“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” – Jim Rohn.
Humanities greatest conquest
The search for happiness has become widely accepted as the real meaning of human life. Whatever we do, we do to feel that warming feeling of joy and happiness; or to transcend that feeling into the lives of others.
The scientific view is that happiness is only ever achieved when our expectation is met by our actual reality. It is also considered that like any emotion, happiness is temporary, and we simply seek to experience it as frequently as possible.
Some consider the purpose of life is to find happiness; some argue that happiness is only achieved when we have a purpose. Maybe our purpose is just to be; maybe our purpose is to impact thousands of lives. The point is that we get to define our own purpose in the context of our lives.
“The point of life therefore is to create – Who and What You are, and then to experience that.” – Neal Donald Walsch, Conversations with God.
Ultimately, our conquest as humans appears to be very much related to happiness. But should we focus on being happy in the present? Or should we aim for optimum happiness in the future?
One of the most empowering ways I find puts our lives into context, is to try and imagine yourself at your own funeral. This sounds very dark and depressing at first, but it is an inevitable fate that all of us must reach in the end.
The chances are the more reluctant we are to imagine this moment, the more we will dislike the result we see. If we imagine this moment and we realise that we’re currently living a life that we will seemingly come to regret, we may struggle to come to terms with this.
But what if we allow ourselves to leap forward to this moment and we see that we are proud of the life we are living, a life on our own terms, and most importantly a life where we know we are making the most of our time here.
How blissful might this be?
Depression and anxiety
“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu.
We usually feel depressed when reality did not meet our expectation; we feel anxious that our expectation will not be met when the time comes. Depression is wanting to be something for the world; anxiety is worrying we will not be good enough for the world.
This World that I refer to is currently going through a period of existential frustration, with one in four people suffering from a mental health illness in their lifetime. Today, more people commit suicide than people who die from any form of violence. How is this possible in a World that has so much to offer? A World with so many opportunities? In a World where you can literally be anything You want to be? Well that’s exactly what the problem is. Our species originated and developed from having one sole purpose, survival; with the ‘fight or flight’ mentality enabling us to flourish throughout the history of our ancestors. Yet nowadays we find ourselves constantly challenged by a multitude of new complexities: those that are inherently interconnected with a modern society. Our brains are hardwired to simply survive, leaving many of us struggling to adapt to this modern world and we then find ourselves questioning what the purpose of Life really is.
So, what do we do now that humanities conquest in life has evolved from survival, to happiness – what do we have to achieve to experience happiness?
Do you hold the belief that happiness occurs within and that we already have everything that we need and give meaning to our own lives?
Or do you believe that we have to achieve something in order to be happy?
Gratefulness = Happiness
Scientific studies have identified and demonstrated the correlation between regularly being grateful for things in our lives and the reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Gratitude will help overcome that shadow of darkness that might be in reign over our mind. It will help create a healthy mind, enhancing a happy, fulfilled and positive life.
By focusing on what we are grateful for, we immediately experience a sensation of joy and happiness. It’s great to want and desire things for our lives, be we can’t this to become a need in order to be happy. By focusing too much on achieving or gaining something in the future, we may miss many opportunities to be happy along the way.
Sometimes we embark on conquest to summit the mountain and reach the peak, forgetting to experience the beauty and bliss on our journey to the top. Embrace the journey!
Don’t miss out on your entire life waiting for something to show up in the future. Don’t live your life in the future and forget to experience it along the way. There’s nothing wrong with being excited about the future; this is blissful too – but make sure to love your life on your journey.
“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die tomorrow.” – James Dean
Happiness then, is a journey, not a destination. Nothing that we ever gain materially speaking will make us happy. All we ever need to be happy is within us right now. That be, our freedom to choose to be happy. We will never be ‘free’ in the future if we do not allow ourselves to be ‘free’ in the present. Believing that we need something that we don’t already have, something outside of ourselves, is the craziest of ideas; we exist without ‘it’!
Your life will ultimately come down to what your thoughts make about it and I promise, You are absolutely enough.
Happiness will never be measures by what you have, but by what You are… You can lose what you have, but you will never lose what You are.
Embrace and enjoy Your life as journey: What’s greater; a life of happiness? Or a few moments in life we wait for to experience that happiness?
This is not our duty. This is not up to others. It is an offer to each of us as individuals to choose to make the most of our time in this world.
“Happiness consists of seeing one’s life in its entirety as meaningful and worthwhile” – Yuval Noah Harari.