Happiness Is Not The Outcome, It Is The Source
The key to happiness is our mind
Our Thoughts Are Only Thoughts
We don’t always have to take our thoughts seriously. Our thoughts don’t represent the reality. Our negative thoughts don’t deserve the time we put into them.
For instance, we put too much time into thinking about what other people are thinking about us. When we slightly trip over a pebble on the road, we start to think what the other people on the road will be thinking about us.
We even try to fool the people by doing something foolish to cover the fact that we tripped, as though everyone is watching and talking about us. But the truth is they will be thinking about what the other people are thinking about them — and they don’t give a shit about us or that we tripped over a pebble.
I’m not telling you to stop getting the negative thoughts at all. You can’t stop even if you try. So when you get the negative thoughts, don’t delve into it, but just acknowledge it and let it pass. Say to yourself, “This is just my thoughts and not the reality” and put an end to the thought and a smile on your face.
Always remember you have the power to choose how to react to your thoughts — whether to delve into it and suffer or to let the thoughts pass and be happy. Don’t let the thoughts control you; you have to make up your mind and take over the reins of your thoughts.
Everyone Has Their Own Reality
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are — Anais Nin
Everyone perceives things in their own way. Understanding this fact solves almost all our misunderstanding issues in our life — either in relationships or at work.
Even I sometimes have wondered at seeing people who wouldn’t accept the things that I see as obvious. Only later I understood what I see is only my perception over the things and everyone has a different one.
You might try to make the people see things like you and accept your views. But it is not entirely possible. Because people see things based on their previous knowledge and their experiences in the life. You cannot see things from other’s experience and others can’t see things from your experience.
So when you are in an argument over different opinions, just remember that everyone has their own reality and the argument will be subdued.
Feelings Are Our Feedback System
Our feelings are the internal feedback system that tells us whether we are in the right or wrong path. Nothing more.
When we feel negative emotions, it means the feedback system tells us that we are off the track. And that’s a call to action that we have to do something to let the thoughts that make us sad pass.
If you take any major decisions when you are in low spirits, I’m pretty sure you will regret that once the sadness fades away.
Doing something that suck will not necessarily make you sad, but doing something when you are sad will definitely suck.
On the other hand, when we feel positive emotions, it means the feedback system rewards us for taking the proper actions in our life.
So say ‘Thank You’ to yourself for taking the right actions or to the God if you believe or to the existence for keeping you alive on this planet. Just be grateful that you are happy at the moment.
Don’t Attach Conditions To Your Happiness
When we attach conditions to our happiness, we won’t experience the happiness at all. The conditions could be like, I will be happy once I get this pay raise or when I buy that expensive car or when I settle all my loans.
Sometimes in extreme cases, we put the conditions to our happiness on other people — like when my daughter becomes a doctor or when my son marries the girl I find for him. But we cannot demand them of those.
And attaching our happiness over those things would be a recipe for discontentment in our life.
First, we put our happiness on the external things over which we don’t have 100% control. When we can’t control the external forces and put our happiness over them, there is always a possibility that we will be left disappointed.
Second, we think we will be happy once we achieve something we wished. But the truth is we won’t be content with that. Once we reach something, we will aim for something bigger. We wish for a bigger pay raise, more expensive car, more money.
Aiming for the bigger things is not bad but that we often forget to enjoy our happiness is bad. You will certainly be elated when your daughter becomes a doctor or when your son marries. But at the same time, happiness can be savored even if nothing of those things happen.
Happiness Is Already Within Us
Happiness is already within you — only it is covered up by your negative, static thinking. Instead of thinking your way to happiness, just stop thinking about things that bother or anger you — Dr. Richard Carlson
It’s a profound thought, I believe.
How many times have you said that you want to be happy and then right away start to think or talk about things that depress you? Only if we stop thinking about things that make us sad, we can be happy.
I’m not telling you to suppress your thoughts and reproach yourself if you get negative thoughts. Just remember that our thoughts are not the reality and it originates only within us and let it pass.
Once our negative thoughts pass, the happiness reveals itself.
Stop searching the path to happiness outside you. It is within you, just covered by your negative thoughts.
Complement this with my previous writings on living in the moment without suffering and on responding to the external forces beyond our control.