I believe that almost everyone wants to be happy. However, very few people are able to achieve true happiness in their lives. Some people feel brief moments of joy, but it doesn’t take much to throw off their day. So why is it that so many people crave joy, but aren’t able to achieve it? We’ll explore this question in today’s blog.
Being happy may seem like an easy task, but true happiness is much harder to maintain. That’s because we have a habit of attaching conditions to our own conditions. What that means is most people want to feel happy, as long as certain conditions, like success, wealth, safety, etc., are met. But deep happiness has one rule – you cannot put anything above your happiness.
This rule goes against what most of us are conditioned to. We feel as though happiness is waiting for us on the other side of that new career, new relationship, new apartment, and the list goes on. When in reality, happiness has always been there waiting for us to claim it, but in order to do that, we can’t hang onto anything else.
This is of course much easier said than done because most of us have clear desires or expectations. But happiness is in fact our natural state, as long as we let go of these conditions.
These expectations come in two forms – fears and desires. We may desire to one day find our soulmate, go to a certain college, make a lot of money, etc. Desires take on so many forms. In order to let true happiness into our lives, we must acknowledge that these desires prevent us from being happy because they attach conditions to our happiness. For example, we may think to ourselves “I won’t be happy until this condition in my life is met.” Happiness doesn’t work this way. In order to be really happy, you can’t desire anything, you must flow with life and accept what is and love what is.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s fear. We fear a wide range of things – getting sick, losing our jobs, and the unknown. These fears are valid, but they don’t have to stop us from enjoying the now. Instead of living in fear of certain things, we can reframe it so we’re thankful for the things that we do have NOW, while also accepting that things may change. By accepting the fact that things may change, we remove our expectations, and we’re able to achieve true happiness.
Just because I believe that we should do our best to remove our expectations, doesn’t mean that we can’t have preferences. We can absolutely wish for things, be thankful when scary things don’t happen, be sad when things do, and be happy when things go a certain way. This is simply the rhythm of life! Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. When we realize that we can still achieve happiness no matter what, we’ll find that all we have to do is flow with life and take each day as they come.
Again, this is easier said than done. I have spent a long time retraining my own brain to prioritize happiness over everything. I used to think that if I achieve certain things, I’ll be happy. But I learned that happiness and peace don’t operate that way. They say if you want me in your life, you have to choose only me, and let those fears and desires go. That doesn’t mean I don’t have things in my life that I love, but it does mean that I avoid clinging to anything that prevents me from achieving joy every single day.
Let me explain this further by using the example of addiction. Addicts feel the strong need to feel good right at this very moment, no matter what. For a brief moment, they may feel peace and happiness when they use, but that moment is always fleeting. On the opposite end there’s a person who says “I realize I can’t cling on to anything or anyone, I can have preferences, like being healthy or being in love, but I realize that life may have different plans than I have in mind, and that’s okay.” When things happen that we don’t like, we can take a deep breath and do our best to find acceptance for what life has brought us. We can choose to embrace and love the life that has found us. When we do this, we will find happiness.
The hardest part is that we must want this happiness over everything. This isn’t always second nature, and you may need to remind yourself for a while to make the conscious decision over and over again. But with time you’ll find that your inner peace will remain intact no matter what’s going on in the outside world, and that is a beautiful gift.
Few people choose this path. Perhaps today you’ll join me on this journey towards happiness. I have recorded over 300 episodes on how to live a happy life. These episodes are full of tools to help you make your life more beautiful and joyful. It’s not always an easy journey, and you may have to put in some work to get there, but I would be honored to help guide you. If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out some of these episodes. I believe that you can have the most exquisite life imaginable, why not start working towards that today?