If So, It’s Slowly Killing Your Happiness
There’s something trending in the singles community. I see it running rampant amongst my single friends and clients. And it’s killing morale. Maybe you’re doing it right now. Maybe you don’t even know it.
Running in the background, like a forgotten app open on your laptop, are constantly firing questions. Questions like:
Why am I still single?
Why can’t I find somebody?
What’s wrong with me?
“Why” seems to loiter in the back of so many single people’s minds while they are trying to live and enjoy their lives. It just sits there, stinking up the joint. Here’s how it plays out:
Oftentimes the real issue that single people have is that they’re walking around with the idea that being single is a problem that they need to solve. Just like when you have apps running in the background of your laptop, having a problem on your mind uses energy. In fact it uses a huge amount of energy because, generally speaking, people don’t just occasionally ponder Why am I still single?. It comes to mind constantly, and it often sparks an emotion that’s negative, which creates exponentially more wear-and-tear on us. We end up analyzing and evaluating ourselves everywhere we go; while we’re at work, at a party, at Starbucks.
Human beings, single and otherwise, mistakenly have the idea that if there’s something in life that’s not working, we should think about it a lot, keep it on our minds, and eventually we’ll get to the bottom of it. We believe that only then will we be able to move forward with our lives.
Sometimes the situations that we find ourselves in are a really big deal to us. For example, let’s say I’m looking for a job, I find one I really want, I apply for it, but I don’t get it.
I may have theories about why I didn’t get the job, or I may have other people’s ideas and suggestions, but I don’t know for sure. So maybe I can tighten up my resume a little bit. I can talk to people in that industry to see what more I can do. I can sharpen my interview skills. But really I don’t know for sure what it is that I should be fixing. It’s just a stab in the dark.
At this point I could get stuck. I could keep digging for answers that I don’t have. Or I could pick myself up, get over the job, and move forward.
It’s at this point where people have to decide: how long am I going to spin my wheels, trying to answer a question that I can’t answer? People can spin their wheels for hours, days, weeks, months, even years. We get stuck on wanting something that we don’t have, like a job or a relationship, and our minds turn on us.
Like a puppy, the human mind has a propensity for activity. Your mind never stops, it doesn’t even stop at night when you go to sleep. It’s going all the time. If you leave a puppy alone all day, it will destroy your house. To keep itself entertained and occupied it’s going to chew whatever it finds laying around the house; your Nike’s, the remote control, your couch. If you’ve ever had a puppy, or you’ve ever surfed YouTube pet videos, you know that puppy energy is an unstoppable force.
The same energy that propels a puppy into activity is the same energy that’s driving the human mind. Having your mind idle when you’re disappointed or frustrated is a terrible combination. It’s like leaving a puppy in your house. Your mind will focus on your frustrations and constantly work to come up with reasons why.
Fortunately, your mind will do whatever you tell it to do. It doesn’t care. It’s a free agent. So if your plan is to come up with reasons why you are single, your mind will do that for you. That process can consume your life as a single person if you let it.
Here’s what I’m suggesting: do exactly what all of us do in the other areas of life in which we have success moving forward. Look around and you’ll see that most of the time when things don’t go your way, you move forward anyway. You get comfortable with the fact that you have no idea why life plays out the way it does, and you go on living your life.
For example, let’s say for your birthday you go to your favorite restaurant. You don’t get the table by the window that you really wanted. Instead you end up with the one that’s by the kitchen. You have to ask yourself: am I going to fixate on the fact that I didn’t get the table I wanted or am I going to move forward and enjoy my dinner? We can either propel ourselves and our minds into fixating on what we don’t have, why it turned out that way, who’s fault it is, and what it means. Or we regroup and propel ourselves into enjoying the meal. That’s essentially the fork in the road that everybody finds themselves in at some point or another. When we don’t get a job, when we don’t get the table, when we are single and don’t want to be. Which way down the fork we go is up for grabs.
While you’re sitting back, reading this, ask yourself:
What am I trying to do from here?
Am I trying to fix the problem?
Am I trying to get answers that I don’t have?
Or am I trying to enjoy myself with the life that I have?
What if your plan is to live your life and enjoy your life, however it is? What if your model for how you move forward does not involve trying to figure out why you’re single? What if, instead, you put all of that energy into enjoying your life. Everybody knows how to do it. We do it at restaurants. We do it with jobs. Every day we decide how long we allow ourselves to fixate on what we don’t like and how long we analyze ourselves. When we don’t get what we want, we make whatever adjustments we can see in the moment, and then we move forward with whatever we have.
Your happiness and fulfillment as a single person does not depend on whether you meet someone or whether you get the answer to the question why you haven’t met someone. The capacity to enjoy your life right now, exactly the way it is, only depends on one thing: what you’re doing with your mind from this moment forward.