Happiness and Who You Want to Be

A friend shared with me that she’s been feeling kind of “off.” Just not good about herself, slightly irritable and hypersensitive. When we looked more carefully at her life lately, it became apparent that she hasn’t been behaving like the person she wants to be. She’s made excuses to avoid volunteering at her kid’s school though she normally values and enjoys helping with their fundraisers. When she realized she hadn’t paid for some items at the bottom of her grocery cart she chose not to go back and pay, which is unlike her. She normally is very polite to strangers but lately she hasn’t been doing small but important acts of kindness like pausing to let someone else pass through a doorway first.

Sometimes the gap between who we are and who we want to be seems vast. Different things can trigger it – a few nights of poor sleep, struggling with a difficult life event, slipping into the groove of self-focus that can come from even mild anxiety or depression. It can happen as a matter of normal human growth, when you begin to realize who you want to be and that who you are doesn’t quite match. It doesn’t really matter why the gap is there. If we don’t behave like someone we’re proud to be for long enough, we will find that we are unhappy. Fortunately, this is something we can change on a dime. Right now, start being the person you want to be. This very moment, turn towards happiness.