X or Y ? why not both or perhaps neither?
It’s very easy to fall into the happiness trap of false choices/truths –of thinking you can either do X or Y, and that’s the choice you have to make.
False choices are tempting for a couple of reasons. First, instead of facing a bewildering array of options, you limit yourself to a few simple possibilities. Also, the way you set up the options often makes it obvious that one choice is the high-minded and reasonable choice, and one is not. But although false choices can be comforting, they can leave you feeling trapped, and they can blind you to other choices you might make.
Watch out for some of the most common false choices:
“I’d rather have a few true friends instead of tons of shallow friends.”
You don’t have to choose between a “real” few and a “superficial” many. You can have intimate friends and casual friends. You can have work friends whom you never see outside a professional context. You can have childhood friends whom you see only once every ten years. You can have online friends whom you’ve never met face-to-face. These friendships aren’t all of equal importance, but they all add warmth and color to your life.
“I think it’s more important to worry about other people’s happiness, instead of thinking only about myself and my own happiness.”
Why do you have to choose? You can think about your happiness and other people’s happiness. Thinking about your own happiness will help you make others happy. And vice versa!
“Either I can be financially secure, or I can have a job I enjoy.”
I would encourage everyone if you are not making money doing what you love to explore options – we all have unique gifts and I believe that you can either have work that is both enjoyable and creates financial stability or you can have work that allows you the freedom of time/money to do all the things you love. If this is not true for you let’s talk.
“If I don’t want to live in a chaotic, clutter-filled house, I need to get rid of all my stuff.”
I know there are all sorts of blogs, pins, and tweets on decluttering and “simplifying” even from yours truly. Don’t get me wrong I love how I feel when I “nest” – whether it be the pantry, garage, or closet you name it but that doesn’t mean I get rid of all of my “stuff” – what it means is that I re-evaluate what I LOVE! – What fills me and what inspires me?
“It’s more important to be authentic and honest than it is to be positive and enthusiastic.”
Can you find a way to be authentically enthusiastic or honestly positive? In my experience, it’s often possible, though it can take a little extra work.
My best for your best –