This happens when they spend too much time thinking; over-analyzing can be a real happiness killer. There are many barriers that prevent humans, and frogs, from being happy; fear, the phrase, "I'll be happy when...., comparison to others, and accountability (the belief that happiness can be found outside yourself. The good news is that they are all within our control. Here are a few of the most common ways that humans keep happiness just outside of their reach. Are you guilty of any of them?
Focusing on the positives is the first one. Looking at the positive sounds, on the surface, like a good thing, right? And, for the most part, it is. What tends to happens, though, is we look so hard at all the positives of a situation that we talk ourselves into believing it's really better than it is. Take your car, for instance. Let's say you really want to buy an electric car. Owning one has been a dream for awhile now. You currently own a non-electric vehicle. You really want to trade it in for the electric car, but you talk yourself into keeping the old one by telling yourself that it's still reliable, gets good gas mileage, and really isn't all that bad-looking despite the fact it's ten years old. So instead of buying the car that we really like...the happiness car...we talk ourselves into keeping the one that's just okay. We do this type of rationalizing in many areas of life, like housing and jobs. The next way we thwart happiness is by making up "logical-yet-illogical rules." Example: When I make this certain amount of money, then I get to quit my job and work on what I really want to do...and that's play in a rock band. Yet when those rules somehow don't manage to pan out, we then replace them with "logical-yet-illogical laws" like only super-cool and really gifted musicians get to play in rock bands...and I am neither cool, nor gifted. These "laws" run the universe and simply cannot be broken....at least that's what we tell ourselves. The third way we squash happiness is to by calling up the the correct, yet wrong, best friend for advice. Example: You want to backpack across Europe but you're scared to death that some disaster, or another, will befall you (terrorists, tsunami, political unrest, weird foods you might have to eat, etc). Rather than call and talk to the friend who's actually done this, and LOVED it, for a pep talk you decide to call on the friend who suffers from agoraphobia and hasn't left the house in fifteen years. They proceed to confirm all your worst fears. It's happiness-sabotage at it's very best (or worst). It's not clear why we do this, but the consequences can be rectified by simply calling the backpacking fanatic who's been everywhere with nary a negative incident. And lastly: We default to who we were, rather than who we want to be. Most of us, at least those with siblings, got to be the "fill-in-the-blank" one in family; funny one, smart one, goofy one, bratty one, etc. So even though we've grown up and moved away we still, on occasion, resort back to those roles that we thought we'd shed long ago. Example: You want to move to Spain. Instead of doing it because that's what would make us happy, we revert back to our old role and make a joke out of it. We say something silly like, "What would I do in Spain, anyway...become a bullfighter?" But if you did actually move to Spain, you might find that your family has given you a new label. Instead of being the funny one, they'd say the happy one, the risk-taker, the one who dares to follow their dreams.... And wouldn't that be WAY better than just being the funny one?
We put off our happiness until all the conditions, "rules", and "laws" are perfectly met. But what happens when life gets in the way and they're never actually happen? Does that mean, then, that you never get to be happy? Unfortunately for many, it does. But for those who realize it before it's too late, the perfect time to be happy is right now.
What dream have you been putting off for too long? Go ahead. Jump right in. You know you want to. There's never been a better time to let your happiness blossom. So, instead of simply daydreaming about the life you want, why not get up off your lily pad (or chair, or couch) and begin making your dreams come true? Don't worry. Be happy!