Pursuit Of Happiness

by Mark Ivar Myhre on August 4, 2008

We’re all in the pursuit of happiness to one degree or another.  Why do anything at all – if not to feel better for doing it?

So why does there seem to be so little happiness in the world?  And why do we have to pursue it?  Why can’t happiness chase after us?  Then we could be the fickle ones:

“Not today happiness.  You haven’t done enough to deserve me.  Come back tomorrow and try harder.”

And this leads us to the first reason for a lack of happiness:

“I can’t be happy until ‘this’ happens.”  Whatever ‘this’ is…

We make demands upon happiness, that it can’t possibly fulfill.  So if you’re in the pursuit of happiness, the very first question to ask yourself is, “What has to happen for me to be happy?”

And that’s not a rhetorical question.  Seriously look at it.  Get out your paper and pen and write that question at the top of the page.  Then write down your answer.

After you’ve done this simple exercise, now here’s the sneaky part:

Let yourself be happy now as a way to get what you say has to happen before you’ll let yourself be happy.  Let happiness help you.  Let it lead you to what you want.  And resolve it this way:

“Okay, I know I’m not supposed to be happy yet.  But I’ll just try on a little bit of happiness – like trying on a new outfit at the clothing store – to see how it fits; to see how it suits me.”

You don’t have to ‘buy’ the happiness- just borrow it for a little while.

Now, do you see the really sneaky part here?

I’m presupposing you can be happy anytime you want.

I’m assuming you’re in charge of your own happiness.  All you have to do is choose it.  And for some people, it’s true.  For others, it seems impossible.  It’s like chasing down a squirrel, and the squirrel always gets away.

“Always in sight:  never in hand.”

Happiness eludes us for several reasons.  First, it would appear we’re actually hard-wired in our very DNA to not be happy.  So we won’t get complacent.  So we won’t get too lazy.  So we’ll ‘try harder’.

Even if we’re not genetically programmed, we’re certainly taught and conditioned to never ever admit to being happy.  Because if we’re happy, we won’t get any grease.  Therefore we have to squeak; at least a little bit.

Plus, if you’re happy – you must be a sucker, a simpleton, a chump; a shallow person easily conned by all the wiser, miserable people circling overhead.

And who wants to be thought of as a fool?

Another less obvious reason to not be happy:  “What will be expected of me if I found the happiness I’m pursuing?  Will I have to sit up straighter?  Will I have to bathe more often?  Will I have to donate money to the poor?

What is the price of happiness?

Because happiness is not free.  You will have to give up something.  You will have to pay a price.  Maybe it’s your own misery.  Or your pity.  Most likely it’s that corpse – that dead body called ‘your past’.

It’s hard to be happy with a bag of rotting flesh on your back.  But carrying the past seems a little too enticing for many people:

“Yeah, I know it’s dead, it smells bad, it’s heavy and no one wants to hear about it… but hey, I was wronged.”

So maybe – just maybe – if the whole world knows how hard I’ve had it – then I can be happy.  Maybe.

Is this the price of your happiness?  When everybody knows how terrible your past was, or how terrible your life is now?

Once upon a time you knew – you lived – happiness.  You never thought about it, you never questioned it, and you never pursued it.  You were too busy enjoying it.

No matter what your childhood was like, you had your moments of happiness.  And you can have them again- once you stop blackmailing yourself.

So many times, we’ll want to be happy – but then that little voice comes in:

“You can’t be happy.  Look at this, look at that, look at all the problems you have.”

Then we start focusing on all those reasons that prove we have no right to be happy.  We have no right.  And it seems so much easier to focus on the misery – the unhappiness – than to let ourselves be happy.

That’s blackmail.  We might call it ‘being realistic’ – but being realistic would be focusing on those problems after you allowed yourself to be happy!  Because when you’re happy you’d see more options and more potential solutions.  You’ll be coming from a more powerful position.  And you’ll want to create more happiness.

While anyone can be happy – for some people it truly will require more effort. It comes down to a few factors:

1. How willing am I to pay the price of happiness?

2. How strong are my neurological pathways that lead to misery?  Meaning- how easy is it to focus on the parts of my life that result in feeling unhappy?

3. How much have I shut down the flow of my feelings?

These are the types of questions you want to ask yourself if you sincerely wish to be in the pursuit of happiness. And not only do you want to ask those questions- but also spend time to find the answers unique to you.

Also, because happiness is so important to creating what you want – I’ve included more information on what it takes to be happy, as well as how to use that happiness to generate a better life, in the e-book  How To Create Your Own Reality

The pursuit of happiness can be a gentle, easy path – rather than a difficult and thorny road.


{ 1 comment }

MKSOL August 7, 2008 at 10:17 pm

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.
'Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present.'

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