Young children are happy. They do whatever they need to be happy. They cry when they don’t get something that they want and make sure they get it.
Something somewhere gets ruined in their minds. We become adults and find that our lives have lost the joy that we used to feel as young children.
No, it doesn’t happen on its own. It happens when someone tells them the words which scar their lives-you just can’t have stuff you want.
Adult life is designed by the society to be miserable and only a few people are able to break through the shackles of everyday’s morbid existence. Only a few people are able to continue being kids and chase their happiness.
A lot of it depends on the kind of childhood one has, and the environment one grows up in. If your parents believe in happiness and they lived a life following their dreams, they would encourage you to follow your dreams as well. However, since most people in the world do not follow their dreams, they have no moral authority to ask their kids to follow their dreams too.
Therefore, most adult life around the world is similar- finish your education, find a job, have kids, do the same job or a similar job without questioning if the job makes you happy or fulfilled, have grand kids and die at some point.
What’s wrong with this system? Everything.
The fundamentals are wrong.
Why can’t we have a life doing work we love and enjoy so that it doesn’t feel like drudgery?
Why can’t we take time to understand our strengths and weaknesses so that we pursue goals which add value to the world, while making us feel happier?
We need to redesign lives. We probably need to stop the world till we fix it, and once it’s fixed, we can start again.
Here are some of the mind-set fixes that we need to fix the global adulthood:
1. You can create a life doing what you love
This is a parenting and schooling problem and needs to be fixed at both levels. Early on, we need to find what kids are good at, and nudge them in that direction.
When I look back at my entire education, I never cared to find out what my natural flair was, and hence I didn’t know. Nobody knew that these were worthy questions worth answering. I started figuring what I was good at in my early 30’s. I am 39 now and I have been trying to fix my life for the last 5 years or so. I think decades of mistakes will take a few more years to fix.
Once children can figure what they are good at, their self-esteem would improve even if they suck at all the other subjects.
2. Focus on strengths. Not on weaknesses
The education system and the corporate world seems to have some archaic philosophy that people should focus on their weaknesses and that somehow would help in improving the quality of their lives.
It’s one of the biggest fallacy of existence that you can find any happiness in trying to improve on your weaknesses. Let’s say you hate Microsoft Excel and you decide to improve on it. At most, you will move from bad to mediocre on the scale of improvement, but you will never be outstanding.
You can only be outstanding doing something you naturally enjoy.
3. Take a U turn
U turns are not quite respected in society. But, think about it. If you set off in a direction to achieve your goal, which is happiness for yourself and for others you care about, and you realize that you are miserable, why would you keep going?
If the road leads to hell, and you know it in hindsight, take a U-turn, come back to the roundabout, and start again.
I don’t really care how old you are. You may be 25, 35, 35, or 55. It’s already been way too long walking in the wrong direction. Move back and restart.
4. Ability to take a risk
Yes, to be able to take risk is a privilege everyone doesn’t have. In order for you to be able to take a risk, you will need a certain financial cushion that will last, while you work on your dreams.
It helps if you have a supporting family who are willing to support your risk, otherwise, you will have to do this on your own. Please save some money and do yourself a favor. Take the plunge. Even if it doesn’t have, you will know that you tried.
5. Plan B
What’s your Plan A in your life? Your happiness.
That’s the plan A that this blog recommends. Now, what’s plan B or plan C or plan D?
Every plan besides Plan A is a compromise and would lead to misery. Yes, it is not easy to make Plan A work and that’s why most people don’t believe in it to start with. However, if you start on plan A, the journey is the source of your happiness. You generate your fuel on the journey, keep adapting the plan as long as you keep the goal in your mind- your happiness.
6. You can only find your happiness by making others happy
When you think about your road to happiness, it goes through other people’s lives. The greatest entrepreneurs, authors, artists who have found wealth and happiness for themselves, have done so by solving other people’s problems and thereby making the world a better place.
7. Money is means to an end
Money is not the end. It is not the purpose of life. I wrote a piece about money the other day, which you may want to read here.
These are a few starting points to fixing the painful adulthood that millions of people live here on the planet. We need to fix it, and we can only fix it together.
Misery loves company, and so does joy. If you find your happiness, help others in finding there. If you haven’t found your happiness, still help others in finding theirs. There is high likelihood that you will end up finding yours in the process.
Let us fix adulthood. It is broken. Be happy, again.
Thank you for reading.
The purpose of this blog to help you find your happiness. Please read the other posts on the blog, and follow so that you get updates when new posts are published. Please share any posts you like with your friends so that they can also find their happiness. If you have any feedback for me, please leave it in the comments and I would be happy to work on it. If you would like to support my writing and this blog, you may please send a donation through PayPal here.
I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness.