How do you define happiness?
Is it the perfect job, the perfect marriage, 100 million dollars, or a perfect body?
Most of us tend to think of happiness as something we possess, a magical accomplishment or destination we arrive at after a long journey, but that is often far from the truth.
Happiness is not a destination, but its a state of mind we reach from continuing progress, from giving back and appreciating our life, and from living our life to its fullest in every moment.
If you are looking for something in life to save you and provide you with happiness you will NEVER be truly happy.
There was a reason that the founding fathers of America didn’t guarantee us freedom and happiness.
They realized that the freedom for individuals to make their own choices in their own personal pursuit of happiness was one of the keys to happiness.
They understood happiness isn’t something that can be given, and it isn’t something we own; it is a choice to appreciate life and live in the moment, to take action and pursue our passions, and most of all to stop pursuing happiness and just be happy.
Many people look their whole life for happiness, they seek comfort in life from: relationships, possessions, and achievements.
Of course happiness is an emotion that comes and goes…sometimes you are on cloud 9, other times you are locked away in the dungeon of despair.
While our mood can never stay 100% stable at all times, our attitudes and ways of thinking can help level out the low points in life.
If your attitude is that happiness is something you eventually achieve or find, then chances are you will never find it.
Now is all that we own. We cannot control the future, we cannot live in the past, but we can only exist and live in this moment. We can allow the past to ruin the present, and we can sacrifice these moments to live one day in a better future, but we can only exist in these fleeting moments strewn together, piece by piece, like a movie reel. Make the most of these moments, because you never know when they might stop. #positivevibes #bethechange #faith #believe #makeyourbestself #success #motivation #inspiration #followyourheart #quotes #quote #quoteoftheday #grinding #nofear #selfimprovement #postivethinking #happyday #love #insta #photo #instagood #fit
There are really two major types of happiness: there are superficial pleasures, and then there is a sense of deep happiness and appreciation.
Superficial pleasures are what most of us spend our days chasing after: tasty food, fast cars, attractive mates, money, fame, and adventure.
Can you relate to this?
Ever eaten a huge amount of junk-food and loved the it, only to feel terrible an hour later?
Ever told someone off in the moment only to regret your decision later?
Ever spent way too much money on something you didn’t need only to regret making payments 2-3 years later?
Since most of us choose to just live the easy life of least resistance, we look only to increase our comfort in the current moment.
When we seek comfort only in the moment, without regards to the future, we often fall into a life of instant gratification; we make choices and take actions that feel good right now, only to feel empty and unfulfilled later on down the road.
Life is full of stimulation: fast food, shiny things, and talking badly about others: these things make us feel better, important, and alive for a moment, but they actually drain us of our substance and vitality.
The other form of happiness- lasting happiness- is from long term investment into the future or from conscious decision.
Making the choice to forgo instant gratification for long term growth or because it is the right thing not only feels good now, but it feels even better when we see the results of our decision.
Saying no to the temptations of the moment often leaves us feeling a lasting sense of pride and well-being for our decisions. Unlike choices made when seeking immediate comfort, when we choose the longer (and sometimes more challenging) road, we learn to embrace the challenges of life, not as discomfort, but instead as training to become or achieve something better in life.
Deeper forms of happiness come from 3 major things: achieving or getting closer to a major goal (especially process goals), helping others and giving back, and/or appreciating what you have or the position you are currently in.
When you achieve a goal you can temporarily live in the moment of the experience, and you get to think about all the hard work and how it led you to success. In some ways achieving a major goal CAN increase happiness for a long time, but it has to alter the way that you see yourself and feel about your life.
For example: if all you desire is to be the greatest basketball player ever, and you one day achieve that goal it could leave you feeling one of 2 ways: with a deep sense of pride that you achieved greatness, or with a lack of purpose for the remainder of your life because you already achieved your life’s work (a lot of Olympic athletes suffer from severe depression after retirement).
Happiness from achieving goals can create a long lasting deep sense of happiness, but only when your goals are centered on self improvement and becoming a better version of you.
When you hit your goal of losing 50lbs you feel deep happiness because you actually changed who you were and became a better version of yourself…but when your goal is to make a million dollars, you might party it up for a while, but you will eventually sink back into unhappiness unless have another goal to work towards.
Lesson 1 about happiness: There is no perfection, there is NO completion… getting something won’t make you happier for very long, but bettering yourself in some way can create a deep sense of accomplishment and increase your self esteem. By bettering yourself, you can increase your value to the world.
Giving back to others is another form of lasting happiness. By dedicating our time and energy to making others better or helping them achieve more, we often better ourselves and find our own happiness in the process.
Most people enjoy helping others deep down and there are few things that can lift your mood as much as hearing someone tell you how much you have helped them in their own life; just knowing you added value to the world adds value in your own life.
Lesson 2 about happiness: Giving back to others is a great way to find happiness and fulfillment in your life. By giving value to other people, you increase your own value and happiness.
But, if you truly want to find lasting happiness: a deep sense of happiness that remains constant and unchanged over time then you must commit to being happy, you must choose happiness.
A decision to be happy involves several things: acceptance of what is, appreciation for what you do have (rather than rumination on things that you don’t have), and a deep commitment to simply finding the good instead of looking for the bad.
Appreciate what you have right now, think about all the good things about your current situation and how fortunate you are to be where you are at; imagine yourself in a life without your friends, family, career: even everyday conveniences like electricity, food, and water are things to be appreciative for.
A life without others who love us, freedom, and food and shelter would be a much more difficult life; and we should learn to appreciate what we do have, rather than dwell on what we don’t.
When you realize that you have everything that you could ever need to be happy, and you have it right now…it becomes a simple choice between happiness and sadness.
Lessons 3 about happiness: Happiness is letting go of the need for more, and simply living fully in each moment. It is the choice to be happy and grateful, and it is the decision to guide your thoughts in a positive manner, rather than allowing negativity to cast you as the victim in life.
If you aren’t working towards a goal or bettering yourself, if you aren’t helping others, and if you aren’t appreciating your current situation in life, then you are not ever going to be happy- at least not for long.
Sure people might send compliments your way, you might laugh at something funny on T.V., or you might celebrate occasional milestones, but a deep and personal happiness will always evade you unless you start giving back, moving forward, or simply start appreciating what you have.
Stop seeking happiness in accomplishments or possessions; stop seeking immediate comfort, stop clinging onto your safe little life for the fear of loss.
Don’t seek happiness out as an endpoint, but rather learn to follow your passions in life and do what you enjoy; learn to appreciate every moment that you are alive and allow an air of gratefulness to take over your thoughts.
For we were never guaranteed happiness, but merely the pursuit of it.
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