The secret to happiness is that there is no secret other than the ability to choose. Happiness is not something to be learned, discovered, or attained. It is available to you if you choose to discover the obstacles that stand between you and your happiness.
So what is the Secret to Happiness?
Author William Arthur Ward wrote “Happiness is an inside job.” It does not depend on status, possessions, achievements, or even the weather. It does not happen as a result of what we have, what we do, how much we love or are loved. Happiness is the nature of life. It remains for us to realize it, recognize it, and choose it.
You may have heard people say, “I’ll be happy when I get that promotion, …when he proposes, …when I lose weight, …when I go on vacation.” When happiness is a future event tied to the occurrence of another future event, what happens to the now, the present moment? If I’m always postponing happiness to some future point in time, I’ve set myself up to believe that happiness must wait until some future conditions are met, always out of reach like the carrot in front of the donkey. When the moment arrives (promotion, engagement ring, size 10 dress, vacation), I’ll be happy. But the moment will be short-lived, because my belief in postponed happiness will take over, and I won’t be comfortable until I’ve set up another condition to be met before I can be happy.
One of my coaching clients is a twenty-five year-old single mother who cries at night when her 8 year-old son visits his father. She is looking for work and trying to find an apartment while living with her son in a shelter. After some gentle questioning, she realized that she feels sad and hopeless, ‘because’ she worries that she will not find a job and that her son’s father will sue for full custody.
She went on to share what she feared might happen if she weren’t sad and hopeless: “That would mean I did not care.” She equated feeling sad and hopeless with caring. During the session, she began to smile, felt lighter in spirit, and realized that she would continue to care without the need to feel sad and hopeless. It had dawned on her that she could be happy right now, before accomplishing the goals that she had set for herself and her son; If she was free of feeling sad and hopeless she would continue moving forward. It would not mean that she would stop caring (seeking a job and an apartment). When she saw clearly that the belief she was holding onto no longer made sense, she was free to be happy now. And being happier now would likely bring more opportunities to herself and her son.
Happiness is not the goal, rather it is the way to the goal. Alfred D. Souza writes, “ Happiness is the way. …there is no better time than right now to be happy…”
Would you want to be happy now, even though you haven’t achieved all your goals, acquired what you want, fulfilled your desires? One of the main obstacles to happiness, to being happy right now, is your BS (Belief System), the hidden, self-defeating beliefs that, unbeknownst to us, thwart our chances for happiness in every present moment.
You can explore old beliefs that no longer serve you; they often dissolve in the light of being discovered. You can be happy now, and in that happiness, attract all the good in life that awaits you. The purpose of life is the expansion of happiness. You can resolve your limiting beliefs and choose life, choose happiness.
The Secret to happiness? It’s an inside job.
Ask yourself: What might happen if you were happy, even though there are obstacles to your goals? Would that be okay? Discover your Secret to Happiness!
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