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The other day, I was watching my 3-year-old daughter, Madeline, play with this wondrous sense of abandon. She was talking to her Princesses. Giggling. Laughing. A total world of make-believe.

And by her side was my husband on his laptop. It looked like he hadn’t slept all night. Tired. Stressed out. Over-caffeinated. Bad mood.

It got me thinking about what happens to all of us over the course of our lives to alter our natural states.

Life.

Reality.

In the beginning, everything is fun. We can pretend and explore. There are dozens of reasons to be happy.

But then we get older. And oftentimes, those states transform from their pureness into something constricted and harder to access.

The question becomes: As an adult, how can we reclaim our natural states?

But in order to understand how this can even be possible, we must first begin to understand how the disconnect from our natural state has even happened.

When we are children, life is simple.

But then we get older. Pressures kick in and stand in the way of us having a direct experience with what makes us truly happy.

Four Things That Can Stand in the Way of Feeling Truly Happy

1. Identity

When we are children, we are ourselves. Nothing can stand in the way of YOU being YOU. But as we get older, we start to create an identity for ourselves. It’s often based on the myth that we will be loved if…We will be happy if…We will be successful if

So we become someone else. We are no longer ourselves. And if we are no longer ourselves, we are not real. We are not authentic. And we are oftentimes miserable. We can never be happy.

Wouldn’t it be better to align with who you really are so you no longer have to suffer?

In order for you to know who you really are, you must get rid of the story. The story that says you are not good enough. The story that says you need to be bigger, better, more. The story that says you need more money. The story that says you must close this deal.

Accept yourself for who you are, both inside and out. As you let go of your false identity, you will be loved for who you really are, and, finally, those who gravitate toward you will appreciate the real you.

2. Needs vs. Wants

Do you know the difference between your basic needs and your wants or desires? We need to breathe in order to live. We need to eat and sleep in order to function. We need to be loved in order to survive.

We want iPads. We want to go out to dinner. We want to take a vacation. We want new clothes. 

So you get the iPad4. And then, two months later, Apple comes out with the iPad5. You’re miserable. You want the new one. You wish you had waited. Or you buy the latest iPad, and you lose it. Just like that, your happiness is gone.

You can’t make your happiness be contingent on getting that new job. Or winning that $10,000. Happiness is a natural state from birth. You can choose at any moment to be happy. It has nothing to do with having the sportiest car or the client you just landed.

3. Relationships

They are so easy in the beginning. You connect. You share. You’re intimate. You’re bursting with hope and possibility.

Then life kicks in. Chores. Kids. Bills. It’s draining.  

You’re being pulled in many directions. Can you still be happy? Of course you can. Why were the two of you brought together in the first place? How did your partner used to make you feel? How does he or she support you? Hold onto that.

4. Career/Success

Do you have a business and life you love? Do you wake up every day excited to be doing the work you do? We spend the majority of our lives working. That’s the reality in order to survive financially.

Are you stuck in an unfulfilling job? If so, do you have the courage to get out and do what your heart is telling you to do?

When you align yourself with what you love to do, you’ll be happy.

I have given you some insight into how you can create happiness.

How do you create happiness in your life? I would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.

XO, Hayley


Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

*Photo Credit: Corie Howell via Compfight cc