I think and think and think, I‘ve thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it. – Jonathan Safran Foer
Everybody wants it, but what does it really mean to be happy? Often we confuse it with excitement and we look for gratification outside ourselves. Very often in the advertisements instead of selling a product, what is sold is a promise of happiness. Get this car, phone, house, pair of shoes, book, … (the list is infinite) and it will make you happy! This is the reason why we buy so many things, even though we do not really need them: we think they can make us feel better. This idea of external happiness is so deeply-rooted in our western society that we live our entire life based upon it. I will be happy when I will get that job, a promotion, a relationship, a marriage, a child, when I will lose weight, … (also this list is infinite). How much time do we spend thinking that happiness can be reached somewhere in the future? And if finally we get what we want, it feels good for a while, but soon we are on the quest for something else that we think is missing in our life. Excitement is short-lived and addictive, so it is inevitably followed by unfulfillment.
Let’s rather define happiness as joy and inner peace. You get a glimpse of it when you are in awe looking at the beauty of nature, or every time you do something you are passionate about. It is something that makes your heart sing, it feels very good and lights you up from the inside. And it is neither anxious nor desperate. This is the kind of state we are really looking for. How can we get there?
This state can only be found inside yourself and it has nothing to do with the circumstances on the outside. I know that at the beginning this is difficult to believe. How can I be happy if something horrible happens to me? this is what I asked myself. Then I started to look around and I found stories of people around the world who where about to die, with permanent injuries or facing extreme life conditions who found a way to accept the situation and be at peace with it. They were happy. This taught me that it is possible to be happy, no matter what happens, it is a choice. Your attitude is everything!
The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. – Eckhart Tolle
We tend to live our life lost in our thoughts, so we need a strategy that helps us break this loop and brings us back to our essence. To be happy we need to reconnect to the deepest part of our being, beyond our thinking mind: This is the only place where we can find joy.
The easiest way to break the thought loop is by establishing a daily practice. What are the options you have to create your own routine? In How to establish a daily practice and change your life for the better you can find some ideas. Pick the one that works better for you and give it a try 🙂
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. — Marcus Aurelius
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