Aristotle says, ‘Happiness depends upon ourselves.’
Viktor Frankl says, ‘Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.’
Walt Whitman writes, ‘Keep your face always toward the sunshine–and shadows will fall behind you.’
I love what Aristotle, Viktor Frankl, and Walt Whitman say.
But how do you get there?
Let go of what’s unnecessary
We can travel a long way and do many different things, but our deepest happiness is not born from accumulating new experiences. It is born from letting go of what is unnecessary, and knowing ourselves to be always at home. True happiness may not be at all far away, but it requires a radical change of view as to where to find it.
Sometimes we take quite a journey—physically or mentally or emotionally—when the very love and happiness we want so much can be found by just sitting down. We spend our lives searching for something we think we don’t have, something that will make us happy.
But the key to our deepest happiness lies in changing our vision of where to seek it. As the great Japanese poet and Zen master Hakuin said, “Not knowing how near the Truth is, people seek it far away. What a pity! They are like one who, in the midst of water, cries out in thirst so imploringly.”
Forget about yourself
When people are happiest is when they forget about themselves.
It seems a paradox. But people are happiest when in flow, says Nancy Etcoff.
When they are with other people.
When they are active.
When they are engage in sports.
When they are having sex.
When they are focusing on a loved one.
When they are learning.
Do the process that leads to enlightenment
The process that leads to enlightenment is gradual and requires patience, but fortunately the very act of seeking it yields fruit right here and now. Any step you take toward your core consciouness–your ground state, your true self–obliterates some causes of unhappiness in your life. At the same time, the innate happiness that is your birthright with blossom. Thus you are on a twofold path: to eliminate darkness and to bring on the light.
- Be aware of your body.
- Find true self-esteem.
- Detoxify your life.
- Give up being right.
- Focus on the present.
- See the world in yourself.
- Live for enlightenment.