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What could be more universal than the pursuit of happiness? Do you know anyone that opens their eyes in the morning and thinks, “I hope I have a miserable day”? Everyone is striving in their own way to experience more happiness and less misery. There are a variety of ways that we attempt to accomplish this.
- Career success
- Social life
- Accumulation of possessions
- Spending time in nature
- And more
But make no mistake about it, everyone is striving to be happy. Some people believe they’ll be happier if they amass a billion-dollar fortune. Others believe they’ll achieve happiness by sacrificing every dollar in their bank account for the needy.
There’s no one way to achieve happiness. Your pursuit of happiness is entirely dependent on your values and interpretation of the world.
All mammals instinctively move from pain toward relief. Humans have the capability to form complex mental constructs that lead them all over the place. That’s why we observe such a wide variety of approaches to chasing happiness. Some of those places make sense while others are more than a little odd.
Compare that to your common canine. Your dog just wants a warm place to sleep, some companionship, playtime, and a regular meal. Humans are more complex. Your dog is always happy to see you, even if you haven’t been particularly nice to him lately. Is that just because he’s a “dumb dog,” or is it because he has a happier philosophy on life?
The Buddhists believe that happiness is a natural state. It’s merely the emotional state that exists when nothing negative is in the way. In other words, if all of your real challenges were resolved, you’d be happy by default.
In the Western world, happiness is often tied to accomplishments. Financial and career accomplishments most commonly lead the list. Yet many of the most successful people by these measures have been unhappy, some of them to the point of taking their own lives.
What does it take to be happy?
- Does it take a mansion on the beach to be happy?
- Can a person truly be happy living in a cardboard box?
- Is a spouse required for happiness? Freedom from having a spouse?
- Kids? Freedom from having no children?
- A stunning career?
- Giving to others?
- Meditating on a mountain top?
What does it take?
Take the time to answer this important question. What matters for your own happiness? Give yourself time to find an answer that resonates with you. Imagine that you were free from the expectations and opinions of others.
What would it take to make you happy?
“First we conceive the “I” and grasp onto it.
Then we conceive the “mine” and cling to the material world.
Like water trapped on the water wheel, we spin in circles, powerless.
I praise the compassion that embraces all beings.”
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Also…Add to Your Cart… Everyday Happiness: Unlock the Happiness You Deserve Worksheet. This worksheet supports the eBook, puts you in action and on the road to a successful future. You can find the worksheet on the home page under Digital – Workbooks.
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