Let yourself be happy.

The first time I lived in China, I had culture shock so intense it was all I could do to go out of my bedroom for the first three months.

Everyone feels culture shock to a degree, but I made it MUCH worse for myself because my expectations of myself were so unreasonable. I often denied myself the right to feel happy in the present, on the premise it had to be earned by some future accomplishment.

It was self-harm, and ironically it put me in such an emotional state that I’d never be able to reach any future goals.

Just this evening I was talking about money and happiness with my twin brother and his friend Kelly. She said “You could be happy. On the other hand you could be happy and have a nice bag on your shoulder.”

This too is self-harm.

There are only three things I feel I HAVE to do, and they’re really rather selfish when it comes down to it.

  1. Look after my health.
  2. Show gratitude.
  3. Try to expand the circles I live in.

Why selfish? Because these things make me happy. Of course, when I do these things it seems to benefit others and makes me a useful, likeable person to have around. But the core motivations are self-interested.

Be selfish. Let yourself be happy. Let yourself be happy NOW. You don’t have to “earn” it.


Author: Stuart Hughes

Twenty-something from the hills and vales of Wales, grappling with the logistics of becoming a little more cosmopolitan.

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