Happiness comes when we least expect it to show up. Most of our lives we have this expectation that once we make a certain amount, or get that new car, or new position in our career, then we will be the happiest that we can be and life will be perfect. Well I’m not sure if you have noticed yet or not but that’s not quite the way that it works folks.
How many times have you told yourself that once you get this next raise then you will work harder and that you will have gotten exactly what you wanted, only to find that in a few months you are back to feeling the exact same as before. How many times have you really been striving to save for that brand new car because its the only car you could ever want, except after getting that car, it just doesn’t meet your expectations, or the next new hot car comes around and you find yourself striving for that. These things happen on a regular basis for everyone living the kinds of lives that we live. True happiness isn’t found when we are trying to reach for the next object in our life. It isn’t found when we grow our bank accounts, or our shoe collection, or when we accomplish goals that we have set for ourselves.
Try to think back over your lifetime and remember the times when you were actually happy. I don’t mean the happiness that comes and goes like the wind, being happy for a day and the next a total wreck. What were you doing during that time? For myself, I have a hard time thinking back to my emotional state at certain times, but I do know that most of my memories aren’t about things at all, they are all about experiences that I have. Today, I am always the most relaxed and easy going when I’m walking on a trail, or hiking, or even walking through the city. I’m happy when I am expereincing our world with the people that I care about. There will ALWAYS be ways to make more money, new homes to live in, cars to drive, shoes to buy, or shoes to watch on TV. We won’t always have the people that we love, or our health. We won’t get any more time on this earth.
See I believe that true happiness, no matter who you are or what kind of situation you are in; true happiness is always within all of us. Everyone can find the happiness that they are looking for, if they just reach inside of themselves and find out what really matters to them. If you don’t love your job, quit. If you are in a relationship that doesn’t make you want to move mountains for that person, leave. If you are breaking your back to pay for things that you think you need to have, get rid of that stuff. Stop doing the things that don’t make you happy, and learn how to do the things that do make you happy.
Please don’t get me wrong, money and some objects can help make things easier, but we don’t NEED very many things in this life. We need food yes, we need some sort or shelter yes, we need companionship yes, and we need our health. Other than those basic things, our lives are filled with so much clutter that we think makes us happy, it’s actually making us more unhappy, because we are constantly striving to get to that next “big” thing. If you take some time to travel outside of the typical tourist spots around the world, you will see exactly what I mean. Yes there is extreme poverty, and crime, and death, but there is also joy. So many people who live every day of their lives in extreme poverty and is the worst possible conditions around the world, also live with the biggest hearts and make the absolute best out of every situation.
So a challenge that I want to leave you with, is to try to find what really deeply makes you happy, and make an effort to do that thing on a regular basis. I don’t expect you to quit your job without thinking about how to take care of your family, but look at the things you have and ask yourself if having those things is worth not being true happy. If you are honest with yourself then you might actually be surprised at how little you can get away with having and yet grow to be happier than before.