We spend a lot of time looking outside of ourselves for happiness. We might feel happiest when affected by alcohol or other mood changing substances. We might need our family or friends around us to feel happy or we might think that losing weight or becoming fit is the way to happiness.
While these things may contribute to our happiness, our true happiness is within us and as we find ourselves, accept ourselves and embrace ourselves only then can we find true happiness that doesn’t rely on external forces to keep us happy.
This can be one of the most freeing thoughts of all self-discoveries. Once we learn this fundamental lesson, we determine how we react when things are not going well around us. Until that moment, things happening around us often create the responses and feeling of sadness or happiness that accompany them. Many people think of happiness as a positive emotion. We associate happiness with feelings and emotions can range from feeling contented to feeling pure joy. While to think of happiness being in terms of an emotional response is normal, happiness is something that transcends emotions.
We put a lot of unfair pressure on the people and situations in our lives when we expect them to be the sources of those positive emotions. Unless we are happy within ourselves, it’s likely our relationships will never live up to our expectations. They may add to our happiness, but they can never be the source of it. Henry Miller said, “I have no money, no resources and no hopes, but I am the happiest man alive.”
How do we find our personal happiness? Happiness is as much about an attitude of mind as a response to it, so to find happiness we first need to change our attitudes. We cannot be happy all the time, but we can learn to put strategies in place from within ourselves to create inner happiness despite external circumstances.
Perspective is the creator of happiness and it may also be the destroyer of it. Training ourselves to remain positive and content is an important life skill. Once learned it will help us maintain healthy emotional responses to every situation we find ourselves facing. Alain-Rene Lasage once said, “I am happy and content because I think I am.”
This is the state of understanding of self that should become everyone’s goal.