Want more happiness in life? There’s a simple equation you can create that will do just that. But I’ll get to that in a second…
WHY FACEBOOK STEALS YOUR HAPPINESS IN LIFE
Have you ever noticed how social media promises to make your life much better, but in the end it usually only adds to your feelings of inadequacy and depression? More often than not, you jump on social media and see the “highlight reel” of other people’s lives. They’re going on amazing vacations, eating at fancy restaurants, and have wonderful kids that look picture perfect and behave like angels.
The natural reaction is to compare. As you do, you start to feel like something’s missing from your life. You can’t remember the last time you took a vacation. You don’t have enough money to eat a fancy steak dinner. And the kids… Don’t even get me started with the kids.
The end result is that all these tools that are designed to make us feel more connected to the people we love end up making us feel more disconnected from the life were trying to live.
HOW CONSUMERISM STEALS YOUR HAPPINESS IN LIFE
Did you know that you see 5,000 ads every single day? That’s one ad every 11.52 seconds. Wow! you’re being barraged by all sorts of marketing messages on TV, on the radio, on billboards, on buses, on Facebook, on Google, on YouTube, ad nauseam. All of those 5,000 ads a day are trying to convince you of the same thing—Something is missing in your life and if you just buy this product you’ll experience the happiness in life that your soul longs fo
The problem is, that we usually fall for the marketing messages hook line and sinker. Why? Because something is missing. Something essential to our existence. But, it’s not something the latest gadget or a new pair of shoes can give us. What was missing is something far more elemental than that.
WHY WE AREN’T AS HAPPY AS WE COULD BE
In Philippians 4:11-12 Paul makes an interesting statement. He says that he, “learned to be content”. That’s a very telling comment. The apostle Paul, one of the greatest men in Christendom had to learn how to be content.
That tells me that contentment is not something that comes naturally to our species. Like driving a car, it’s a behavior that we must acquire, unlike communication which newborns do instinctively. A new born’s communication might not be very sophisticated, but it comes second nature. So, if contentment is something that we have to learn, that means that our natural tendency is to be discontent. What comes naturally for us is to complain about what we want but don’t have and to complain about what we have and don’t want.
I believe the true source of our discontent is a lack of understanding of what is truly important in life, which in turn causes us to become unthankful towards God. If you understood and really believed that you really only need a few thing—a few, life-giving things—then you would experience more happiness in life (aka contentment).
HAPPINESS EQUATION = MORE HAPPINESS IN LIFE
When you understand there are only a few things that really matter in life and you know that those things are, you too will learn the secret of contentment. But here’s the deal, not everyone is created the same. You and I might have slightly different needs, different things that fill our buckets so you need to uncover your own unique happiness equation.
For example, I’ve got a few friends who if they don’t exercise regularly they feel like they’re going to explode. For me, I feel like I’m going to explode when I have to exercise. But, one thing I do need in life is a lot of thinking time (I would have made a great monk). But, If some of my friends who are exercise fanatics are forced to sit and contemplate their navel like I do, it will drive them bonkers.
So what are the required activities, practices, and relationships that are essential in your life? What are the ‘must haves’ that will guard you against the downward spiral of social media comparison or the quick-fix consumerism trap?
To help you create your own happiness equation, I’ve created a worksheet for you. You can click the button below to download it.
The worksheet will help you evaluate the ‘must haves’ in the following areas of your life: Mental, Emotional, Spiritual, Physical, and Social. Once you complete that, you get to make your very own happiness equation. For example, yours might be Exercise + Time With God + Friends & Family – Fear Of Man = HAPPINESS.
If you’re wondering what mine is here it is: Quiet Time + Friends & Family + Thinking/Learning Time = Happiness. When even one of those things is missing from my life I become a cantankerous, ogre. My wife has been known to send me off for a day to get one of those buckets filled.
So, what’s your happiness equation? Click the button above to download a FREE worksheet that will help you figure it out.