Sometimes I wonder if true happiness is the real ‘holy grail’.
It seems like the whole of our existence is spent defining, refining, chasing, striving, comparing, ruminating and generally being fixated on happiness.
Whole industries have been created to tell us what it means to be happy:
- Buy this car!
- Get a bigger house!
- Go on this holiday!
- Lose that weight!
- Buy those shoes!
We have advertising companies crafting these wonderful ideal people, living a seemingly perfect life, bombarding us with the idea that everyone else is having a better time than us, and we’re sucked into this cycle of buy, consume, strive, compare and buy again… and when we buy that coveted ‘key to happiness’ we wonder why we are not suddenly, deliciously, deliriously happy.
And and it’s not just about consumerism. We are trapped in this cycle of constantly comparing our unique selves to the rest of the world.
It could be the desire to climb the corporate ladder… ‘better’ job, fancier title, more responsibility, more money to spend on more things so that people can definitely tell you are successful and happy.
It could be based around your looks… constantly dieting, primping, preening, spending hours to get ready with the perfect hair, makeup, dress, shoes…. taking a million selfies to post to social media and prove to the world that you are an effortlessly beautiful human specimen who really knows how to have a good time (…’I woke up like this’)
Since when when did happiness come from things?
What will it take before we realise that the only true yardstick for lasting, genuine joy is within ourselves?
True Happiness – the genuine, lasting, deep joy that fills you up – comes from within.
- It starts with mindfulness, stillness.
- Taking time out to breathe.
- Learning to be still in your own body.
- Learning to enjoy the way your body moves, it’s strength, its gracefulness.
- It comes from enjoying lifes pleasures with intent.
- It comes from being present in your own mind and realising you have the power to direct your thoughts.
- It comes from knowing that thoughts become things – and yes patterns take time to change but it’s worth it.
- It comes from knowing that what you focus on becomes bigger, that you grow your intent and you shape your world.
When you slow down and smell the roses you realise all the other things that you’ve been missing..
The interesting thing about the pursuit of happiness is that it actually doesn’t cost anything. We’ve been duped into thinking that happiness is a commodity – to be bought and sold to the privileged few lucky enough to be able to afford it.
Yes, nice things are nice. But what you are looking for is that feeling of connection and contentedness with your world, and it doesn’t come in a bottle, on a plate or in an expensive shopping bag.
It comes from being able to appreciate how utterly amazing this world is.
- It’s a good nights sleep, and waking up with the birds and the sun feeling rested and ready to take on the day.
- It’s smiling at a stranger and having them smile in return.
- It’s spending time walking – using your feet on the earth and paying attention to your surroundings.
- It’s talking to random people you meet and asking if you can pet their dog.
- Its seeing gangs of overexcited kids chasing each other around a park, screaming and laughing.
- Its a good book, a favourite song, a board game with friends.
- Its making a healthy nourishing meal and taking the time to enjoy your mad culinary skills.
But most of all, it’s realising that you don’t have to play into the hamster wheel of corporate life, or conscious consumerism – and that you are infinitely powerful in creating your own joy.
And the best thing about it, is that you can start right now.