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Where Will You Find Validation and Happiness?

Sigmund Freud (Civilization And Its Discontents, 1930)
Sigmund Freud (Civilization And Its Discontents, 1930)
Where Will You Find Validation and Happiness?

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to share the story of a woman who was publicly shamed and validated, and reveal its link to happiness.

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Now, let’s talk about the story of a woman who was publicly shamed and validated, and reveal its link to happiness.

A lady posted a photo on Facebook of her in a bikini on a beach. It was a typical photo of a model on a beach. However, this lady isn’t a model and she was shocked when she received criticism from a friend who said she was going to block her because she found her photo to be disgusting, cheap and in poor taste. In response, the lady that posted the photo attempted to justify herself to the public by saying ‘everyone that knows me knows that I’m much deeper than that and I’m not fake and I was simply proud of my achievements with my body.’

The point here is not to discuss the photo but rather to discuss and pay attention to intention, focus and the way you spend most of your time.

When you post on Facebook or other social media, there always exists the danger that you are exposing yourself to public praise or public shaming or both.

It is now extremely common that many people post on Facebook with one intention – to seek the approval, acceptance and validation of others. And already vulnerable to the whims of the public, when they fail to win that validation, they become even weaker and emptier than before.

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure… but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
– Francis Chan

Thus, as it is commonplace that people are constantly seeking the pubic validation, there exists a delicate balance between the individual and society. Each individual yearns for freedom, satisfaction and free expression, and this yearning directly clashes with society’s demand for conformity and obedience.

If you believe that your happiness will come from the stamp of validation by society then you will be deeply disappointed and shattered when you fail to achieve it. It is up to you and each individual to decide what you believe is the purpose and intention of your life.

How much satisfaction do you believe you can extract from the external world? To what extent do you long for and are willing to go to be independent of the world, independent of society and social media’s opinion and shaping of you?

Everyone seeks the same thing – to be happy. Of course, happiness takes many forms. However, what most people perceive to be happiness they believe they can extract from the external world, such as that derived from receiving likes and validation on Facebook which is really nothing more than momentary pleasure.

Pleasure is only a fleeting feeling that fills the inner void and then quickly empties again. For the lady that posted on Facebook, the flood of positive feedback in the form of validation can only fill the inner void momentarily; she will need to fill that void independent of the public opinion of others – for today she might win their favor but tomorrow she might be cast out; only she can decide for herself whether or not she is ‘valid’, worthy or significant.

Happiness on the other hand is about finding meaning, purpose, and significance.

Happiness comes from truly fulfilling your deeper needs and becoming autonomous – gaining control over yourself – and finding meaning via contribution or the realization or expression of your soul and potential.

“It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.”
-Sigmund Freud (Civilization And Its Discontents, 1930)

What are your real needs: connection, love, belonging, significance, meaning, purpose, growth, challenge, contribution?

How will what you are doing right now or about to do meet your needs or bring you joy and happiness?

Will you turn outwards or inwards to create that happiness?

“It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
– J. K Rowling

If you need help to fill that inner emptiness and to become autonomous, and let go of the past and limiting or painful subconscious beliefs, book a one-on-one session with me.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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