Is it possible to define happiness? What does happiness mean to you? The Personal Development industry exists only to help in your self improvement so that you can experience more happiness. However, the great majority of people believe that happiness is merely the absence of pain. This is untrue.
Do you struggle with feelings of unhappiness? Are you stressed at work or with your family life? In this world we are encouraged to work harder, move faster, and get on top. Although this has advanced our scientific and worldy knowledge it has caused stress, frustration and pain. For this reason many people have lost touch with their innate ability to be happy.
Are you one of those people who believes happiness is just an absence of pain, frustration, sufferring and stress?
Many other people believe that happiness is the pursuit of pleasure. There was a film made in the late 1970s called The Thief of Baghdad. This was a typical mysical film made in the Abrian Nights style which included flying carpets and a genie in a lamp. At one stage of the film the powerful genie transports Prince Taj and his theif friend Hasan to an exotic paradise. While there they eat lavish meals and are pampered by beautiful exotic girls. At some point McDowall is told by his wise friend “If pleasure remains, does it remain a pleasure?” This gets the thief to thinking and of course we all know the answer to this question.
Pleasure in and of itself does not bring happiness. It merely satisfies your cravings in the moment. Once these cravings are satisfied a new desire arises and you must seek more pleasure to a greater extent to get the same “buzz” from it.
Happiness is not the absence of pain, nor can it be found in the pursuit of pleasure. Happiness means different things to different people but it is always dependant on your personal values, goals and beliefs. You can only be truly happy when you are following your own path in life and fulfilling your own needs through the improvement of the self. You must be living a life that is in alignment with your own values for this is what brings true lasting happiness.
By living your life in alignment with your own values you give meaning to your existence. Think of the things which mean the most to you. Is it family, friends, a feeling of freedom, appreciation or empowerment? By getting clear on your internal values and starting to live your life from that point of view you will bring a deep sense of peace and joy into all areas of your life.
Taking the first step toward being happy could not be easier. Begin right now to look at different areas of your life. Find the things in your life that you are truly grateful for such as your health, relationships, job, home etc. Even if these circumstances are not ideal you can find aspects of them that are pleasurable and areas where your life would not be as good without them.
By creating a state of gratitude for what you have you will align yourself with positive feelings and positive thoughts. Not only will this make you feel much happier but you will also start to attract other things that will make you feel gratitude and happiness.
Happiness is not the by-product of things that happen to you nor does it come from things that you experience or acquire. Real happiness is an inner state of being that you chose to embrace. This is Self Improvement and Personal Development at their foundations.
Begin to release the past. Regardless of what has happened to you prior to today you can chose to be happy now. It is the events, people, situations and circumstances in your past that have been major contributors to the person you have become today. Without them you would not be who you now are. Forgive those who have offended you or done you an injustice. This is for your healing not theirs. You do not have to condone their behaviour or even make it alright that they did it. You just need to forgive them so you can release them and move on.
Challenge your negative programming. Ask yourself empowering questions. Instead of asking why things are the way they are or why you can’t do something or achieve a certain goal etc., ask yourself questions like “how can I achieve this goal?” or “how can I make things better in this area?” Doing so forces your mind to search for solutions rather than offer explanations for how bad things are.
Stay focused in the present. Enjoy whatever is haoppening right now and savour them. Enjoy the process of your life. If you allow yourself to judge or constantly review your own past and/or constantly live your life thinking of the future you lose the happiness that is persent in this very moment. Being immersed in the moment brings its own joy.
Start to create a vision of your life that is built from your own internal values. Do not undertake any life altering task or goal if it isnt what you want to do. Empower yourself with the belief that you can chose to be happy.
Follow these simple personal development steps for self improvement and you will find yourself in a peaceful, joyful state of happiness throughout your day.