and games but a time to nourish and protect. We may feel vulnerable at this time.

Fall is the time to reap the harvest of our efforts. It’s also the time that leaves fall off the trees. Celebrate your successes and accept your disappointments. You may need to let go of things in your life or come to a realization that you need to be in a different place and pursue a different journey. Perhaps making a choice comes with reluctance or fear.

So where is happiness in this cycle anyway? While we may have many moments of happiness, I wish you that more often than not, we will also experience an entire range of emotions. If we always strive for and expect happiness, life will be a rollercoaster of unmet expectations. This can lead to a lack of self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and unworthiness. It can also lead to breakdowns in relationships. Happiness is not a real achievement in life because happiness and bliss do not predominantly exist in any season.

So what can we aim for instead? Consider these three priorities to strive for in your life:

Aim to live true to your values. I suggest starting with an internal audit.

Step one: Google “core values” and check out the long list. Spend some time going through it and choose the top three to five that resonate for you personally. This may take some reflection so don’t get too hasty.

Second: Once you have your values shortlisted, reflect on how you live out these values in everyday life. Regardless of the seasons in our lives, being true to these values is imperative.

Third: Reflect on where you need to make adjustments in your life and how you can live out your life in choices and habits to best align with your values.

Here’s an example. Say your top value is integrity. If you’re a business owner deceiving your customers on a product or a service you offer, you would be deceiving yourself as well as your customers, whether they find out about it or not.

Here’s another one. Say my top value is family. I’m working long hours and collapsing on the couch or distracted by social media or the news or sports channel the moment I get home. I’m not living the value I say I’m committed to. This isn’t to say I can’t take time for what interests me and we all need to consider work a temporary priority at times. The consideration is this: what do you place your primary attention on most of the time if it’s other than what you say you value?

Make a commitment to realign and change your habits where necessary.

Aim to serve others. How are you living out your purpose on this earth? Are you really present in your job or only present because of the status or what it allows you to buy? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate how and when you show up as a parent or a partner. Service is an everyday thing that applies to every aspect of our lives.

A very simple profile from Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty is the Dharma Profile. Are you a Creator, a Maker, a Guide, or a Leader? Here we can evaluate how we are able to best use our talents and skills to serve others. Letting go of ignorance, working in our passion, and serving in goodness will determine our effectiveness and fulfillment in life.

Embrace your uniqueness and ability to make a difference in the world. We are often held back by limiting beliefs and fears that disable us from making the impact we can make. Have you ever said to yourself or others any of these statements:

I’m too old to start something new.

I can’t afford to do this.

I don’t have time.

I don’t have the support I need.

I don’t deserve this.

The fact is that if you’ve ever heard yourself say any of these statements, you need to re-evaluate. There is a part of you that you’re holding back that you may regret. Allowing yourself to be the best you can be is serving others to your best ability. Don’t live with excuses. Don’t live with fear. Don’t live with regret evaluating over and over how to best serve and what your magical purpose in life is. Just take a step forward and serve with your heart. You will find YOUR way through honest service, whatever that service is.

Aim to have a practice of giving thanks. Starting and ending each day by giving thanks for both our blessings and challenges keeps us grounded and in an emotionally positive space. It’s natural and easier to give thanks for our blessings and sometimes a little tougher to give thanks for the challenges we face. Know though that it’s through the challenges we face that we grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. By overcoming the hurdles of difficult situations, and we do, we grow in maturity. There are always gifts and opportunities from these struggles. That’s lots to be thankful for and knowing that will fill your heart.

So, instead of striving for happiness, strive to live and embrace a full life. The cyclical seasons of our lives present these opportunities. Aim to follow your values, serve others with a full heart, and practice gratitude. In that practice, you will discover peace in your heart, love for others and yourself, and hope for the world. That is far greater than happiness.

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Bernice Fabi, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Bernice Fabi is a certified Life and Empowerment Coach for women. She also applies mental fitness into her programs for a truly life changing experience. Always an eager life student, Bernice brings an array of experience to her coaching practice including a lengthy financial career and as an entrepreneur in real estate investment and management.

Bernice helps women overcome limiting beliefs and realize their potential. In doing so, they make choices to live an extraordinary and purposeful life.



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