The Key To Lasting Happiness

January 15, 2019

The Key To Lasting Happiness

What do you want most out of life? When surveyed with this question, happiness is usually up there - at the top of our list of desires. But despite being an emotion we all want, happiness isn’t always easy to find - and when we do find it, it’s often short-lived.

Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you try, happiness slips through your fingers? To the outside world do you ‘have it all’, but inside you feel as though something is missing. Do you struggle with the kind of unease, tension, and stress that steals your happiness and keeps you searching for more?

If so, you’re far from alone...  

In today’s hyper-connected society, we’ve never been more lonely, more stressed, or more discontent.

This isn’t how we’re supposed to live.

The Dalai Lama tells us that,“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” It makes sense.

When we’re happy, we’re filled with positive emotions and optimism. We laugh, have fun, and feel joy. We appreciate life and feel good about ourselves and the things we do. And because happiness is contagious, this joy flows out to the people around you and makes them feel good too.

In comparison, when we’re down, we feel isolated, disconnected, and withdrawn.

It’s why increasing the level of happiness inside you and the world can only be a good thing. Happiness is good for your relationships, for your contribution to the wider world, and for your soul.  

So how do you create lasting happiness? 

How do you cultivate the kind of authentic happiness that arises from within and lingers throughout your day?

How can you infuse joy into every moment - regardless of what’s happening in your life (and even the world).

Keep reading, and we’ll show you how...

The trouble with emotions

Ever noticed how life isn’t a flat, even path?

Instead, it’s a series of ups and downs and lefts and rights. It’s an unpredictable zigzag and because of this, we can’t walk through life fuelled by one emotion alone. To do that only dumbs down the human experience.

Living well means experiencing a full range of emotions - not all of them desirable.

While you want to feel happy, it’s not enough to feel happy constantly; you also want to find peace with the rest of the spectrum too. That’s because you can’t know:

  • Joy without sadness.
  • Love if you’ve never felt hate.
  • Anger unless you’ve also experienced calm.  

That’s why the first step to finding lasting happiness is to understand thatall emotions are valuable and all emotions are relative.

It’s ok not to feel happy all the time. In fact, feeling unhappy is not necessarily a bad thing at all because emotions are simply a way of expressing how we feel at any given moment. To deny the full spectrum of emotions is to undermine what it means to be human.

The trouble with ‘bad’ emotions is when we get so attached to them that they define who we are.

Negative emotions are only negative if there’s no balance… if there’s no return to joy.

And that return to joy is within your grasp - every second of the day.

It’s really easy to smile

Happiness is actually a really simple emotion to experience.

In fact, you can feel happy right now simply by using the power of your imagination.

Let’s try it…

Bring to mind something that makes you smile - it could be a person or a memory. Maybe the moment your child was born, the first time your partner told you they loved you, success at work, or being in the flow with a hobby you love.

Have you thought of something? Great… now relive that moment as fully as you can and notice how the happiness bubbles up.

Gratitude can have the same effect.

Simply think about something you’re thankful to have in your life. It can be super simple like your lover’s touch, your child’s smile, or even the feel of the sand between your toes.

These two exercises show that you can switch on happiness whenever you choose.

You CAN turn on your happiness like a tap and the reason you can do that is because YOU get to set your own happiness rules.

You get to decide what conditions/circumstances make you feel happy.

If happiness is so simple, why does it feel so hard?

The reason so many of us struggle to experience joy on a regular basis is because we’ve got our rules written out all wrong.

We’ve raised the happiness bar too high.

We’ve made it more difficult than necessary to feel good and the biggest culprit is we insist on chasing the wrong things.

Check out these examples:

  1. We chase the future.

We tell ourselves we’ll be happy when we lose weight, get that promotion, find our soulmate, live in our dream home, get the car, hit retirement etc. The list goes on! Place conditions on your happiness that sit somewhere ‘out there’ in the future and you’llalways be searching for the lasting happiness you crave..

  1. We think happiness is connected with money

You’d be forgiven for believing that more money is the answer to everything. But is that really the case? When you believe that happiness is found in material possessions, you’ll struggle to feel satisfied. Thanks to advertising overwhelm, celebrity culture, and constantly changing trends, it’s virtually impossible to keep up. Find happiness away from material comforts and you’ll never be far from joy.

  1. We don’t want to wait

We live in a culture where so much is instantaneous. You can binge watch entire TV series, get the latest gadget on credit, and fill boredom with mindless scrolling through social media.

In our easy come, easy go consumerist society, it’s easy to believe we’re missing out if we don’t have it all now. But that focus on what’s lacking fuels impatience, which breeds discontentment - not satisfaction.

  1. We compare ourselves to others

Comparison is the thief of joy. There will always be someone who’s better, prettier, richer, or smarter than you. When you look around and knock yourself down, you fail to acknowledge what’s inside. You undermine yourself and you sabotage your happiness because you start to feel as though you’re not enough.

