The elusive dream…
The never-ending pursuit…
We want it…desire it…crave it…
So why is it so elusive?
Well, true happiness may not be as elusive as you may think.
What we need to understand is what blocks our happiness.
I would like to give you an example from my own life…
I had a very specific plan for what I needed and wanted to accomplish at work today. I had everything organized, reminders set up…everything…..it was going to be a great day!
And then work happened…life hit me hard….
I was frustrated…annoyed….impatient……..
Was I happy?
Does this sound familiar?
I have had countless days like this…all seemingly miserable…
But do I really have to look at it this way?
What is really blocking my happiness here?
What was blocking my happiness was……..
That’s right..it is our expectations that act as a block to happiness.
“How?” you ask.
Let me share another story with you.
I had just been hired as a permanent employee in a Critical Care Unit at the hospital. I had only been out of my orientation for 2 weeks. (Please note that I had worked that unit as an Agency or temp nurse for about a year before I hired on).
We were short…significantly short…in fact, there was only one other nurse…and she was newer than I was. So I was “charge” nurse (the nurse who makes staffing decisions and patient assignments for that shift) and had a full patient load, plus needed to act as mentor to the newer nurse.
The manager came onto the unit to help us as soon a she could, and when she got there, I smiled and let her know that we were happy to have her. She was surprised at my attitude…and I shared with her the old saying
Did it change the situation?
But it did change how I looked at and dealt with a potentially explosive situation.
Are you starting to see the light here?
Let’s go back to my first story (yeah, I had a reason for sharing it).
What blocked my road to happiness was my
about what happened today.
so rather than go with the flow when things got crazy,
I chose frustration and resentment…
I blamed my co-workers…
I blamed the organization…
I blamed the patients…
I blamed…well…everyone but the one person responsible for my happiness…
and I was miserable and drained by the time I came home.
Yet, in the second story I shared, I used humor and a positive attitude to work through a truly dangerous and stressful condition. Luckily, it all turned out OK…
but I learned that day how critical our ATTITUDE can be in minimizing a bad situation.
And there was calm (well, as much as you can feel in an ICU)….
So when we are experiencing something and feeling unhappy…we can stop and ask ourselves “How do I think it should be?”
Recognize the expectation for what it is,
and then release it*
and as you learn to do this, I promise that contentment will come, sometimes in surprising places and situations.
Until next time, here’s to your Silver Linings!
If you would like to read my other blogs about Happiness, click here!
*Author’s note: In my view, everyone has the right to be safe. If you are in a dangerous or abusive situation, please seek help. This is not the type of expectation I am asking ANYONE to release.