Happiness. We all seek it but do we truly understand it! Do we know what it is its and how to get it?
It seems like are our world becomes more and more complex there is an increased focus on being happy but few know how to achieve it. We end up chasing all sorts of external goals such as the right partner, more financial wealth, the right job, a big house, a fancy car, exotic vacations to name a few things. Over time, however, we soon realize that these things don’t bring happiness.
Studies show that fewer than one third of people are truly happy and that the wealthy are no happier than those who earn $75000 a year. It turns out that this is the level of income that is needed to meet basic modest needs with some money left over to pursue interests and entertainment.
So why is happiness so elusive? The main issue is that we are seeking it where it cannot be found. No amount of material wealth can bring happiness as I have already mentioned. There are as many miserable multi-millionaires as there are happy ones and the ones who are happy are not so because of their wealth.
In fact, there is nothing outside of yourself that will bring you happiness. If you need proof of this then just look at a newborn baby. Except when they need to be fed, changed or sleep they exude nothing but joy and love. Anyone who has raised children knows this.
Now as that baby grows into an infant, a child and an adolescent, that joyful exuberance is often lost. This is because through the different stages of development there becomes a greater emphasis on the external world. This may take the form of making friends, getting good grades, impressing parents and teachers and being inundated with marketing and advertising for the innumerable products which vie for our attention.
This proves that happiness is an inside job and not dependent on anything outside of ourselves. Therefore, in order to be happy, we need to get back to our default setting with which we were born and withdraw from external influences from time to time in our lives. There are many ways to do this including meditation, going for walks, spending time in nature, going on a solitary retreat and journaling, to name a few.
The key to happiness, therefore, is to make time for ourselves by withdrawing from all the external influences and people which vie for our attention and spend quality time with ourselves in whatever form resonates with us. The more we do this the more we will be able to get back to our default setting of pure joy and realize that happiness never left us but just got obscured by the conditioning of the world we live in.
This is essentially about experiencing your true nature which will transform your experience of life in ways you cannot imagine until you actually make an effort towards this.
Therefore seek your happiness deep within and know that happiness is the way and not the destination and it will never elude you.
To your happiness!
Nauman Naeem MD