What is the key to happiness? What does it mean to be successful?
Those two components seem to be going hand in hand in our fast-paced world.
For every person success is determined by their beliefs, upbringing, patterns of behaviors ingrained in their brains. The question arises: why would we become so limited as to focus on one way to become successful? I do not believe there is only one route. I strongly believe there are many ways to think of yourself as a successful human being.
I have encountered many opinions and actions based on this assumption: only when we succeed, we can be happy. We have acknowledged the understanding: when we attain something, meet somebody, comply to the certain rules, we will finally be happy.
We have come to conclusions that parents get angry with us when we do not live up to certain results set by them or the society. We have learned that kids on the block do not want to play with us unless we apply to their rules. Since our childhood, we have been competing against one another about whose toys are more expensive, whose grades are better.
This pattern is only an illusion. The illusion which maneuvers us into an endless race after the unattainable, the unreal. This vicious circle holds the veil and hides the ability to experience the present moment. By focusing on the future, you miss out on the beauty of the moment, which you will never be able to get back.
Our brains are literally hard-wired to perform at their best when we are positively wired.
Yet, in our modern and result-obsessed world I observe the striving for success by sacrificing our happiness along the way and simultaneously believing that at the end of our hard work, happiness is what we get as a prize. Our chaotic and stressful lifestyles drive us into the stampede after the unattainable; everyone seems to be rushing somewhere, not knowing what and where it is.
The truth? You can only be happy and fulfilled right here, right now. Happiness does not exist in the future form as the future itself has not happened yet. You can only be happy in the present moment. By appreciating what already is, what you already have, you get to really enjoy the moment and being aware of the possibility of loosing it all together.
People make conscious choices to be unconscious at the moment, unaware of the beauty of the moment in exchange for possessing more, feeling more in the future, and yet they come to conclusions that it is not enough. They need more in order to satisfy the urge to fill up the ever expanding void.
Doesn’t it sound insane? We reject the feeling of happiness in this moment only to feel unsatisfied in the future? All our negative emotions and behaviors, addictions stem from the feeling of fear and not enoughness. We try to feel the void by temporary relief, ecstasy or material goods.
No material possession can feel the spiritual emptiness. You can only fill it up yourself.
I am not advocating for getting rid of desires and material possessions. I am calling for awareness and mindfulness in whatever you are doing.
When our brain is happy, in a good mood, we are more productive, more motivated thus we attain better results in everything we do. That is why I do not condemn the ‘hard work’ or the busy lifestyle unless that is your choice and that is what makes you happy.
I am a simple advocate for living life by doing and thinking what feels good to you. Not caring about what others think, what the government applauds, what most people are striving for. Living life for the pleasure of it. Experiencing life for the pleasure of sole experiences not in the attempt to own something or make something happen.
Have we started treating happiness as some dispensable luxury or a mystic unattainable reward?
Time is our biggest obstacle in achieving happiness. We lose ourselves in the past by reminiscing failures or nostalgia of the „old days”. We jump into the future by trying to plan it out, set conditions in order to achieve happiness by acquiring this or that. We are becoming our worst enemies.
If you are able to be here and now, to observe your mind and your thoughts throughout the day, to focus with all your mind and body, you have already won. You are a successful person. This happens when you are able to relish in the moment without feeling the need to think about the future, by being present with all your trust that the best of life is already here, within you, in this given moment. The better it gets, the better it gets.
You already have every tool to be happy.
Look around. What can you be grateful for? How much you already have what so many people are still trying to gain? Roof over your head? Running water? Family? Nature? Abundant health? Internet, so you can keep in touch? A car? These are all starting points. Every day focus on positive aspects of your life, of this world and opportunities you are given on a daily basis. Do not let your mind control you in any negative way by presenting to you some twisted ‘might be’ scenarios. Your mind is the tool, but it is not you. Start using your brain to your advantage.
What everything boils down to: happiness is up to you. It depends on your perspective and how you perceive the world around you. Think about it: as there is no one definition of happiness (but only the one which you assume to be right) there is also not a one way to achieve it, thus there is no wrong way to pursue it.
Every way is the right way unless it is yours.