Happiness has also been on my mind for the past few weeks, and I wanted to add my thoughts to Rabbit’s
If there is one universal truth about every single human being that ever existed, it’s that we want to be happy. It’s pretty clear right? No one in his right mind wants to be unhappy. Why would we? It is in our nature to pursuit it. We work day and night to be happy; saving money for the day we can finally relax and enjoy life. We’ll look for it in another person; tell ourselves that once we’re together everything will be perfect. We will use alcohol or drugs because it’s a fun enjoyable trip. We’re all pursuing happiness in our own little way.
Knowing that, I’ve come to realize that happiness must be the meaning of life. Even if we can’t completely grasp it, we’re all doing everything we can to attain it. So subconsciously, we must know that we were born on this planet for the sole purpose of being happy. Sounds a bit ridiculous but it’s logical. The only question is, if we’re all trying to be happy then why is there war in the world? Why is there pain?
I think the issue lies in the fact that we are trying to find happiness the wrong way. Instead of spending our time being happy, we spend our time preparing ourselves to be happy in the future. Think about it, we often look at what we need to do to finally be happy. “When and If I get a 1000$ raise, I’ll be happy”. In one sentence, we admit we’re not currently happy and we’re preparing ourselves for something that is supposed to make us happy. Well, guess what happens when we get that raise? We’ll be happy for a week, and then we’ll start telling ourselves that we’ll be happy once we get the next raise, or the promotion, wanting to move up the never ending ladder. We do the same for relationships. “Once I’m with Ygritte, then I’ll be happy.”, “Once I become famous”. “Once I become powerful” “Once I’m drunk/high” etc. If we search for happiness outside of ourselves, we’re admitting that we are currently unhappy, and then we want to build happiness on that foundation of unhappiness. Without a good, strong foundation we cannot expect to progress effectively.
We can’t find happiness outside of ourselves, it only causes trouble. Whenever we are faced with something new, something we WANT. We need to ask ourselves “Do I really NEED this?” The answer is usually no. We might tell ourselves that once we get that thing we want, we’ll be happier… but that would just be admitting that we are not happy now and will be happy only once we get what we want.
So how do we do it? Simple, there’s no need to add a step in between us and happiness. The only thing we have to do is to BE HAPPY. Instead of spending our time thinking and wanting everything we don’t have. We’re better off wanting and appreciating what we already have. We need to wake up every morning telling ourselves that we feel great. Remember all the good things that happen to us, and focus on that warm, oozy feeling inside of us. We need to tell ourselves how lucky we are to be who we are. And by doing all of this, we approve of ourselves, and admit that we are happy.
These happy thoughts need to be cultivated, and negative thoughts need to be eliminated. I’m not saying “Don’t ever feel sad about anything ever”. I’m saying, don’t dwell on it, know that it could’ve been worse and be thankful for it.
A good trick is to keep ourselves in check, like a journal. Set ourselves some goals, internal goals. Think about how we can utilize the day in a positive manner. How WE can act and react in a positive way and be happy. By focusing on happy thoughts, we have no choice but to be happy. Life becomes so fulfilling that it won’t even matter what happens next because we already are happy! How could go through a mid life crisis if we know we’re living happily? Why would we worry about death if we know we’re living a happy fulfilling life? What else could we possibly need when we’re happy?