Happiness is the one thing that drives the world; it makes us do what we do. In this article I present you seven insights into happiness where I give little pointers on how you can become happy, right now. No matter what your circumstance is in life, you can be happy now.
7 Insights On Happiness
1. Happiness is peeling back.
In the same way we become healthy by not doing unhealthy things, we become happy by not doing things that make us unhappy. You’re default state, at the deepest level, is happiness. You were born happy. All babies seem to be happy and all children seem to be happy. We are born happy and then we are taught and conditioned to do things that make us unhappy. If you’re friends are making you unhappy then get new friends, if it’s your job then get a new job. Peel back all the layers and once you’ve reached the core you’ll find happiness waiting there to be realized.
2. Happiness is conscious freedom
Freedom, the ability to do what ever you want to do when you want to do. This is the ultimate happiness. Stemming from point 1, once we peel back all the restrictions to our lives we will find happiness. I write conscious freedom because we have to know what we want. If you are free but have no idea what to do with your time, then you won’t be happy. But if we know what we want out of life, know what our passion is, know the path to take then happiness will come. True freedom is actually conscious freedom. To even be writing conscious freedom is actually redundant if we’re looking at it from a higher level. We are trapped in thought and self-harming beliefs, in unconscious conditioning and most people have the wrong idea of freedom. We have to first become conscious, become aware and the freedom we get can then be used to do the things that are right for you.
3. Happiness is elusive
The movie The Pursuit of Happiness has given many people the wrong impression of how to be happy. The idea that we have to pursue happiness and that there is a destination we can reach gives people false hope. You can be happy right now, there is no need to pursue it. In fact, the act of trying to pursue it is chasing it away, putting up false hope for yourself which will bring more unhappiness. Getting the big house will make you happy? Maybe for a few weeks, but once that initial high goes away you’re stuck in the same spot. Then you want more, thinking that it’s not the big house but maybe a billion dollars. The cycle continues and suffering continues. The truth is that we want to be joyful, be at peace. Pleasure is something that feels good, but it doesn’t last long. Pleasure stems only from things which are external, whilst bliss and joy arises from within.
4. Happiness ensues
Like I said in point 3, you can’t pursue happiness. The idea that we have to chase it is actually pushing it further away, because what you chase is usually going away from you. You won’t ever be able to catch it. Happiness is something that ensues from living a good life. It’s something that just happens once you peel back all the layers of the onion. It is there right now, deep inside of you waiting for you to experience it. You just have so many things blocking it off that it can’t arise. In order to be happy we need to live a good life, and living a good life starts from the inside. Feel good now, and the world will start reflecting it. You’ll start to be kind to people, and people will reciprocate and be kind to you. You’ll feel more motivated, you’re not inside your head, your creativity flows and your work has a higher quality and you’ll do it more passionately.
5. If you want it you can’t have it
If you try to get it, you’ll always be missing it. You’re missing the point of it. Happiness isn’t a thing, isn’t a goal, but just a by-product. So the act of wanting it is redundant, it’s to completely miss its mark. As Eckhart Tolle says, “Don’t seek happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness.” It’s the antithesis of happiness because happiness is always there. To believe that it is outside of us, that it’s something that we can head towards is to completely go as far away from it as we can. The more you search the further you go. But instead of searching for happiness, seek to find the things which make you unhappy, and happiness will arise on it’s own.
6. Happiness is thoughtlessness
Nothing, no event, person, or thing can you make unhappy unless you think it’s bad, it’s not good. It’s never the situation that makes you unhappy but it’s your thoughts about it. It can be hard to think positively about thing which is by your definition is bad, but another method I propose to is allow what happen to fully happen. Being upset about it may help you vent some anger, but in the long run you’re only giving yourself high-blood pressure and unnecessary stress. Here’s a Zen story about not judging a situation and just allowing things to be:
The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life.
A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.
This made her parents very angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.
In great anger the parents went to the master. “Is that so?” was all he would say.
After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbors and everything else the little one needed.
A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth – that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket.
The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back again.
Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: “Is that so?”
So the next time something happens, don’t judge it, don’t judge it as even good, just allow it to unfold and experience it fully. Experience the emotions it gives you, the feelings that arise. Sometimes nothing bad is even happening, we’re just lying in bad and suddenly we’re caught in the midst of an arugment between you and the customer today, or your boss, or your partner. It’s all just your thoughts. Don’t try to repress or resist the thought, it’ll just come up another day because that’s the nature of though. Let is arise, watch it, beware of it and understand that it’s just noises.
7. Happiness is gratitude
You’re wants and desires keeps you in a perpetual state of not enough. Being in a state of not enough causes us to be miserable, jealous and believing that in order to be happy we need to add more to our lives. But the truth is if you want to be happy right now you can, and that is through gratitude. Whatever it is you have now in your life, be thankful for it. There’s millions of people in the world who would love to be in your situation, to have a computer, to have a warm bed to sleep in, to not have to worry about the next meal. You can live your life right now in intense joy by simply being grateful. Every morning you wake up and just before you go to bed, think of all the things your’e grateful for. Truly feel the emotion and be grateful and you’ll see that happiness arises, a warm feeling of peace arises.
So happiness is inside all of us, waiting to be realized. We cover it up with layers of unhappiness, and by simply not doing things that makes us unhappiness happiness will arise. There is no need to pursue it, because pursuing it is to miss the point. It’s something inside of us, and the more we look for it outside the more we’ll suffer. Be grateful now for all the things in which you have, and you’ll be surprised by the sudden realization that you are happy now.