If you have a tendency to depend on the outcome you want to feel good, simply put you are making others responsible for how you feel. You end up carrying water for others and resenting them when they don’t automatically return the favor. People pleasing or entertaining people with the expectation that they are obliged do the same for you will never result in happiness. Maybe for a short while, but that sort of happiness will soon evaporate into the ethers. You will end up exhausted, bitter, and will start carrying a chip on your shoulder. This is especially devastating to romantic relationships.
In trying to keep up with a whirlwind of inspiring events over the summer my last blog focused on the negative press that surrounded Gabby Douglas after an electrifying performance at the Olympics. Some of you asked me what Gaby Douglas has to do with self-improvement for men. The real question that blog post addressed was how negativity can have a detrimental impact on your life and a model for how to overcome negativity directed at you.
Because of this tendency to seek positive emotions and avoid negative emotions I think that people have prioritized comfort over happiness. But do you truly feel happy in the comfort of your daily routine? Do you really feel happy going home after an 8-10 hour work day to catch the latest episode of the latest reality TV show? Sure numbing yourself after a long day at work feels comfortable, and we all need to do this sometimes. The problem is that with the heightened demands of life and our jobs to be productive this numbing into a state of comfort can become an everyday occurrence. Yes, comfort is the absence of negative emotions, but it is also the absence of the natural positive highs that can be experienced in life as well.
We have become a society that seeks pleasure and avoids pain at all costs. This is a function of both social conditioning as well as basic neurobiology. Today I want to focus on social conditioning and how it can get in the way of simply being yourself.
"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it franklyand try another. But above all, try something." ~Ben Franklin