Happiness, people chase it, crave it and some spend a lifetime to trying to work it out. It’s the one thing in life that everyone wants.
Some use alcohol and drugs in trying to find it.
‘For example, if you’re addicted to alcohol, it’s not because you feel that the alcohol has any inherent existence. It’s because, in your calculation, the immediate pleasure derived from the alcohol outweighs the long-term damage it’s doing to your life. This is a general principle: attachment and addiction are not metaphysical problems. They’re tactical ones. We’re attached to things and actions, not because of what we think they are, but because of what we think they can do for our happiness. If we keep overestimating the pleasure and underestimating the pain they bring, we stay attached to them regardless of what, in an ultimate sense, we understand them to be.‘ The integrity of Emptiness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu © 2006–2013
If you ask people what they most want in life, they invariably will say, “happiness.” Some think wealth will change them, others think becoming monks and nuns, or some other type of religious order will finally offer true happiness. I have met wealthy people, and religious people, even monks, all of them can be totally miserable.
So what’s the answer to our happiness conundrum? For me, it’s the little things.
- Enjoying nutritional food
- Being comfortable in my own company.
- Being comfortable around people.
- Enjoying exercise.
- Looking in the mirror and accepting myself.
- Proud of my achievements, regardless of others opinions.
- Living Authentically.
- Forgive me, dropping the past mistakes, letting go!
The real issue, often for me, is unrealistic expectations, or simply not seeing reality. For example, writing a book and expecting fame and fortune. Having hopes is different from expectations. You can hope people read your book and it sells. Consequently, preference is healthy, but expectations cause nothing but misery.
Hopes, preferences, are healthy. What is unhealthy is expecting things to stay the same or improve. Facing reality is true happiness, not denial or escapism.
So for me, real happiness is in my ability to continually work on seeing reality for what it is. For example, not holding onto older versions of myself. I have to be who I truly am today and build on that. Also, enjoy building my life, with its ups and downs, not utopian ideology.
Our potential is limitless and invariably, most of us only tap into a small piece of the vastness. Imagine if all of us seen beyond cultural norms, family traditions, religions and scientific imposed limitations. Imagine if we see ourselves fully?