That’s it. You’re sick of being unhappy. You know you desserve to be happy. You’re done with the status quo. No more putting up with mediocrity.
Good thing, right? Not so fast.
You may feel unhappy because you consider yourself special, unique, with a great potential. Because somehow, you know you have an incredible destiny to fulfill.
Yet you haven’t fulfilled anything. Or not much, compared to what you know you can do. Why is that?
Maybe because you’re not so special.
Do you start resenting me for saying that? I’m sorry. Hey, I said “maybe”. But I would like to try something with you.
Try giving up on your “specialness”.
I used to feel special. Like, really special. Like I had an incredible destiny. That I was meant to be the most successful person in the world (yes, just that). In fact, I sometimes still do, but way less often than I used to.
I realized that feeling special, instead of giving you wings, is actually a burden. And the more special you feel—the greatest you think your destiny is— the heavier your burden.
If you ever so slightly thought something along the lines of:
- “I’m meant to revolutionize the world.”
- “I was born to end hunger in the world.”
- “I’m meant to save the world.”
- “My destiny is to be a rock/movie star.”
- “I’m not like the others, I’m different.”
Then please pause for a minute. What a weight on your shoulders!
Maybe, and it’s a BIG maybe, you truly are special. But why not trying to be ok with “being normal” for a moment? Lift the burden off your shoulders for a while and define yourself by who you are right now instead of who you think you can be or are meant to become. Not in a self-deprecating way, but as in a real acknowledgement and acceptance of who you are at the moment.
Once you do, it’s liberating. The second you don’t feel obligated to be a hero anymore, you feel so light and free. And that’s when you actually can accomplish many amazing things. Only when you give up on trying so hard.
“Ok great so what about the title of this article?” You may say.
Well, I believe achievement and happiness are closely related. Especially if you have the slightest bit of ambition. And I’m sure you have a lot. If you didn’t, then you couldn’t care less about achievement and you’d be content with your life as it is now. But you wouldn’t be reading this article if this was the case.
Quit trying hard and things will slowly get in place. This is exactly how it goes for happiness. It’s like the Muse (no, not the rock band). Chase it, and it eludes you. Try harder, and it disappears. But once you stop looking for it, that’s when it shows up right at your door.
Of course, this is not an encouragement to be a lazy piece of sh*t. I’m not saying “Don’t do anything and success will come,” because it won’t. What I’m saying is you shouldn’t be so fixated on success per se, as the be-all and end-all of your existence. Instead, focus on successfully taking just your very next step.
Every single time I stop being a try-hard and say “Fuck it”, it’s like taking a deep breath of fresh air.
When you stop feeling like you have to be happy, you become free. You’re taking off a huge drag. You don’t have to be or do anything. Not trying hard is liberating. And this actually makes you happy.