We’re conditioned to think that if we have the right stuff, or are with the right person who behaves in a certain manner we will be happy. If only we had the right jobs, and our kids were at the top of their class or First Chair in band, or if we only got laid more we would be happy. The reality is that these things may result in a transient happiness. These things provide a timed code to unlock the happiness combination and make us feel good for a short while, but once that code expires, we are once again searching for that next code to make us happy. Many find that code shopping and acquiring. A new pair of shoes – happy (for a short bit). A new iPad – happy (and distracted) for a bit – like a rat hitting it’s lever for a dopamine release/food pellet. Over and over again. Sex – great and very much happy feelings and connection with our partner, but only for a bit. If you don’t have something inside to fall back on, or hate other circumstances of your health or life, you’re going to creep back to an unhappy state once again very quickly.Filling the void with consumption isn’t the secret to happiness.
The state of happiness comes from within, and you can go to that state with a Master Key to unlock that state whenever you want. You don’t need outside influence to get there, just inside awareness, gratitude, presence and making the most of wherever you currently find yourself. Take deep breaths and instead of letting the constant stream of self talk and your mind going on and on about stuff that happened and stuff you’re planning to do and worrying about stuff that will never happen but you’re playing it out anyway – tell it to SHUT UP – and simply let the state of joy into your life. Bad situation? Your car broke down? Waiting for a tow? You can wait in your car, maybe listen to some music, and still be happy. You can turn that raincloud in your mind to sunshine, and perhaps take the opportunity to have an in depth conversation with your traveling companion about life or when you broke down on a family vacation with your family or how you learned to change a tire.
I’m not immune to this message either. Work stresses and shit people and situations get into my brain like a parasite and try to interrupt my fun family times. I’m getting better about building a moat to keep them out, and enjoying the moment more. Deep thoughts and staying present, remembering how lucky I am in the moment, and expressing those thoughts to those I love are a weapon against the usurpers of my happiness. One thing that contributes to happiness, or the ability to build on your current happiness, is something I’ll talk about more (and have talked about before), but is constant conscious incremental improvements every day. You don’t need to be perfect, but taking little steps each day in the right direction absolutely makes a different in your life quality, even if you aren’t sure how. Believe.