Chasing Happiness Revisited

Some one a very long time ago concluded, more than anything else, all men and women seek is happiness. While happiness is sought to be found in everything from, health, beauty, fame, fortune and power is it really making us happy?   We think so because we believe having these things is the answer to our happiness.  Have things really changed over the past 200 or 300 hundred years? Do we understand happiness anymore now than we did back then?

We might be healthier and live longer and grow older, despite the fact those that have the least among us, are even surrounded by material things ~ even they turn on the TV, or have luxuries that cannot fulfill the need to be happy or the void of boredom and anxiety.  It seems we spend most of our lives looking for what makes us happy, in things and stuff, as a result at the end of life we feel our lives have been wasted.  

Happiness is not something that happens or is found in material things.  It is not the result of winning the lottery, or a big fancy car, or being the leader of a billion dollar company.  It’s isn’t found in outside events, it’s cultivated in our thoughts and how we interpret them.  I know I keep going back to our thoughts and how changing our thoughts changes our lives, it’s because that’s where happiness will be found.  People who learn to control their inner experiences or thoughts will be able to determine the quality of their own lives. 

Yes, easier said than done and how do we do this you ask?  It’s a work in progress, and one I am determined to conquer.  I believe it means being involved in every aspect of our lives, 100%, good or bad and not trying to look for it.   Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychologist said, ” don’t aim for it, the more you make it a target, the more you are going to miss it”.  So, how do we reach this elusive goal that we can’t reach directly?  I would have to say, it starts with being conscious and real.  Our perceptions of our lives have shaped us and our experiences, each having an impact on the way we feel.

There’s not much we can do about the way we look, but we have the ability to change the way we think and the way we feel.  We can decide to change those behaviours, thus cultivating a path to happiness.