What Makes You Happy?
Whether we’ve asked this question of ourselves, or have asked it of someone else, each of us – either, consciously or subconsciously – has an answer. Although we might not know exactly what that answer is, we definitely do know when we are happy and when we are not.
I may not be able to tell you exactly what “happiness” is; however, I can tell you what makes most people happy. Getting what you want in life makes you happy. Whether it’s losing weight, making more money, finding a life-long partner and true romance – whatever that particular desire is in your life – “happiness” is all about getting what you want.
Since getting our needs met often involves other human beings, effective communication is one of the most important tools that can help us get what we want. But, before discussing “effective communication skills” between human beings, I would like to say something about happiness.
Most people tell us to “be happy.” But, unfortunately, there is no such thing as “being happy.” What people really mean for us to do is to “get happy.” If you strive for happiness, you shouldn’t pursue being happy, but rather pursue “getting happy.” “Pursuing” – which is the same thing as “getting” – is an action in itself, were as “happiness” is a consequence of that pursuit.
Since getting what we want often involves others, they don’t only need to be aware of our pursuit, but also to be affected by our need.
For example, what would you do if you were waiting at a stop light and saw someone panhandling, dressed better than you and wearing a heavy gold chain? Would you roll down the window and hand him five dollars? I don’t think so. Why not? Because you were not affected by him. You most probably would not be emotionally touched by someone who doesn’t look like he needs help, especially from you.
However, what would you do if, at the same stoplight, you saw a mother dressed in dirty, ragged clothes and holding a crying baby who appeared to be hungry? What if that mother was panhandling? I bet you’d roll down the window and give her more money than she asked for. Why? Because you would be emotionally touched at seeing that lady in distress… because you have a heart and a soul. You would help her because you are a decent human being. And, that lady would get what she wanted because she had effectively communicated her needs to you.
In order to increase our chances of getting what we want, we need to do more than simply ask for it. Let’s presume that you want someone to listen to you. If you want to accomplish that, instead of focusing on what you want to say, you need to figure out what the other person might want to hear. Everyone, including you, wants the same thing, which is to get what they want. At that stop light, you, too, will get what you want – which is to feel good – by helping someone in need, by giving some money to a lady in distress.
If you are looking for love, you must give love. If you want someone to give you money, you must first communicate to the other party the benefits to them of giving you what you want. Just because someone has a lot of money, please don’t presume that he or she doesn’t want more of it. That goes for almost everything else in life.
If you want someone to listen to you, you must first listen to them.
By all means, that still doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get what you want. However, it will increase your chances of achieving your goal. Often, we want things we lack in our own lives, making it harder for us to focus on other people’s needs or to give them what they want. Ironically, in many cases, those needs may be the same or similar to our own.
Let’s look at another example. Let’s presume that you are looking for love. I’m my opinion, love represents our need to be touched, held, heard, validated or accepted. In order for you to find true love, you must be physically and emotionally available to hear someone else, touch someone else, validate someone else, and accept someone else. That means you first need to have these needs of your own met, before attempting to help others meet theirs. You can’t accept someone else for who they are if you cannot accept yourself for who you are. I believe you cannot appreciate someone else’s body if you don’t like and appreciate your own body. You cannot hear others if you can’t hear what your own heart is saying. So, before asking others to give you anything, you must do everything you can to achieve your desires, yourself. These attempts may leave you with a certain feeling, whether that feeling is exhaustion, or disappointment, or satisfaction with yourself for giving all you’ve got. Whatever that emotion is for you, now it becomes your job to make others feel how you feel if you want them to take an action and roll down their window.
People will give you what you want only if they know who you truly are and how you truly feel. That goes both ways. You need to know who they are and how they feel, as well. However, you can’t get to know someone else if you’re not interested in finding out who you truly are.
That’s why, in order to get what you need and experience true happiness, it is crucial to get to know yourself.
Remember, happiness is just a consequence of getting what you want…and, is directly proportionate to having effective communication skills. This type of communication isn’t limited only to spoken words, but also to our ability to make someone else – other than ourselves – feel a certain way.
Presuming that you’re looking to improve yourself as a human being, I hope this article will give you what you were looking for, and if so, that you will share it with others. That way, we both get what we want.
Thank you and God Bless.
Leo Frincu is a world wrestling champion, author, speaker and performance coach for business leaders and athletes worldwide. To learn more about his training philosophy, check out his latest book, “WELCOME HOME, 3 Simple Steps On How To Reach Your Highest Potential,” available on Amazon and iBooks.