Whatever we want in life, a partner, more money, good health, a fulfilling career, or enlightenment, it all comes down to the same thing: behind all the wishes, behind all the desires, and beyond every symbol, we want to feel happy. After all, if we feel completely happy, what more do we need? And if we don't feel happy, there is not a relationship or career that can satisfy us.
All men and women want to find happiness, but you don't find happiness anymore than an artist finds a beautiful statue; he or she sculpts it from a shapeless stone. A musician doesn't find an intricate melody; he or she composes it from the eight note scale.
Happiness is not an acquisition, it's a skill. We don't experience happiness because of something that we're getting, like a raise or money. We experience happiness because of how we're living. For example, having a tennis racket doesn't make you a good tennis player, learning how to play tennis does. Having material things doesn't make you happy; living each moment of the day to the fullest does. Happiness is living in the present moment. You experience happiness when you know exactly where you are in your life at a given moment, and experience that moment to the fullest.
Getting the things you want in life won't make you happy unless you know how to enjoy every moment. For example, if you don't know how to enjoy five hundred dollars, you will not enjoy five thousand dollars when you get it, or even five hundred thousand dollars. If you can't enjoy taking a walk in your neighborhood, and you travel to Hawaii, Paris, or Rome, you won't be any happier there either. Now I'm not saying having money or taking more trips doesn't make your life easier or more fun. It does. But those things don't make you deeply happy because they can't. Only enjoying life's real moments can.
If we look closely at our lives, most of us don't feel very happy much of the time because we focus our attention on precisely the things that make us feel bad, our problems, and the issues we have in our personal and business lives. Most of us find happiness elusive because we aren't exactly sure what it looks like. Like a rainbow, it appears before us at times, but it's always temporary.
Working toward material success, expanded awareness, and love helps to make our lives exciting and meaningful. Yet, the urge to find happiness may be our deepest human drive. Despite our achievement and successes, many of us have a sense that something is still missing in our life. And it is this feeling that causes us to continue to search for happiness.
Wanting to grow, expand, explore, and improve are natural human drives. But many of us think that when we find what we're looking for, it will make us happy. Only to find that it doesn't. And when we keep trying to find happiness it only serves to reinforce our dilemma of never being able to find it. The more we search for happiness, the more it reflects our resistance or avoidance of life right now. The past is behind us and the future has yet to come, what we have is now. We all have the choice to be happy now or never.
Most of our stress and suffering in life comes from our mind's resistance to what is. Happiness isn't about getting what we want as much as wanting what we get. If our lives meet our basic needs for clothing, food, and shelter, then any unhappiness you feel comes from your mind's resistance. If you take this same resistant mind with you into the future, this unhappiness will remain with you no matter how delightful your external circumstances are.
I don't mean to imply that the discipline of creating happiness is easy. It's not. And any process of learning involves mistakes and failures; but it gets easier over time.
Happy people create happiness. It's the most contagious energy on earth. But, you can't pretend to be happy or engage in denial or repression. If you do, you'll only be fooling yourself. When you create happiness, you fully acknowledge and honor whatever emotions are passing through. You watch them like clouds passing by, but you focus your attention on the sunshine above the clouds. By doing this, you are intentionally creating a space of unconditional happiness. And this is much different from just saying "I'm happy" or bravely pretending to be happy. It's the only happiness that is not dependent on outside circumstances.
If I could give you a formula for happiness, it would be: Become fully conscious of what you're doing, perceiving, or experiencing in a given moment. Once you're conscious of it, allow yourself to break through that illusion of separation and connect with the person, thing, or feeling. Then surrender totally into that connection and experience. Now you should be in tune with and actually experiencing the moment. Our lives are made up of a succession of moments that occur all the time. It's up to us to enjoy them.
For example, let's say you're walking up a mountain that overlooks the ocean. You stop for moment and look out at the beautiful vista, feeling the fresh air, and for a second you feel at one with everything, you have this kind of high feeling. That's a real moment of happiness in your life.
You deserve to have all the happiness that life has to offer. Make the most out of each moment in your life and enjoy it. Don't wait for happiness to come to you. Create it yourself with each moment. You can become the magician by creating happy experiences whenever and wherever you want.
Copyright(c)2004 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates,Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. A former ad agency executive and marketing consultant, Joe's work in personal development focuses on helping his clients identify hidden marketable assets that create windfall opportunities and profits, as well as sound personal happiness and peace.
Reach Joe at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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