It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.
Why is it that many people view everyday life as boring—something to just get through?
Many people spend their lives waiting. Waiting to achieve something. Waiting to get something. Waiting to be happy.
Conditional happiness is overrated. If we think that some future event or condition is going to make us happy, or turn our lives around, or bring us fulfillment, then we’ve missed the point. If we don’t have the capacity for happiness in “everyday” life, some future condition is unlikely to make us happy. We all have the capacity to be happy—some of us just don’t realize it.
Happiness is available to all of us right here, right now.
It’s inside all of us. If it’s not there, then no level of achievement, material gain, or lifestyle change is going to bring it to us.
How to feel happy if you don’t feel happy
If you have happiness inside you but you don’t feel happy, how can you bring that happiness to the surface?
The answer to this question is both harder and easier than it sounds.
Even if we have the capacity for happiness, that doesn’t mean we can just flip a switch and make it happen, particularly when we’re going through something sad or tragic. Sometimes our happiness continuum is disrupted by some event or circumstance that blocks our happiness. We all have them.
Having the capacity for happiness DOESN’T mean we’re always happy. What it DOES mean is that we’re always opento being happy.
But (now the easy part), it isn’t hard to be open to happiness. We can be predisposed to be happy. We can make happiness our default condition. We can arrange our lives so that they’re likely to make us happy. We all have a whole range of people and activities in our lives. Some of them make us happy, and some of them make us indifferent, or angry, or frustrated, or anxious, or some other emotion that’s not happiness. For these people or activities, we should decide whether or not we need to have them in our lives. If we don’t need them, then we should give them the heave-ho—life’s too short. If have to have them in our lives, then we should develop a level of acceptance that minimizes those negative emotions.
More importantly, we should identify and gravitate toward the people and activities that do make us happy. If someone asked you, “What makes you happy?”, would you have a specific and detailed answer to that question? If the answer is “no” or “I’d have to think about it,” then you’re not spending enough time doing the things that make you happy.
Happiness is simple
We should also remember that the elements of our lives that make us happy should be relatively simple and straightforward. Consider supermodels or rock stars. What do they have that we don’t? Well, sure, they have wealth, fame, adoration, and good looks. BUT—are ANY of those things guaranteed to make us happy? Of course not.
I would even suggest that most, if not all, of these things can easily get in the way of happiness, or at least make it more complicated.
If you are rich or good-looking, you might have a lot of people approaching you, wanting to talk to you or wanting to be in your life. But it’s all inherently superficial. These people don’t know you, but they want to be around you anyway. Why? Because they think you’re interesting or exciting, based on nothing more than what they can see.
If you’re rich or good-looking, you have to sift through a lot of people to get to the ones who you have the potential for a real connection with based on something deeper.
Happiness in the journey
There are also things we believe will make us happy that we don’t yet have. Should we strive for those things? Yes, and achieving those things might indeed be a source of happiness. But if the journey doesn’t also bring us happiness, then maybe we should rethink what the outcome will be. There will always be times when we have to slog it out with a journey that’s tedious or painful to achieve a goal (hello, grad school!), but we shouldn’t think that the achievement of that goal will make us happy if we’re not already happy.
Instead of looking outward for things that will make you happy, look inward. Get to know yourself better. Get to know the things that really resonate with you. Be very aware of the things in your life that give you joy, fulfillment, and excitement.
The only things we KNOW will make us happy are the things that DO make us happy. Not in the future—right now.
Happiness is inside you. Let your happiness free. Be the happiness you want.