How to feel happy consistently is something all of us want to know.
Here's a simple answer.
|“ Choose your own happiness and excitement above everything else.”|
I recently learnt this lesson and it has led to JUST SO much more happiness in my life.
But what does “choosing your happiness above other things” mean? Of course all of us want to be happy and of course we choose our happiness. Who chooses unhappiness?
Let's explore more...
Happiness need not be like a butterfly that very rarely sits on your hand (Fulla T, Flickr)
Whenever we are stuck in unhappiness, we follow a common pattern. We put people, other things, money etc. ahead of our happiness. We believe that those other things will eventually make us happy and in thinking like this, we allow ourselves to be unhappy in the present moment. And that makes us really unhappy. Eventually, the other things we gave our happiness away for also don't make us happy – so we end up even more stuck up and unhappy.
Here's an example. On your way to work, you spot a voluntary organization that ignites your interest. You have always wanted to volunteer but haven't really gone ahead and done anything – you've always postponed your desire. Now, today, you feel a strong urge to get out and talk to this voluntary organization's staff about the opportunities there. As this thought enters your head, you suddenly brush it off and say – maybe later, and just drive by. There is obviously something here that excites you but you succumb to routine and say NO to your happiness.
Here's another, even more far reaching example. You are fed up with your job. You want to start something of your own and the idea really excites you at times. But you then talk to yourself about how important it is for you to keep at a job right now, how you can't afford to take risks etc. Again, you are putting something else ahead of your happiness.
Here's yet another example. You have meticulously planned your day. Suddenly, you feel a wild but truly exciting urge to do something different from what you have planned. You feel like using a completely new tool in your project or you feel like overhauling the project and doing something completely different. “It's just a wild urge", you tell yourself, and then you continue doing what you have already been doing. Again – you are putting something ahead of your happiness.
Your situation may be different – there can be so many possibilities. You may NOT genuinely feel like doing something for a friend and may do it “out of an obligation”. You may suffer abuse in your relationship and think “it is managable.” You may keep working at an OK job.
And that is why you are unhappy. It is NOT because happiness is not coming to you. It is because whenever the smallest ray of happiness enters your life – you resist it with all your might and continue being unhappy. It is because you are CHOOSING other things above your happiness. How can you even expect to be happy when you are saying NO to it all the time?
OK. So you do choose other things above being happy. But you have reasons for that, I can hear you say.
You can't quit your job just like that. You can't change your life just like that. Security is important to you.
And there, I've got you.
Security. That is the word.
Security is the enemy of happiness and every single time you choose ANYTHING above happiness – you are choosing the same thing above happiness – security. You are not a fool. Of course you would choose happiness if there wasn't something better to choose. And that something better you keep choosing is security. The security of what is – what you have been enduring. It may be hell – but atleast it is familiar. The same crappy relationship. The same crappy job. Or the same crappy routine. You keep choosing it even when you don't like it because you are afraid you will have to come out of your secure shell to do anything differently. So you remain unhappy.
Now, here's the catch – as long as you choose security above happiness – you will have just that. Security but NO happiness. To do what makes you happy – and for happy situations to occur, you need to let go of security and allow NEW things to enter your life. It will feel unfamiliar and even scary – but it will also excite you and you need to choose the excitement above the old, familiar, boring unhappy life you've led.
Being happy is seen as something so difficult NOT because it is difficult but because we want happiness while we are STUCK in our secure shells. That is extremely difficult or even impossible.
To be happy, simply do this: decide to choose your true happiness above everything else in your life. Above your relationships. Above your career. Above money. Above your routine. Do what makes you happy and excites you. I am not talking about the pleasure of getting drunk or going on a sex spree here. That is escapism. I am talking about something that truly makes you happy – something that makes you feel so alive, you may even cry with joy.
From this moment onwards, start becoming aware of your emotions. If you are sad – ask yourself, what truly excites me right now? A movie? Volunteering? Writing? Cooking? Music? Stop all those thoughts that say it is impractical to pursue your happiness. This is your old security and fear speaking. Whatever makes you happier – go ahead and do that thing. Keep this “emotions” awareness alive throughout the day. As you go through the day, welcome any new ideas, exciting emotions, and clues that make you come alive. Follow them. A sudden brainwave about how to make sales? Go ahead – tell your boss, get excited about it. Implement it. A sudden urge to surprise your wife tonight. Go ahead and plan it right away before the excitement fizzles out! Excited about starting your own business? Start figuring out how to do it...
If all this seems difficult, just do this: take a piece of paper and write down: “List of things that make me happy and excited.”
Now write down 10 such things. Don't kid yourself. Write things that truly stir your emotions. Don't write for writing sake – wrack your brains and think of something exciting!
Now, do as many of these things as possible during the next week. It is so simple to be happy: just DO what excites you and makes you happy!
As you pursue your happiness more and more, you will SEE your life change. You will actually start becoming happier than ever. You will start feeling amazing – almost ALL the time and you will wonder – why on earth did I not try this before?
Of course there will be some problems. Some friends might go away. You may lose your job. You may even feel for a while that you have gotten stuck and things are not working out. BUT YET – you will know that what you are NOW doing is natural and right. You will know that you are on the right track – that you are doing the best thing on earth by pursuing your happiness. Once you “feel the bliss” of doing what you love, you won't want to go back for anything.
Soon, more and more happiness will enter your life. You've heard those guys right, the ones who keep saying - “Follow your passion. Find your purpose.” You will actually be living your passion, purpose and everything without even realizing it.
The answer to 'how to feel happy' starts with putting happiness first. Do what makes you happy. Do what excites you. If you don't know – ask yourself what excites you and do it. DON'T keep money, relationships, objects – anything ahead of your happiness. Realize that it is MADNESS and of course an illusion to do so. Be happy first – and pursue happiness first.
Your world will rock like never before. :)