“On an evening, some villagers saw an elderly woman looking for something in front of her hut. Some people came close to try to help her.
– What did you lose?
– My needle – she said.
Everyone started searching but after a while, someone asked:
– The road is very wide and the needle is very small, can you tell us more or less where did you lose it?
– Inside my house – said the old man.
People looked at her with amazement. Some even became angry.
– Are you crazy? Why are you looking for the needle in the street if you lost into the house?
The old woman replied:
– Because there is no light in the house.
– Then it would be better to look for a lamp and look inside – said a man.
The old woman laughed and said,
– You are very clever in the small things, when will you use this intelligence for your life?”
Often we act irrationally without realizing it, as the old woman of this story says. And continuing this way we end up in a blind alley where frustration awaits us.
One of these illogical behaviors, and probably one of the most common, is to look for happiness in the same place where we lost it, as if it were a needle or a physical object.
Why do we look for happiness where we can’t find it?
– Fear to leave the comfort zone. The comfort zone is the space in which we feel relatively comfortable. It does not always mean that it is a safe space, but just well known. Therefore, the comfort zone gives us a false sense of security, because it really serves only to avoid the uncertainties, by the way we already know what may happen in the near future, even if it is negative. In fact, many people get used to live in toxic comfort areas that harm their physical and emotional health. Yet fear of uncertainty makes them stay within that area and therefore perpetuate negative behaviors and attitudes.
– Attachment to habits. Habits give us security, give order to our world. That is why we are attacking to these, even if negative. In fact, abandoning a bad habit is so complicated, as in the case of smoking, not because of the physical dependence that can generate nicotine, but for the habits we have built around the cigarette. The same thing happens in interpersonal relationships, we stick to them and the habits surrounding them, even if they are negative. In these cases, it is not a matter of love for the person, but of emotional dependence given to the routine we built around the relationship.
– Lack of self-knowledge. The circumstances of life are changing us, so if you do not “update” your “self” constantly, suddenly one day you may find that the person who lives in you is a stranger. For this new person, your old habits, illusions and constraints are not adequate or no longer sufficient, but if you do not do an introspection exercise you will not know it, and you will be trapped in a negative loop of dissatisfaction.
Why is it almost impossible to find happiness where you lost it?
The answer is simple: because happiness is no longer there. And since happiness is basically an interior state, it means you are no longer the same person and you will not be feeling as full and satisfied with what you made you happy in the past.
The first signal usually arrives when you realize that the things that first motivate you don’t do it anymore. Some people decide to explore new horizons in search of those feelings that make them feel alive while others turn into a hamster running on the wheel with the hope of meeting some satisfaction.
However, when a couple’s relationship is deteriorated to the point where you no longer meet happiness, when a job fills you with disgust or when a place is no longer a source of inspiration and discovery, it’s time to take the suitcase and go on a journey looking for something new.
This can be caused by two factors: the circumstances have changed so much that they do not make you happy or you have changed so much that even though the circumstances are the same, they do not make you happy.
In the first case you might wonder if you can do something because these circumstances will turn out to be ideal. But you must be careful not to deceive yourself because when things degenerate leave signs inside and change us, so even if things return to be perfect it is likely that for you will no longer be that way.
A classic example is infidelity in the couple. To forgive it and be happy again it is not enough for that person to return to be faithful, it is important to make sure that the experience has not left a painful mark that prevents you from being happy.
Therefore, it is almost impossible to find happiness in the same place where you lost it and you will have to prepare yourself to explore new horizons, both inside and outside of you. After all, happiness is also research, surprise, curiosity and discovery.