To love your true self, including all of its imperfections and idiosyncrasies, is the expression of true happiness. You cannot be sincerely content unless you acknowledge and love yourself. Read how to learn to love and bring real and lasting happiness into your life from Mo Gawdat’s Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy.
Nothing causes more unhappiness in the Western world today than the widespread deprivation of self-love. Studies show that only 4 percent of all women in Western societies believe they are beautiful, and more than 60 percent believe they need to be thinner to deserve to be loved! Sadly, this shouldn’t be surprising. We are systematically trained not to love ourselves unless we meet stringent expectations.
Only 4% of all women in Western societies believe they are beautiful…
As a success-obsessed society we’ve grown to believe that being average—being like most other people—is not “good enough.” When you think about it, this speaks to a tremendous arrogance in its suggestion that most people are not good enough! An average figure is not attractive enough; we need to be supermodels. But even supermodels don’t feel good enough because there’s always a more attractive supermodel. Being average feels threatening because it means those who are above average will deprive us of the opportunity to succeed in a competitive world. But it goes without saying that we can’t all be above average. This would contradict third grade math. Someone needs to be above and someone below for there to be an average in the first place!
Pushing oneself unrealistically is a sure way to rack up missed expectations, disappointment, and suffering. In other words, it’s a sure way to mess up the Happiness Equation. With the mounting disappointment, the stress compounds itself until we can no longer take it.
Please stop here for a minute and ask yourself if this is the way you treat those you love. No, you give them warmth and reassurance. Then why would you treat yourself this way?
Once you’ve achieved love for yourself and others, make that happiness a priority. Use this mantra to help promote constant love and joy.