We all want to know how to be happy, don't we? What is it, how can we get it? I came to belief that it does not have anything to do with what I have, but it's a state of peace and content inside of me. I make a lot of vision boards, read a lot about vision boards and happiness comes up all the time. I dedicated a whole vision board to happiness, it reminds me to be happy, I practice it, I know I always have a choice. I found this article by Allen Gregoire and thought you might like it.
The role of the mind: An inside job
This may seem like a fairly obvious truth but, happiness and suffering all originate in the mind. Despite such an obvious truth, many insist that their happiness lies "out there" and that their suffering is also the result of some external force beyond their control. Once we understand how our mind works and we come to terms with the fact that we can indeed control our mind, our daily reality becomes much different.
Each of us, at some moment in our lives, has either knowingly or unknowingly detached ourselves from any emotional involvement in the face of a particular challenge or adversity. It is in these moments, that an illuminating lesson is presented to us. If our conscious mind has been listening, we realize that the only power anything has over us is the power we give it. The mere knowledge that you can revoke that power at any time is liberating mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.Speaking of detachment, one of the key principles of happiness centers around your "focus". What you choose to focus on has an enormous impact on your happiness and well being. Are you one of those people who consistently sees the good in people or are you instead focused on human "failings"? It's true that both good and bad exist in all people but, which side of the fence you choose to look at will govern your view, your life experience, and your happiness.
Another aspect of focus has to do with things within your "circle of influence". Those things and situations in which you can have a direct impact and some measure of control over are your circle of influence. Often, we spend too much time and energy on things that we can have little or no impact on. In doing so, we end up frustrated, exasperated, and unhappy. Focus instead on those things you can do something about. With a measure of success one feels satisfied and therefore, happy.
Another viewpoint comes from the practice of Buddhism. One of the key tenets is not to become attached to things or outcomes. It is our attachment or coveting of things and our desire for certain outcomes that can be a great source of suffering. When you take the view that everything happens as it should and you have faith that events are unfolding in a way that helps you fulfill your destiny, you are filled with a sense of peace and calm and the unease of "wanting" subsides.
The organizing principles of happiness
1. Taking care of mind and body: You must always stand guard at the gate to your mind. You must be extremely vigilant at this as negative intruders are lurking and waiting for the weakest moments when they can storm the gate to your soul. When the attack comes, you must be quick to respond and defeat the enemy. Also, it is important through nutrition and exercise to keep the body strong so that you have the tools and the will to fight the good fight. Body and mind are interdependent, there is no getting around that.
2. Positive social circles: It is extremely important to associate with those whose presence is uplifting. Take care to associate with those who generally have a positive outlook on life. Don't underestimate the effect of associating with negative people and don't delude yourself into thinking that you are so strong that their negativity will not affect you. It's okay to help people but, also understand that no matter the amount of help, some people will never possess the awareness to manage their lives and their own emotional states. Give yourself the gift of association with positive minded people.
3. Live in accordance with your own moral code: At all times, ensure that your actions reflect your moral beliefs. Sometimes, it is tempting to set those beliefs aside because of things like convenience or social acceptance or avoidance. But, it is YOU who will always know that you did not act in accordance with your beliefs. This will create a sense of uneasiness in you that your soul will never let you forget. However, the peace and happiness that comes with standing up for your convictions is priceless.
"The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage". – Thucydides
In other words, have the courage to stand up for your principles. If you don't, your heart and your soul die a little bit every day. It isn't worth it to compromise your principles.
4. Giving to others: Something profound happens to us when we take a moment to step outside of our own world and enter the world of others through giving. When you give of yourself to another, that gift is automatically doubled and now becomes two gifts, one for the recipient and one for you. Giving feels good and reaffirms your worth as a human being. That you would think of another so selflessly is a testament to the power of love and good in this world. You realize that you have the power to bring a ray of sunshine and happiness into someone else's life. What a beautiful source of happiness!
5. Purpose, goals, and direction: It's been said in various ways that a life without purpose is a life not worth living. One of the primary sources of happiness centers around our meaning or our place in the world. What is your purpose in life? Is it to fight for and secure justice? Is it to alleviate the suffering of others and care for them? Is it to promote peace in the world? Is to create something of beauty for the world to enjoy?
In Viktor Frankl's book, Man's Search For Meaning, he explains that the primary human drive is not pleasure but the pursuit of what we find meaningful. It was this emphasis that allowed Mr. Frankl to survive his experiences in Nazi death camps. His focus on how he could and ultimately would find meaning in his life enabled him to "escape" mentally from the daily horrors that were his life in the camp.
6. Love for yourself and others: It's been said that there is no greater force in the world than love. It's also true that it's a tremendous source of happiness. When you feel good about yourself and truly love yourself, how can you not experience happiness?
When you love others and feel that love in return, how can one not experience a state of happiness? When you give of yourself to others and demonstrate that love through your actions, you are responsible for creating a source of happiness in that world. Whose happiness have you contributed to today?
Happiness is a state available to all but it requires a little bit of effort just like everything else in life. But, with the right amount of control over your own mind and emotional states and by utilizing the organizing principles set forth above, you can find your own key to happiness.
An enduring fascination with peak performance systems and human motivation and achievement led Allan Gregoire to a career as an author. The author has worked in the resort industry, financial services, and the legal profession. The author writes content for his website http://actionmaxims.com, a site devoted to exploring your calling and destiny and achieving high levels of success.
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