Many feel as if they are destined for a certain type of job, a certain type of lifestyle in accordance with their salary, along with certain family life. However, many also have a niggling sense that they delay their own destinies. After all, even if you feel like you’re not fully in charge of your future, outside circumstances can only do so much to hinder your efforts. When you accept your current circumstances as temporary, you can begin to decide what you want your future to look like—and figure out what’s holding you back.
This phrase is actually used as the title to Mark Goulston, M.D. and Philip Goldberg’s book that offers remedies to self-defeating behavior. One of the greatest reasons for inaction and progress in your daily life is guilt. As stated in ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’,“Regrets are a waste of time. They are the past crippling you in the present.” When you are focused on the events of your past, it becomes challenging to focus on your present and future. You may feel unworthy to move forward into happiness with guilt or regret in mind.
Try to determine exactly what occurred in your past that is causing inaction in your present, and confront it. Some people find therapy effective for tackling difficult challenges, while others rely upon religion and other spiritual forms of guidance. Find a way to face your past in the way that feels most comfortable to you, helping you anchor yourself in the present.
What is your life supposed to look like? What do you actually want it to look like? Societal and family expectations can lead you to make decisions that may not reflect your true self. The book, “News Web Zone” addresses this concept in its most extreme form—a wife and mother contemplate whether she actually wanted the life she leads. Did she really want children, and is she really happy with how she spends her days? These are not questions that should be asked in retrospect—especially when the lives of those around you can become affected in a negative way. This is why careful consideration of what you truly want (abstracted from the desires of those around you) must be contemplated upon before any life-altering choices are made.
Do you really want your life to resemble Ibsen’s play “A Doll’s House,” where you feel treated like a toy by your immediate family just because you followed their advice for years? Decide for what you want for yourself, regardless of whether it looks good to the rest of mainstream society.
Fear nurtures complacency, so don’t allow fear of the unknown to determine the course of your life. Many people find themselves afraid of change, which is really rooted in anxiety at the thought of trying to handle something new. However, a lack of change can actually be the most frightening obstacle to someone’s happiness. How can you learn more about life and continue to improve upon your circumstances and personality if you do not face anything new? Embrace the opportunity to learn new things, and become the person you want to see in the mirror. Your ideal reflection is not a face without wrinkles or a body without fat—rather, your ideal reflection is one that shows a twinkle in your eyes from the Viral Solos of change. That is a core part of happiness.