Stop Waiting to Be Happy — The Secret to Finding Fulfillment

Jason Weiland

Why does everyone always tell us we need to be successful and happy?

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Photo by Huyen Nguyen on Unsplash

We know life is complicated, and there are many times we have to stop to ask ourselves, “What’s going on?” Sometimes, it all seems like a game we are losing, or a journey, once started, that never ends.

How often do we wonder why our life didn’t turn out as we planned in those daydreams we had when we were innocent children? We might be feeling stuck and wondering why all our dreams never materialized.

Many of us are still trapped in a dead-end job, working 40, 50, even 60 hours a week for a check that barely lasts until we get the next one. Maybe we are lonely and wonder why we haven’t met anyone special. Are we unhealthy and wish we could change our habits? Are we stuck in a place we don’t want to live, surrounded by a mass of people, noise, and pollution — dreaming of sitting on the beach somewhere tropical?

Are we still doing the same things, day in and day out, hoping our life will change by itself?

Tell me if this sounds like you:

You are afraid to leave the job you hate because you think you can’t find anything better. You have bills, student loans, credit card debt, and surprise — you have to eat! You haven’t met anyone special because you are too busy or don’t feel like you are wealthy enough, good-looking enough, or have anything to offer. You haven’t started to eat healthier because you need to buy that book, join the gym next week, or shop for better food. You don’t live where you want because you live in fear of the unknown. You are stuck and blocked because you are afraid to take action because you are continually thinking of the worst-case scenario.

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is you are not alone! Many of us feel the same way, and it’s normal to find ourselves in this situation. But the bad news is that it might be normal, but it’s not okay! Being stuck and staying that way is no one’s fault but our own.

Do we want a better career or our own business? Do we want love and companionship? Do we say we don’t want to be unhealthy and fat? Do we keep telling ourselves that we will travel next year when things are better?

The problem is we keep accepting things the way they are, no matter how bad it is. We do this because change is difficult, and it’s sometimes easier to accept things how they’ve always been.

We Need Money

Why are we unhappy with our current jobs? It’s because working for someone else stinks! We have less time to do the things we want because they are expecting more and more from us for the same pay.

Maybe we went to college and chose the job we find ourselves in because (1) we thought we could make a lot of money and have the freedom to enjoy it, or (2) someone told us what career path we should take (parents, advisor).

We took out substantial student loans, finished college, and are now working hard to pay it off. But it never seems like the balance goes down because the interest is so high.

On top of that, every time we get a little extra money, we go out and finance something we can’t afford because we think owning things will make us happy. We get buried in debt, living with a bunch of stuff we have no time to enjoy. Worse, now that we have all this debt, we fear we can’t pay it off if we tried to follow our dreams.

We Are Not Comfortable Being Alone

Now that we are so busy, we have no time for anything else, and we are lonely because we’ve convinced ourselves that we need another person to make us complete. We haven’t met anyone, and our social life is a disaster.

We feel we are not meeting anyone because we don’t have enough money, possessions, or we’re not good-looking enough. Maybe we are afraid to take that first step and introduce ourselves to someone?

Whatever the reasons, we are alone and miserable and don’t see our situation changing anytime soon.

Now We Are Going Keto!

Now that we are working too much to pay off all the crap we own, we haven’t seen the inside of a gym in ages. Worse, depression has us in its grip because we are alone, so we’ve been overeating the wrong kinds of food and are unhealthy and overweight.

Our lists of excuses why we can’t eat healthier are growing. We are afraid to step on the scale or look in the mirror because we don’t recognize the person we’ve become.

We can see how not taking action in one part of our life feeds into the other parts. Soon, not just one part of our life is unsatisfying, but all of it.

We Will Travel Next Year

Guess what? There is no next year for us because we keep putting off our dreams. That’s how people work for 40 years and expect to have an exciting life when they retire, only to find they are broke and worse off than when they were younger.

Why should we wait until we are too old or don’t have any energy to do the things we want to do?

Ask any older person if they think they are living their Golden Years. What do you think they will say?

How Did We Get Here?

We can’t sit still and accept things the way they are anymore if we ever hope to have a better life.

By better, I don’t mean rich. We need money, but does money mean anything besides a tool to get food, shelter, and sustenance?

When I say better, I mean satisfied with what we are doing with our time and who we are doing it with. Better is feeling fulfilled and satisfied with our lives. Better is feeling wonderful every day, physically and emotionally.

Better is visiting or living where we want, without having to answer to anyone.

Better is the freedom to be ourselves and to pursue what makes us whole.

How Can We Be Better?

I was completely and utterly dissatisfied.

I was mentally ill, overweight, unhealthy, a shut-in, had no social life, and was broke. My life started out difficult and only got worse as I got older. I was over 40 years old and had been through hospitalizations, addiction, bankruptcy, layoffs, and divorce.

My life was horrible, and I was unable or unwilling to change it.

But, I got so tired of that life that I did change. It was either change or die, so what do you think I did? When I hit rock bottom, I looked up and decided that if my life were to transform, I would be the one who was going to do it.

So, I took action — drastic action.

Now, every day, I experience smiles and joy. I spend my days entertaining my 8-year-old daughter, my almost 2-year-old son, and doing what I love — writing. I’m working on building a business around my writing to continue my simple and comfortable life.

Sometimes, you’ll find me sitting on the beach in the Philippines.

It wasn’t easy, but it all started with a firm decision to change my life to a better one.

She Had a Tough Life

My old friend, Alexa, is an entertainer. She spends her days in sunny California eating healthy, doing yoga, and making the music she loves.

But her life wasn’t always so rosy.

When Alexa was 13, her brain began to bleed, and she needed surgery. She made it through her trauma by listening to music and singing along with her iPod.

Also, at age 10, she developed cystic acne. Because of that, and the fact that while her peers were partying, she was learning to dance and sing, she always felt disconnected and different.

She moved from Florida to New York to pursue her music career but was always troubled by her acne and the medications the doctors gave her to treat it. Her life felt like it was at a standstill.

So, what did she do? She took drastic action.

Alexa went off the medications to treat her skin that made her sick and started a healthier lifestyle. She moved to California to further her music career and is now helping others who have dealt with the pain of brain surgery. She also helps people with cystic acne treat it more healthily, without drugs.

Her music career is taking off, and she is living a fulfilled life doing what she loves. She is a beautiful human being.

Take Drastic Action

Are you fulfilled?

If you’ve read this far, I’m betting you’re not. I hope you see that your life can be better and you can have satisfaction if you start with one thing:

TAKE DRASTIC ACTION!

Stop accepting things the way they are — until you’ve made it to the end and realize that you never lived at all. If you want change to happen, you have to do something about it.

No one can do it for you.

Imagine yourself on a beach, knowing you’re no longer a 9-to-5 slave, sipping your favorite drink with someone you love. You are comfortable and healthy and satisfied with your life and the simple things you own.

It is not just a dream.

It can happen if you are willing to do something about it.

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Writer and advocate interested in mental health, health, family, culture, creativity, and success.

Los Angeles, CA
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