Isn’t this what we all want deep down inside? Aren’t all our motives for doing things to reach some level of happiness?
However doesn’t it always seem that happiness is just right around the corner…..we are almost there but just need one more thing?
Unfortunately that illusion is what keeps us always one step away. But look around, there are people happy….so what is their secret? Here it is….are you ready….
That’s right, if you are not happy right now you have to stop and ask yourself why.
Chances are your happiness is really based on the false idea that you are missing something, that you need something.
That is just conditioning from the mind. Try saying this to yourself : “I need nothing else to be happy right now”. Keep saying that till you really believe it because once you understand that truth, anything is possible.
“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet” ~ James Openheim
“Happiness is never stopping to think if you are” ~ Palmer Sondreal
“If you want to be happy…be” ~ Leo Tolstoy
So again ask yourself, am I really happy right now? If the answer is “No” then write down what you “think” will make you truly happy. Is it to lose weight? Is it with a new job? Is it a new special someone in your life? What are any of those thing going to bring to the table that you can’t have right now with the right outlook?
You can always have goals, you can always look for inspiring work, you can always enjoy the company of others…but to assume your happiness is dependent on it is just setting yourself up for the big let down.
Doesn’t mean you can’t do it or go buy it, just stop giving into the illusion that it will bring you “happiness”. It might give you a “thrill”, but those are always temporary…and then when the thrill goes and leaves you feeling like something else is missing. Then you need an even bigger TV, different car, another trip, etc.
The cycle of thrills is endless…and a one way ticket to never realizing daily happiness. Stop the cycle now, you don’t need anything at this present moment other than your own mind!
Ever notice how someone else’s smile can brighten your day? Even if you are feeling down, imagine being around positive smiling people…and suddenly it’s like you caught their energy for yourself.
Here’s what I believe to be a universal truth, energies attract.
“Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.” ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky
So if you want to be around negative unhappy people…just be negative and unhappy yourself. If you want positive happy people around you…then start smiling and saying “I am happy right now because I don’t need anything else to be that way”.
Pretty soon you will be surrounded by the same type of people….and the more people of like attitude and energy, the stronger it grows. Let’s face it, no one wants to be around someone who are negative, we all are attracted to positive happy people.
Laugh more too. Stop taking yourself or anyone else so seriously. I like to use the little meditation of “I’m an ass, you’re an ass.” (from Anthony De Mello) to help remind me of my place in the world. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes, that is just life. Laugh it off and see how unimportant most trivial stuff really is.
We spend so much time either wrapped up in what has happened to us or what will happen to us we forget that we only ever really have one thing, the present moment.
How many present moments have you wasted thinking back about something that happened to you in the past…or worrying about something that may or may not happen in the future (and that stress can be a downfall to your overall state of health too!).
Imagine what it would be like to just forget the past, not worry about the future and only do what we need to do in the present moment…pretty soon we can accomplish anything we want! This is the real secret to successful people who go on to do many great things!
As that is all results are, just a bunch of steps taken in the present that lead to an end result. No one ever wins at a sport all at once, they just focus on one action at a time and repeat.
Of course one should use the past and future wisely, such as learning (but not waste time regretting about) from past actions that may have not turned out the way we wanted them to and having goals of where we want to go. But isn’t that only useful if we use that reflection to determine what steps we need to take in each present moment along the way?
What good is history or goal setting if we don’t use it in some action in the present? None! Wasted energy! Stop over-thinking or talking and start putting into real action!
So..again, there is no past or future…just a series of present moments strung together to make up your life.
A great way to remind yourself that you don’t “need” anything else is to find ways to have an ongoing appreciation for what you do have right now. Whether that be your health, a job, a roof over your head, your family, freedom or anything else.
If you really looked around in the world there is always someone is worse off than you, but many can also still be the happiest person you ever meet! So it can’t be about what we have then can it?
Visualize right now losing everything you have. Go ahead…I can wait. Seriously, take a minute to imagine losing everything…your house to a storm, getting laid off, being sick (losing your health).
Now do you see a sudden renewed appreciation for what is already right in front of you?
“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” ~ Frederick Keonig
The dangers of getting bored with someone or something is just because we no longer view them/it as we first did long ago. Did the person/object really change or was it just how you viewed them or your expectations that did?
Appreciate what you have right now, and you will realize that you really don’t need much else. Most learn this lesson too late.
What is fear really? Examine it every time it happens in your life. This is important because isn’t this one of the greatest roadblocks we all encounter?
Fear is always about something in the future (afraid of an outcome that hasn’t happened yet…and may never even happen) and could also be routed on still attaching with the past.
Because of that definition, fear does not live in the present moment….it can’t…it’s not possible!
We fear a future outcome, we fear what people will think of us, we fear getting hurt, we fear losing money, we fear negative things that have not yet happened….we fear events or outcomes that haven’t happened.
“He who fears something gives it power over him.” ~ Moorish Proverb
“Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.” ~ German Proverb
So you see, how can you really fear anything if you only live in the present moment?
Fear will never go away, as it’s there to keep us alive too…to give us caution in what present moment steps we take, and that is good. Just don’t let it rule your life or prevent happiness. Don’t act out of fear of the future, act out of what is the right thing to do in the present. Even worse, don’t avoid action because of fear. Embrace it…and realize it doesn’t truly exist or have any power over you right now.
That’s right, detach from everything…you don’t own anything or anyone…and they don’t own you.
Your happiness is no longer dependent on whether you have something or someone in your life. You no longer care about what other people say or think about you.
“The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.” ~ Epictetus
“Happiness? That’s nothing more than health and a poor memory.” ~ Albert Schweitzer
Now you can fully appreciate the time spent with them in the present moment. Detach from caring what others think about you or want from you. Be yourself because of how you want to live your life, not by the expectations of others. Living to other’s expectations will only leave you lacking fulfillment (feeling empty) in your life, and will only drain you as people will always want more from you.
Live to the beat of your own music, smile, laugh…and let everyone else wonder why you are so happy all the time!
This is the most important step.
None of this is easy and it will take some practice and daily reminders. The only way is to really put any of this to action and get better at doing it, is with simple daily practice. No one ever just masters it all at once, as life is an ongoing journey full of continual change (which is the only constant), not some destination.
That is what meditation is really. Just taking time out to slow down, quiet the noise and use some little cues (like noticing your breathing) to bring you back into the present moment. To help re-center yourself before you get too far off track.
So if daily happiness is your goal, you have to practice it.
“Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.” ~ William Feather
“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” ~ Margaret Lee Runbeck
You can make up your own “present moment alarm”, something to remind you to focus on what is happening right now in your mind. It could be just waking up and starting the day off with peace and quiet for 10+ min (too many of us start it off with just “noise” from the radio and TV). Maybe it is driving the car with no radio on (and getting rid of some of that traffic stress too). It could be making time for a 10min walk everyday outside in nature (especially barefoot in the grass).
Just find ways you can focus on being aware of the present moment. Pretty soon you will just be living in that continual moment more often, and that is where true happiness lives and fear/ worry/ anger/ jealousy/ greed/ doubt/ depression can not get in.
PS. Having a good book to go back to is a good way to help yourself when you feel off track. I like to start off my day sipping an espresso (preferably outside) and reading more inspiring/deep thinking books to help me get my priorities for the day. My 2 favorite books (although I know there are so many more good ones out there) for this kind of “mental” exercise is “Awareness” by Anthony De Mello and “The Power of Now” by Ehard Tolle. I re-read these over and over/wear them out as I try to live in the true daily journey of life. The book “Less” by Mark Lesser (ironic name for him) is also a great read focused more on getting more done (business/life) while doing less work.