I often worry about people who read too many self-help books and/or set lofty expectations for themselves based on what others think or espouse. Many of these books or speakers attempt to create and communicate a common definition of success and/or happiness that resonates with everyone and is applicable in all situations. They also tend to engender flawed comparisons of reality and potential. It’s almost as if who you are doesn’t matter and that everyone is equally capable in all situations and that there is a proven recipe for managing all life has in store for you.
Whether we like it or not, “all things must pass.” Everything has a beginning and an end. As far as we know, nothing besides space is infinite. Youth, careers, relationships, roles, responsibilities, health, and ultimately life itself, all transition and ultimately conclude at some point.
I’ve always believed that life rewards focus and persistence. If you keep working at something you will eventually make progress. What you have to be careful about is managing your expectations. You also need to take responsibility for the outcome(s) you want and not expect someone else to create the reality you want. Happiness is no exception. Happy people work at being happy and start with themselves first. They have to deal with unhappy moments like everyone else, but have trained themselves to practice acceptance rather than resistance and have fine tuned their own capacity to muddle through and make positive changes.