Here’s how I moved from a state of survival to being happy and fulfilled, as a single.
Are you feeling lonely as a single? I have felt lonely and I’d guess you have too. The question is how to reject loneliness and trigger happiness as a single.
One day, a grandfather was telling his grandson a compelling story about two wolves. He looks into the eyes of the small boy and says:
There are two wolves inside of us which are always at battle.
One is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery, and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred, and fear.
The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second, then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”
The grandfather quietly replies, “The one you feed.”
Being single is not easy. Correct? Have you been wondering, “how in the world am I going to manage to be a happy single?” I have discovered, reading the wolves story, that I must fight to feed the good wolf if I want to overcome my feelings of loneliness.
“How can I overcome this overwhelming challenge of being single and lonely?” I have wondered countless times.
Many single men and women told me: “I’m feeling so lonely!” It seems to be a general issue. I have experienced it — as if I’ve been the last Mohican. All by myself.
Once my good friends started dating, their desire to hang out and do activities with other friends dwindled.
Does it sound familiar to you?
How are you overcoming the frustrations linked to it?
In this article, I want to show you why singleness does not equal loneliness. And how I moved from a state of survival and struggling — or feeding my bad wolf representing loneliness — to a fulfilled and happy life. I did not need any magical formula. Neither did I my perfect match somehow show up.
What I did is within your reach too — right now.
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Do you want to discover how to live a life of kindness, bravery, love, and happiness? Here’s how I feed the good wolf.
1. I Amplify My Positive Experiences
In this process, I realized that there are great things and challenging things no matter the season I’m in. What I discovered — when the going gets tough — is that I focus too much on my circumstances.
Can I change them? Not at all. It’s a waste of energy to try.
The key is to focus less on the unchangeable — my circumstances — and to focus more one the changeable. Or in other words, I had to learn to focus on what I can influence. It’s quite simple. I can change my focus. And that’s why I had to develop the habit to feed the good wolf.
Now here’s the challenge. Let go for one second the things you feel you’re lacking.
Is there anything you enjoy? What makes you grateful?
If you wish, get out your notebook and write down the various points. If you’ve done it, how does it feel? Did you notice any change?
You may say, well, that’s self-help or positive thinking. That’s not working. I agree that positive thinking will not help me to overcome my struggles. But I realized that I feel better when I focus on the good things in my life.
Focusing on what is going well is the starting point. What I’m focusing on becomes bigger in life. In other words, the wolf I’m feeding gets stronger.
2. I’m Grateful and Thus Happier
“Don’t wait for a great life to be grateful. Be grateful, and you’ll have a great life.” — Jim Kwik
Once I developed the habit of amplifying my positive experiences, I laid the foundation for what comes next.
It’s simple to say, but a little challenging to put in place. I choose to be grateful. I noticed that the more I focused on what I was thankful for, the more I became happy.
I needed to learn to enjoy each part of my life. It was — and still is — a challenge to stop thinking that once I’m in a relationship, everything will be better. There will be other issues coming, and once I’m married, I might even believe that it was so much better when I was single.
Like Jim Kwik, I learned to be grateful for what I have right now and that I can experience true happiness at any stage of my life. Also, in my singleness. No matter whether the season lasts a few weeks or many years.
In his book, Millionaire Success Habits, Dean Graziosi writes, ‘make the present your friend.’ At times, I think that once I get or achieve certain things in life, I’ll become happy.
Happiness does not depend on circumstances. It’s a choice.
Like me, choose to be grateful for what you have — in this very moment.
Decide to be happy now.
3. I Live for Something Greater Than Myself
I want to reach my full potential, to live my very best, serve others, and give all I have to create a legacy.
On this journey of purpose higher than myself, I found two advantages.
First, I took my eyes off of the things I was lacking. A key to live a fulfilled life is — as the root of this very word tells — to fill my life with something else.
Instead of looking for a girlfriend, I started the project that I had always wanted to do. My friends encouraged me, saying: “Go for it because it might be the ride of your life!”
As a single, I have so much time at my disposal. And I take advantage of it, traveling, starting my business, writing the book I’ve been dreaming of, rallying people around the cause I’m fighting for, and studying.
I’m thinking less about my solitude and more about the things that get me pumped up.
Furthermore, by living for a more significant cause, I meet new people. It also helps me to expand my network.
For instance, since my decision to leave the corporate world to take over the strategic leadership of an education program in Cambodia, I have had countless opportunities to meet people that I would have never met if I had stayed at my company.
Hence, I think less about my singleness because I use my time and energy to focus on this exciting project, and as a bonus, I get to meet a lot of new people.
4. I See Challenges as an Opportunity to Grow
Yes, I agree it’s not always easy as a single. Often, I’ve thought there was an easy way out, and someday, the day with no suffering anymore would arrive.
If you believe that, I have to disappoint you. That’s not going to happen.
In fact, I had to learn to cope with challenges, and the chances are that you must too. I will always have unsatisfied needs — as a single or when I get married.
Today’s world is one of instant gratification. My peers are influencing me, and I‘ve caught me many times wanting a quick fix right now. One click on the web, downloading another app, or getting a dopamine high, browsing through my social media feed.
Relationships require hard work and patience. A quick fix is not available.
My vision changed once I realized that. I understood that my high expectations needed revision.
I learned to endure challenging times as a single since it will prepare me for my next stage in life. My experiences will make me a better husband. Why? I endured hardships, and thus I’m equipped for similar times in my marriage.
After all, my experiences give me a critical competitive advantage in other areas of my life also, including my studies and my job as I learned to endure challenging things.
There is good news for a single like you and me. I managed to move from a state of survival in which I was feeling lonely and depressed to being happy and fulfilled — and you can do so too!
As a single, you can thrive, you can move the mountains, you can use that time to make a fantastic difference. Keep feeding the good wolf. The one that allows you to live a life of kindness, bravery, and love. And yes, you can be a happy single. All it takes is a decision.
Being happy as a single has little to do with my circumstances, it’s a choice.
The choice is up to you!
Frequently Asked Questions
You cannot change your relationship status on command. Nonetheless, you can do whatever you can to spend time with other people. There are great church small groups, Facebook groups and mastermind groups where you find great people.
1. Amplify your positive experiences
2. Learn to be grateful for what you have
3. Live for something greater than yourself
4. See challenges as an opportunity to grow
Yes and no. You cannot choose whether you are single or not. But you can choose to connect with other people. There are always people happy to get to know you.
During the coronavirus crisis, meeting other people has become challenging. You still can reach out to other singles in Facebook groups. And we are lucky to have video conferencing tools. Why don’t you call one of your loved ones right now?