The last nine years I served the public as a Police Officer. During that time, I’ve seen people from every walk of life trying to buy happiness. From the worst case scenario of drug addiction to lavish spending seeking happiness through luxury items. Some people try to buy moments of happiness through weekend long drinking and flitting from one social scene to another. Others try to buy happiness through romantic relationships and seek a partner in the hopes that their partner will make them happy.
I say stop seeking outside influences. It has been said many times by people smarter than I am that happiness comes from within. Whatever your circumstances, stop looking outside yourself for happiness. Seek things that you can do that enhance your life.
Do you like communing with nature? Go for a hike!
Do you like animals and giving back to the community? Volunteer at a local animal shelter!
Does your unhappiness steam from your physical appearance? Educate yourself on the steps necessary to achieve your goal of building muscle and/or losing fat!
Do you lack marketable skills? Get a library card!
“You dropped $150,000 on a fuckin’ education you could have got for $1.50 in late charges at the public library!” -Good Will Hunting
I’m was a Police Officer, and I have a Masters degree. Who cares! Having a degree doesn’t mean you are smart. It means you can give 12 odd professors what they want for the courses they teach. Having actual marketable skills and a good amount of common sense along with networking will improve YOU.
You say you don’t have a degree, you want to better yourself, and I say what is holding you back? Get a degree. Embrace the suck and change your life!
If you don’t want a degree, but you still feel like there is a knowledge gap why is that holding you back? Why is that stealing your happiness? A library card is free. Youtube is free! Educate yourself!
Humans need to be happy. Once the lower levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs are met, the very top need becomes dominate. They try and buy frivolous things in the pursuit of happiness.
Speaking of the Hierarchy of needs: Most people in 1st world countries have the lower levels of needs filled successfully without any real fear of losing those privileges. Once there is security in a person’s ability to meet their lower level needs, dissatisfaction sets in there is a lack of person growth. Satisfaction and happiness comes from within those high levels of needs. True happiness comes from the very top level.
A person needs to seek Self-actualization. Take a long hard look at the dirty parts of yourself. Those are the areas where there are painful truths and require soul searching to meet this top level of the hierarchy pyramid.
It is HARD!
It is PAINFUL!
It is NECESSARY!
It is the ultimate pursuit of happiness.
I believe this is a reason many people are unhappy. They don’t want to face their inner demons. They can’t buy their way out from the inner parts of themselves. The mistakes they’ve made in the past need to be revisited. The “what I want to be when I grow up” has to be addressed.
I saw this little cartoon several years ago that breaks down happiness in a single frame. “I made it myself.”
Because I made it no one can take it away.
Because I made it I don’t rely on someone else to continue to provide it.
Because I made it I don’t have to continue to buy the latest gadget for my next boost in happiness.
Because I made it I don’t have to rely on chemicals to alter my mood.
I made it. It is mine. I am in charge of my own happiness.