From someone who used to be constantly unhappy in the past, Ng Siew Yen, the author and Certified Professional Life Coach, shares with us the very simple secret behind happiness and how it helps people shoot their goals way more effectively
Believe it or not, when I was asked the question above, I couldn’t actually remember the last time I’d felt happy.
I quickly realized I was allowing precious minutes, hours, days, weeks and even years pass by, with me living in misery the whole time. But why wasn’t I happy? I discovered it was because I always postponed my happiness.
I did that because I believed happiness was tied to future achievements. Back in the day, when I was completing my studies, I thought that I could only be happy when I achieved good results. When I had good results, I didn’t allow myself to be happy just yet because I felt I needed to secure a job with a reputable company. When I secured the job, I started aiming for a promotion, but when I got the promotion I somehow still wasn’t happy. This was because achievements only brought temporary happiness and their effects wore off quickly. I was trapped in a vicious cycle of constantly chasing bigger and better goals.
After the temporary joy we experience when we achieve something, our happiness fizzles out, usually followed by feelings of loss or purpose and identity. But before you know it, another goal will appear – another mountain to scale.
A lot of us also grow up thinking we need that special someone to make us happy. We end up believing we can only be happy when we get a boyfriend, get married and become pregnant. The truth is, if we’re just living and hoping to be happy only when something happens, we’ll constantly end up disappointed because nothing in the future is guaranteed. While we can plan for the future, it is unborn and uncertain. We should not be waiting for the future before we can be happy. The only real moment that we actually have is right now.
If we are unable to be happy now, we’ll never be happy later because there is always something else that we feel we need to achieve. That’s the irony of life. In short, happiness is a journey and not a destination. Therefore, we shouldn’t postpone our happiness, or we’ll forever be chasing an elusive dream.
As a professional life coach, I want to help others know that we don’t need to live in the past or wait for tomorrow to be happy; we can actually be happy now. That’s why I wrote my book, Be Happy Now, which also discusses how we can choose to be happy, and that we are ultimately responsible for our own happiness. Remember, you deserve to be happy: now and always!