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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In comparison, when we’re down, we feel isolated, disconnected, and withdrawn.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.
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...
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:
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.
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.
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:
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
“Human happiness and human satisfaction most ultimately come from within oneself.”-Dalai Lama
“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.
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:
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.
You’ve read all the articles about it, heard the interviews with scientists talking about the real biological benefits, learned that everyone from professional athletes to the CEO’s of major organizations have a practice of their own.
A hero isn’t someone who is fearless. Rather, a hero is someone who feels fear and acts boldly in the face of it. The purpose of this article is to call forth the hero in each reader, by shedding light on what might be stopping you and giving you practical ways to reframe things in your mind so you can get to the business of doing good.