I’ve read tons of self-help books, listened to podcast, engaged in counseling and started a meditation practice all in an effort to learn more about happiness and fulfillment.
What is happiness? Where is happiness? Once I find it, how do I keep it? Philosophers, psychologist, spiritual leaders, and theologians have all sought to define it. It is something that has seemed elusive for much of my life until the last several years. My search for it and the intermittent nature of it led to me wanting to know more about it.
Of course, the self-help gurus all say “happiness is an inside job.” I have also read multiple times that “external things do not bring happiness.” I agree that happiness is found on the inside however, I also believe that external things can bring happiness also. For example, the beach makes me happy. Certain people make me happy. My dogs make me happy and yes, money makes me happy. I promise if you hand me $1000, I’ll be happy as a bug in a rug.
These external things only become problematic when our happiness is completely dependent on them. Am I still happy without the beach? Am I still happy without that person in my life? Am I still happy without all the material possessions? Am I still happy if I can’t take that special vacation? Am I still happy without that 1000 dollars? After-all, research does show that much of happiness is under personal control.
I believe the truth about happiness is that it is only part of the equation. Unhappiness is the other part.
Happiness is intermittent and can be fleeting. To believe that one can be happy all the time is a falsity. Unhappiness is part of our normal existence on this earth. According to Psychology Today (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/happiness) happiness typically involves times of considerable discomfort. Life circumstances, achievements, marital status, social relationships and even your neighbors, all influence how happy you are or can be.
We spend a lot of time trying to avoid suffering, pain and unhappiness. No one wants to suffer. No one wants pain. No one wants to be unhappy. Think of a fly. Did you ever try to swat a fly with a fly swatter? It is almost impossible. As soon as you get close, they fly away. Very quickly. They do not want pain or suffering either. Even the fly doesn’t want to be unhappy.
I truly believe that when one door closes, another door to greatness opens. The issue is the hallway in between the two doors. That hallway in between can be a real bitch. No one wants to be in the hallway. It can be an unhappy place to be. But the hallway is essential. Sit down in the hallway and embrace the unhappiness. Learn what you need to learn in the hallway. Don’t beat yourself up in the hallway. See that new open door. Begin to give thanks for the new door while you are sitting in the hallway sulking. Being in the hallway is your preparation time. Preparing you for the new beautiful door.
It is okay to not be okay. As a matter of fact, there will definitely be times when you are not okay. There will definitely be times when you are unhappy. No way to avoid it regardless of how spiritually evolved you are. It is unavoidable regardless of how connected you are to the unified field of energy that is oneness.
When I lost my Mom in a tragic car accident there was no avoiding the overwhelming sadness and unhappiness. I was in the hallway and it was very dark. I felt paralyzed and had no choice but to sit there in my deep grief. Again, we have all been there. There is a purpose in the pain and unhappiness even though we do not understand it. That is where we must Lean not to our own understanding but instead simply trust.
Having said all of this, there are ways to minimize your time in the unhappy zone:
- Maintaining healthy relationships and connections
- Daily Meditation Practice
- Regular consistent exercise program
- Finding purpose beyond yourself
- Set and meet goals
- Let go of grudges
- Practice random acts of kindness (Be a Giver)
- Practicing gratitude
These are just a few of the many ways to ensure much more time in the happy zone and less time in the unhappy state.
Happiness is only part of the equation. And that’s the truth.
Hi, I’m Vince. I am a Author, Critical Care Registered Nurse and Speaker. Welcome to my site. On this site you will be provided inspirational, educational, motivational and thought provoking articles. It is my mission to have this information help you achieve Optimal Health which includes your Physical Health, Spiritual Health, and Mental Health. My ultimate goal is to create change and stimulate self-healing. I would love to have your support by entering your email address on this site to receive my monthly articles. I look forward to your feedback.
6 Replies to “The Truth about Happiness”
I love this. I really needed this.
I am so happy two weeks ago I Retired never been this happy.happiness is a awesome feeling can’t stop smiling. Vince I will always remember the fun times we had on 4west on bad days you would make me happy.
Like Paul, I too agree on happiness being fractional. Everything in one’s life may not all be synchronized, however, the individual experiences may bring true happiness at some part or another. Happiness, though inward is affected by the external factors and can be controlled. It’s a choice I make daily to be happy no matter what.
Thank you so much for your feedback and for becoming a new reader. I am deeply grateful. You are so right, happiness is affected by external factors and you are also right that they can be controlled. It starts with awareness.
Reading this today made me feel happier. Most people think of happiness as just one whole thing. I believe happiness can be a fractional thing. Take all the little positives in your day and add them together.
Thank you Paul. I love that you talk about happiness being a fractional thing. I will start “taking all the little positives from my day and adding them together.”
I appreciate your support as always.
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