What’s the secret to happiness?
A million dollars? Maybe a house on an exotic island deep in the South Pacific? A new wardrobe? A better job or more recognition at the one you already have? Maybe you’d be happy if things just weren’t how they are now…
Happiness can be hard to find. As a matter of fact, our founding fathers only ever guaranteed us the right to pursue happiness, not to actually be happy. And so we seek our happiness in many ways.
Some people find their “happiness” in shopping. Others find it in a substance. One person might discover that the “secret” to their happiness lies in the heart of another person while others never find exactly what it is they’re looking for. Indeed, happiness is elusive to those who seek it.
It’s hard to find because we’re looking in all the wrong places. Happiness isn’t something we’ve lost. You see, the secret to happiness isn’t that it’s somewhere “out there” for us to find…it’s already inside of us.
Of course, accepting that happiness can’t be bought, snorted or borrowed from another is confusing to understand in a society that subliminally punishes us for our flaws, quirks and shortcomings. It’s easy to feel insecure, weak and to doubt ourselves in a multitude of ways. We feel ugly, fat, stupid. Our complexion is nothing like the models in Vogue Magazine. We have pimples on our cheeks and freckles on our nose.
And we dream of all the ways our lives could be better, so that someday we might be happy…
We dream of having fast cars, big houses, a successful career, lots of money, a sexy wife, smooth skin and a tight ass. Suddenly, our dreams have replaced our happiness. All the while we’re thinking about how much better our lives will be, someday, we fail to appreciate all that we’ve been given today. Rather than appreciating life for the blessing it is, we critique and criticize what isn’t “perfect”.
So in our dreams we delay our happiness, telling ourselves that once we reach this milestone or that once we graduate and find the perfect job, that’s when we can finally be happy. Maybe happiness will happen to us when we meet the man of our dreams or buy a big, beautiful house…Yes! Then we’ll be happy! But all these dreams we believe will someday make us happy actually won’t make us happy. Not really…not in a way which is meaningful.
“Lies! Of course I’ll be happy when I’m rich and driving my BMW to my amazing job where I make lots of money!!!”
Let me tell you a secret about finding happiness in material possessions; it doesn’t happen. There will always be something more that you don’t have, can’t afford or wish you had. An even faster car, a house on the lake and a boat to go sailing on the weekends. Botox injections, Gucci purses, Prada shoes. So long as you seek happiness externally, there will always be something else and thus another reason why you can’t be satisfied with your life.
Pure, authentic happiness isn’t found by buying Stuff or reaching a certain milestone. Happiness comes naturally only once you’re able to realize that everything you could ever need, you already have. It comes in accepting the things that are less than perfect and appreciating all that you have, right now.
That is where you will find your happiness.