A Different Approach to Happiness

Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself. ~Alice Walker

A Different Approach to Happiness

We have been programmed in many ways to feel that our ability to lead a happy life is dependent on outside influences. Validation of self through others, the accumulation of stuff, conformity to the norm, are just several of the ways in which we anchor what should arise from the inner core and be a part of the fabric of our being to the physical world.

It is not as if we have not been bombarded by these concepts from the time we are able to comprehend the concept of cause and effect. Through our families, media, advertising, friends, or any other human interaction in which some type of worldly worth is placed in whatever circumstance we are facing, we become conditioned to placing a value on things. We have to have so much money, this type of job, these amounts of savings, this sort of build, a certain look, to a point where the senses are overloaded and we accept this as the way it has to be.

Many of us stay content walking or running in place until a jarring event or circumstance forces us to face and at times question whether we are truly content with our lot in life. Once we are forced off the treadmill, the Universe either nudges or pushes us to seek our own individual path and we then start to become more aware that our happiness can never be the outside plane but resides within our individual souls. As a concept itself, happiness has a circular definition completely relative to where you are in your life at a given moment.

When I was furiously arguing with a driver in Honduras on the cusp of a pitch black field to return to a safe place after he indicated we would be picking up a friend of his for the ride,  I was not happy. Once the windshield lit up from the refraction of the red beam attached to a rifle scope which danced between my forehead and that of the driver as it streamed from the “empty” field, I was happy when the car backed up and we sped down the road.

1. Depend only on yourself for happiness

We have to listen to ourselves and we will be guided to do what we need to do. We cannot base any part of our happiness on another person. It is unfair and no one should be placed in that position and have that type of responsibility hoisted on them nor should we want to be with someone who craves this to be their role. We can wish someone happiness, but happiness cannot be forced, manipulated, or faked. We take actions that are thoughtful and mindful because we want to and not out of a sense of obligation.
Only when we have inner peace and a healthy respect and relationship with ourselves, can we attain a sense of happiness that is in balance.

2. Live in the Present Moment

When we spend the energy to reflect on the past, we sometimes get caught up in scenarios which we play out in our heads that are not the true or exaggerated truth. If things were really so great, we would still be in situations that were weighing us down and at times sucking the life out of our souls.

A set of unique events brought us each to this exact moment of time and where we are in our lives. We had to undergo constant change and movement in our lives to be the people we are this instant. If you were to change one decision in the past, the present would be completely different That is why if we are unhappy this instant, we have an incredible power to change the course of our lives so that what occurs now impacts the what happens in an hour or tomorrow. If you feel happy in this moment, decisions will be made this instant that either enhance this state of bliss or take you on a different path.

Regardless of where we are, living in the Now and allowing all things and people to just Be, opens the door for the Universe to work her magic for the good of all. The minute we try to force or control the Universe is when we go out of balance and start spiraling into a state of chaos in our lives. Just Be.
The minute we try to control, we lose control.

3. Embrace Change as an integral part of Happiness

What is exciting about the notion of impermanence is discovering what the change will be and what the now just became. We and everyone in our lives are blessed with the ability to change, to grow to blossom and to live out our bliss. We should embrace our potential and bravely accept the challenges we face which become the vehicles that carry us to who we are to become.

The tip of the iceberg, but a least we see the iceberg…

Is your happiness conditional? Are you only happy when you buy something? What makes you really happy?  Share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below 🙂



Victor Reyes

Victor Reyes enjoys writing, lectures nationally on the issue of domestic violence and traveling to perform humanitarian work. He is currently working on a book about his experiences working in the matrix of the judicial system.

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