  1. We settle for less than we want

When your confidence takes a hit, when you’ve fallen over one too many times, when you feel like a failure or you doubt your ability to achieve, it’s easy to let your dreams and ambitions fall by the wayside. Fear stamps out happiness by keeping you small. When you deny yourself the things you really want, you stamp out joy too.

  1. We’re not happy with what we’ve got NOW

Social pressures and expectations can play havoc with our happiness levels. Take a look around you and you’ll start to see all the subliminal messages that want to convince you that you’re not quite enough. Advertising plays on these deep fears. You’re told you’re not smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, successful enough - the list goes on - because these insecurities fuel us to buy more to fill the gaps.

When we don’t feel enough, we focus on our perceived failures and happiness evaporates.

It doesn’t have to be this way...

In our rush to the future and our desire to be someplace else - even someone else - we miss out on the happiness that’s always available in the here and now.

That’s right… happiness is available in every single moment.

The Dalai Lama says this beautifully.  

“We don’t need more money, we don’t need greater success or fame, we don’t need the perfect body or even the perfect mate. Right now, at this very moment, we have a mind, which is all the basic equipment we need to achieve complete happiness.”

If you want lasting happiness, all you need to do is think about your happiness differently.

Here are some examples of what this looks like in practice:

  • Believe that happiness is an emotion you get to define for yourself. Take responsibility for your happiness. Don’t give up your power by blaming how you feel on outside influences or other people. When you understand that you get to define your personal rules for switching on joy, you can drop the bar as low as you like. In fact, the lower, the better! Don’t make your happiness conditional on achieving a big goal or a perfect relationship. Instead, allow yourself to be happy because the sky is cloudless, the view from your window is beautiful, or because people you love surround you. Change your rules to make them easy to achieve, and you’ll find happiness is always in your grasp.
  • Stop resisting what is. True, you may not be exactly where you want to be. You may be struggling with some challenges right now. You may wish you were somewhere else, doing something else, and feeling something different. But if all that isn’t possible, why waste energy resisting? Resistance doesn’t change your circumstances, it only breeds discontent. Instead, surrender to the present moment and embrace ALL of it. Find meaning in the now and you’ll switch on joy.
  • Take ownership for whatever is happening in your life right now. Look for the blessings in the heartache, the lessons in the challenges, and the wins in the struggle. Recognize that your identity is created moment by moment. You can shake off a debilitating belief today and emerge as a new person tomorrow. Embrace this truth and you’ll discover ultimate freedom, which of course leads to joy.
  • Choose how you respond. The way you react to and describe an experience or set of events will determine how you feel about it. As always, it’s YOU who gets to choose. You can opt to be negative, or you can decide to see the opportunities. Which will make you happier?
  • Practice mindfulness. Take time out from your busy, hectic life and relax in the present moment. Meditation is a powerful way to do this because it allows you to see the separation between your thoughts and the YOU that lies under the surface. When you find peace in the moment and peace within yourself, it’s impossible for happiness to stay hidden.
  • Love the process NOT the destination. There will be things in your future that will excite you. You’ll have goals that you’re striving towards and a vision for your future that will excite and energize you. But life isn’t a race. Life isn’t about getting ‘there’ (wherever ‘there’ may be). Instead, life is a series of present moments all joined together. If you’re always looking ahead, you’ll fail to see the beauty and joy in what’s now. Live for the destination and you’ll never feel content because there will always be more to achieve. The goalposts will constantly shift. Instead, love the journey. Remember, the ultimate prize is not what you get, but who you become as a result of your experiences.

“Human happiness and human satisfaction most ultimately come from within oneself.”-Dalai Lama

How to unlock the key to your happy

“The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never forget the drops of oil on the spoon.” - The Alchemist

The keys to lasting happiness were always in your hands.

The only reason you didn’t see them is because you weren’t looking in the right place. But that all changes now.

Now that you understand how happiness works, you can begin to craft moments every single day that unleash a flood of joy and deep contentment.

  • You can rewrite your happiness rules - to make it easier to feel good.
  • You can take ownership for your feelings - knowing you always have the power to change how you feel.
  • You can spend more time living in the present moment and accepting what is.

Our obsession with the past and fantasies about the future steal happiness. They make us obsessed with our mistakes and flaws, and fuel our belief that things will get better - if we just give it time.

But life is too short to wait.

Especially when there is no need to wait.

You don’t need to be anywhere, have anything, or transform parts of yourself to unlock lasting happiness. Instead, you can find it inside of you when you sit quietly with yourself.

Allow your thoughts to bubble up, while you breathe into the ancient wisdom that’s inside us all. Allow yourself to feel the deep calm and clarity that arises through meditation.

And if you’re new to meditation and you’re curious to discover more, please download our free guide.

 

 

Inside the PDF, you’ll discover:

  • Why you need meditation for 21st-century living
  • The many psychological and physiological benefits of meditation
  • How to create your own meditation practice

Nowadays, meditation isn’t for people on a spiritual journey alone. Instead, it’s a practice that can work for anyone who wants more from themselves and more from life.

So if you’re committed to creating lasting happiness and more joy in your life, download our free guide now.


Singing Bowl and History Guide