We’ve been lied to. We were told that if we do well in school, we’ll be able to get a good job, and if we work hard enough, we’ll be happy.

We’ve been conditioned that our happiness depends on external factors. We’ve been misled, falling for the promise that said that the happiness would come with the realization of our goals.

Have you ever wanted to achieve something really bad, and then once you did it, you felt confused, asking yourself what now? An ambitious person that keeps telling herself that the reason why she’s unhappy is because she hasn’t reached her goal yet is in for a world of pain. She can’t win. The goal is outside her reach, and if she stretches just enough so she can grab it, she doesn’t suddenly become and stay happy. No, she’ll change her expectations and start wanting something that’s even farther away.

Have you ever wanted something really bad, and then once you got it your excitement faded after only a few days? Maybe it was a new toy, computer or a video game, new shoes or clothes, new car, new house, whatever it is, here’s the question: Why didn’t the fact that you finally got what you wanted create a bigger impact on the quality of your life? Here’s why:

Happiness comes from within. You choose to be happy. Fact: There are many people who are much worse than you right now, and at the same time much happier than you.

If you realize this, and truly think about it, not just say “Yeah, I already knew that!” you will realize this as well:

Many people are motivated by their insecurities. They live in fear, thinking they are incompetent, fearing losing their jobs, fearing failure, rejection and exclusion. They feel like impostors, pretending that they are somebody else, acting the way other people expect them to act, and at the same time fearing that deep down inside they are different, less knowledgeable, less perfect and less worthy. They are afraid of other people finding out who they truly are, and seeing through their “fake it till you make it” strategy.

They either work really hard at trying to make up for that negative self image, which leads to workaholism, or they just keep pretending, staying miserable either way.

We all know of a saying “Enjoy the journey”, but what does that really mean? This is what it means:

The happiness is a choice and an attitude. No one else can make you happy if you refuse to feel happy yourself. Being driven by the positive contribution you can make and self-actualization is a much more fulfilling experience than constantly trying to prove your worth to yourself and others by achieving and acquiring things.