Do you say things like “I will be happy when……”? What if you could be happy right now? We tend to think that when we get a certain relationship, job, or amount of money we will be happy. We go about working towards getting that thing. What you may not realize is that when you create a big desire, you most often create a lack. The constant want of something you don’t have gives you a feeling that you are missing something. Some might tell you to use that as motivation, but lack is not an effective motivator. Think back to something you wanted really badly. Did it make you less grateful for all the things you do have? Gratefulness for what you have, will give you a sense of satisfaction an contentment. What if you could decide to be happy with where you are, set an intention towards the thing you want, knowing if you don’t get it you will still be happy? Gratefulness will allow you to do this. What if this would increase your chances of really getting what you want? It is true, gratefulness will greatly increase the likelihood of not only getting what you want, but it won’t make you feel the hole left by that thing you want. Before we can do this, there is something to be understood about ourselves.
Have you ever wondered why you set out to achieve or get something, and then some time later you feel like you are right back where you started from? Whether you achieved the goal or not doesn’t matter. Even if you achieve it, a short time later there is just another goal and and you feel a let down. I remember the day I achieved a big income goal, that i set early in my career. Once I achieved it there was a temporary sense of victory. A few weeks later the letdown came, and I set another goal, still feeling that same sense of discouraged desire for what I didn’t have. The problem is that we think that an external situation is going to make us happy. The reason that we aren’t happy, is that no matter what happens on the outside we are still us. Our brains serve up the same thoughts day after day, week after week, and most people are not aware of this constant internal dialogue. Before you can successfully make and follow through on that decision to be happy, you will need to become aware of that noise in your mind. You will also need to realize that these autonomous thoughts are not who you are. They are just a result of your biological brain reacting to your environment based on your past experiences. It is almost completely a biological process. Success requires being able to use this biological computer, instead of being used by it. If you doubt you have this internal dialogue, just sit anywhere with the purpose of listening for the thoughts that come up. Then notice the thoughts kick off an internal thought dialogue. Notice that you didn’t prompt these thoughts, they just come up. When they come up, don’t react to them or get caught up in them. Just go back to being aware and waiting for the next thought to come up. Another way to notice the thoughts that create this constant dialogue, is to notice what happens in your mind when someone cuts you off in traffic. Free will isn’t required, thoughts just come up. (note: never try to push down these thoughts and emotions, just acknowledge them and relax into them. If you push emotions down, they always come back up.)
Once you become aware of these thoughts you can choose to let them pass without reacting to them. Once you can focus on the present moment, you can take the actions to get you to your intended goal. Sometimes I notice negative emotions and thoughts coming up, and they no longer ruin my day. I remember times of being criticized at work, and the rest of my day would be bad. Now I just notice the thought for what it is. It is a story, but is not who I am. It took a long time for me to actually believe that I wasn’t those thoughts. Once I do though, my quality of life really went up. The bottom line is that it is these thoughts, and the dialogues created in your mind keep you from living a happy productive life. When I first adopted the idea of just letting thing go, I thought that simply living in the moment, and letting all these thoughts pass would lead to things undone and material poverty. What I actually found is that over a period of time I learned to discipline myself to be so much more focused on what needed to be done. I am able to manifest my intentions by enjoying the the present moment, instead of letting my mind tell me how bad it is.
If you want to be happy, just decide right now you are going to be happy, and gain discipline in your own mind. Also remember trying doesn’t work, but just noticing what is going on in your mind will propel you forward. You still won’t be able to achieve instant success overnight, but you will be much happier while working towards it. You will also be more effective, and gain more discipline, which is what is really required. If you haven’t looked into mindfulness or meditation, I strongly recommend it. A mindfulness / meditation practice has been a game changer for me, and studies show the positive benefits. Mindfulness allows you to improve your awareness and gain discipline not to let your thoughts derail your life.
You don’t have to wait to be happy, you can get started right now.