They say the goal behind every goal is happiness, I’m going with this. When we choose to be happy, life has a flow and our happiness has a positive effect on everyone we meet. But when we are unhappy, it also affects everyone, but negatively. Esther Hicks, in her book: “ Ask and it is given ” gives very nice insights into being happy.
The greatest gift you can give someone else is your own happiness. When you are in the state of joy, happiness or appreciation, you are completely connected to the flow of pure positive energy, of who you really are (your own perfect nature). When you are in that state of connection, everything and everyone that you focus your attention on will benefit from your attention.
Here are some methods I’ve found that can help you achieve happiness in your life:
1. Stop comparing
Many of us tend to compare ourselves, with people around us.. Our lives, our possessions, our career, our money etc., etc. We can also compare ourselves to what is presented to us by the (social) media as the perfect life. As a result, we may not feel good enough about our own lives. We can even compare our life to what it looked like at another time.
When someone has a “better” house, car or job, it does not automatically mean that they are happier too or that they were happier before they had these things. Some of the luckiest people I’ve met actually have very little. Happiness does not come from material or external things as we are often brainwashed to believe. Happiness comes from deep within ourselves.
When we compare ourselves to something or someone, we essentially don’t love or accept ourselves. We can never know what that other person’s journey is. The first step is to start loving yourself and accepting yourself as you are and where you are in life right now.
2. Live in the present
When we live our lives in the past or in the future, it is practically impossible to be in the here and now, where all the happiness takes place. When we choose to live in the present, we give ourselves the opportunity to be happy. We all regret things, things we would like to change about our past. At the same time, we also have ideals about how our future should be, but the only moment where we really have influence is now.
We can choose to live clinging to the past or we can choose to be happy and let the past be. It is important to plan your future, but stay in the present with what concerns you now knowing it is moving in the direction you want to go;
The key is to live in the here and now, my experience is to be aware of whether you are in the here and now or somewhere else, Doing activities that I enjoy has also helped me to be more in the present.
3. Let go of your expectations
If we have expectations that people, jobs, places, are such that they make us happy, then we let our happiness depend on something or someone outside of ourselves. We then depend on something for our own happiness.
For example, I see in my own life that I sometimes let my happiness depend on how successful my job was or how good my relationship was with someone I love. Sometimes when I didn’t have success in those areas I didn’t feel happy.
What I found helpful is: going for what I want in life, doing my very best for it and letting go of my expectations of what the result will look like. A few years ago I was in India and before I went I decided to let go of my expectation of what India would be like. This approach has helped me make it a happier experience, not only then but in other situations as well.
4. Stay with yourself
A quote I heard a while back:
“Being yourself in a world that works day and night to make you like everyone else is probably the biggest fight there is.”
Sometimes it is very difficult to be yourself and we need great courage and strength to stay with ourselves.
I notice that if I am not close to myself, I feel unhappy. eg. In my last job I felt that I was not keeping to myself and that it was affecting my happiness just for the security of the salary I was getting each month.
As I just mentioned I have been to India this has been a big dream of mine for a long time, to travel through India and embrace their culture. When I traveled through India I felt really close to myself.
Stay with yourself and live your life based on your own approval and acceptance, Learn to listen and trust your heart and go for what you want, Ask yourself: “What makes my heart sing and dance?”
5. Be thankful
When we only complain and accuse, we are incapable of gratitude. We then focus on the negative and actually create even more negativity in our lives.
When I was in India I saw people who had real reasons to complain. Many people lived and slept on the streets there, sometimes entire families. Other times I saw people who were missing limbs or had serious illnesses. India has taught me that I have so much to be thankful for.
Grateful for where we are now in life is an important part of being happy. We have so much in our lives to be thankful for, our health, our job, our home, our family/friends etc. Being grateful is not just saying but actually feeling and believing it.