Many people are afraid of failure, but even more people are afraid of success. When these people look into the future and see a big unknown, it cripples them and makes them uncomfortable.
Instead of viewing the future as a completely blank canvas that's waiting to be painted, many people view it as a giant black hole that will suck you in. So, they stop thinking long-term and only think about the "now." They look for what makes them comfortable at any specific moment.
We, as a society, have adopted a sense of entitlement that, if it can’t happen quickly, it’s not worth it. This can be seen in every single aspect of life.
All of these decisions that millions of us make every day are based on the quickest road to “happiness.” The problem is we’re forgetting that happiness is not an endpoint; it's a state of mind. It allows you feel happy, to live happily and learn to genuinely be happy.
What makes people think they can find some temporary gratification in any aspect of life and expect it to last a year, 10 years, or a lifetime?
Consider how much dating and social interaction has changed. Social interaction is a key component to building a bright and enjoyable future. If you do not know how to be social and grow in that sense, you will never expand your network, which will limit your potential for happiness and/or success in future relationships.
Social interactions and dating used to mean going out and organically creating experiences with other human beings. From there, you were to weed out those you did not like and make conscious decisions about those with whom you wanted to keep in touch and see again.
Now, if someone can't express interest in you by the click of a button or the sound of a notification, it won't be worth it. The ability to wait a couple of weeks or months or even a year to organically get to know someone is a lost trait.
Consider technology and its impact on social interaction. You used to have to be at home next to a landline, in order for someone to contact you to make plans. Then pagers, cell phones and emails gave way to how we currently communicate.
From texting to friending to Tindering, we've abbreviated effort required to show interest in someone to about as small an output as possible.
Now, people don’t want to take traditional steps to genuinely create relationships... if doing so takes longer than an episode of "True Blood." So, what do we have? We have a bunch of people coming together, who, in any other time in history, would probably hate one and other.
Because it feels right in this exact moment in time, however, it works. When it comes to building relationships with friends or a significant others, it’s never worth it to find the quickest path to happiness.
The desire for instant gratification morphs your perception of what is actually happening. Knowing what you want is a great thing, but wanting it so badly that it blinds you is maybe the worst thing.
This is especially true when you so desperately want a feeling, such as “love” or “happiness.” Feelings are things for which you cannot go out and search. They come to some people early on in life and others late in life.
I find happiness in knowing that every day, I take the right steps toward the future I want. I will gladly accept my present being a little messy rather than having my future filled with messes I cannot clean up. You can't paint the perfect picture if you’re afraid to put some paint on that canvas.
If you go through life afraid or searching for comfort, you will eventually realize the mistakes you made. Comfort is the enemy of achievement and self-growth, and it is not worth a lifetime of regret and what if’s.
Be uncomfortable, be random and be weird. Get hurt, cry, laugh, make mistakes, grow and do it all until you’re blue in the face. That IS life. That IS happiness.
Forcing something to happen because you want to be comfortable is not the answer. There are 7 billion people in this world — why is there a race to find one?
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It