Beware the False Narrative

We find joy in our relationships and our accomplishments and, yes, sometimes even in our stuff. But those things can’t give us sustainable happiness.

There's a very real false narrative surrounding joy and fulfillment.

We're constantly bombarded by messages telling us that happiness comes from a whole host of sources, the most false is that it comes from others!

Commercials, movies, TV shows and mainstream media; they all tell us that we just need the right spouse, the right car, the right friends, the right house. We are told that these are the things that will make us happy.

The truth is - your happiness isn’t predicated on anyone else but you. The things that bring you joy in your life come from your decisions and your consciousness.

We find joy in our relationships and our accomplishments and, yes, sometimes even in our stuff. But those things can’t give us sustainable happiness. They can’t fulfill us if we aren’t proactively making decisions aligned with ensuring and accepting joy in our lives.

You can’t buy happiness and no one else can MAKE you happy.

Happiness is all about the choices you make! Your life is a sum of the choices you’ve made and the choices you’ve allowed others to make for you.

Warren Buffet, speaking at the 2020 commencement ceremony for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said, “Don’t settle for anything less — eventually — than working for a company you admire or people you admire. Choose a job that if you had no need for the money, it’s still the job you’d jump out of bed for in the morning,” Buffett says. “I’ve been lucky enough to have one like that, and I can tell you, there’s just nothing like that. It isn’t work anymore. It’s actually something you look forward to every day.”

This isn’t about finding the “right job” that will make you happy. External things like jobs can’t make you happy.

You might take a job making 100K a year because the money is good… but if you’re miserable in that job, that’s on you.

This is about choosing to pursue the things that bring you joy; the things you’re passionate about.

And it’s about listening to yourself. You might think that 100K will make you happy… but if you aren’t listening to yourself, eventually, what you believed to be the right decision of that job, may be the very thing consuming your joy!

It’s hard to listen when you’re constantly in go mode. With all the lockdowns, a lot of us have had a lot of extra time to ourselves this year.

Maybe now is the time to look at your life and reflect and just be with yourself. Quiet things down and listen more.  Building the best life requires less “doing” and much more “listening” to what your heart and mind reveals.

It’s when we listen to ourselves that we can take the steps to ensure our own happiness. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Some people will try to tell you that you should sacrifice your happiness to “get ahead.”

I wholeheartedly reject that outdated idea.

In fact, I would argue that you owe it, not only to yourself, but also to your family, your friends, and your coworkers to be responsible with your happiness.

I invite you to try this out:

Go to a quiet place, free your mind of the day to day, get quiet and ask yourself these three questions:

1. What does being happy mean to you? How does it feel?

2. If you were truly happy, what does your life look like?

3. What brings you happiness today? Spend extra time here  

Tony Gareri

CEO & Culture Enthusiast

Drawing from firsthand experiences, Tony addresses how a culture evolution can lead to improved business results and happier work environments.

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