a Guest Post:
Imagine the Internet without the gazillion articles and blog posts about how to make money, how to be happy, how to lose weight, or how to win back your girlfriend or boyfriend. The above scenario would never exist because as humans, we are constantly searching for ways to feel good. The web is a mirror held to humanity, and the endless self-help content is a reflection of our perceived desires as humans. Whether or not we follow the advice and work toward what we want is another thing. Basic needs, of course, are essential to happiness, but many of the desires are artificial. Focusing on excessive details of success like making millions of dollars or having a flawless body is only a distraction.
related article: Ten Tips to Increase Happiness and Build Confidence
There’s no doubt that happiness is tied to more than just emotional and spiritual health. Physical and financial health are absolutely essential to health and well being. Things go wrong, however, when there’s more emphasis on one type of health than the other types. We should also analyze our “wants”, and ask ourselves whether they are leading us into an endless pursuit of “more, more, more”, or toward true, lasting happiness.
Pastor, author and relationship guru Ed Young has an interesting outlook in his book “Outrageous, Contagious Joy: Five Big Questions to Help You Discover One Great Life”. Instead of uncovering ways to improve your life like saving money, working out or eating right (which many self-help books address), Ed Young opts for a different strategy in the 352 pages of his book. He encourages you to ask questions first.
What I find to be one of the more interesting questions, as listed on his book description on his website, is “Does God want you to be happy?” Whether you believe in any kind of higher power whether it’s the religious notion of God, or “the universe as one” or anything really, it would seem intuitive that a higher power would want us to succeed, flourish and be happy. To think that we should feel guilty, ashamed or that we should not take full advantage of the happiness that our lives can bring us seems quite foolish. However, the truth is, many people carry around this false guilt all through out their lives. They punish themselves with their addiction to negativity and emotional chaos. Breaking down assumptions and preconceived notions of what this life is “all about” is something Young does in “Outrageous, Contagious Joy” which outlines the search for real happiness. Some of the other questions he asks his readers are “Why are you here?” and “What are you working for?”
Ed Young of Grapevine, Texas is a pastor at Fellowship Church. He is also a New York Times best selling author with 14 books under his belt, including Sexperiment, The Marriage Mirror and Kid CEO. His charismatic presence has led to speak at conferences around the world about relationships, sex and marriage, happiness and life. Young, a non-typical pastor, is heavily praised and considered hip and progressive for his relaxed and youthful style of communication.
Asking yourself important questions can force you to take a hard look at the path of life you are on. It’s possible that your current process is holding you back from being truly happy. For example, you want to spend more time with your wife and kids, but you’re also staying late every day at work in the hopes of a promotion. You want to satisfy your wife and kids with more money to spend on groceries and but you’re sacrificing quality time with them by not coming home for dinner each night. Is it possible that the time spent with your loved ones is more important than being able to reward them with more of their favorite food items or that trip to Seaworld? Prioritizing your basic needs and wants is a must if you are searching for. Often times, the solution is simpler than it seems, but you need to get away from your daily patterns and slip into deconstruction mode to see it more clearly.