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by Barney Battles
But there is another, less transient form of happiness, one which will sustain us and keep us mentally strong on a daily basis. This kind of happiness does not stem from material things or other people, it comes from inside and it is within the reach of all of us.
What is happiness?
When we are happy we feel content, relaxed and our minds are free of conflict. By focusing on people and things which make us happy, we block out the negative influences which contaminate our minds. By cultivating a state of mind in which this is the norm, we open the door to true happiness and stability, and reduce our reliance on people and things for own mental wellbeing.
A stable state of happiness is different from its more polarised and fleeting counterpart. It can be an unending source of strength, a wellspring of mental fortitude, and a catalyst of inner peace. But how can it be achieved?
Unlocking the secret to your happiness
In our society, we are taught from a very early age to look for our happiness in other people, and in material possessions. In doing so, we forget the secret to happiness that is within us all from birth, and begin to steadily increase the amount of unhappiness in our lives. Like a drug, we then depend on these small pockets of happiness, while constantly reinforcing our own mental toxicity.
The only way that true, enduring happiness can be achieved is by ceasing to look for it anywhere else but within your mind, heart and soul.
This can be far from easy, as many of are actually mentally conditioned to be unhappy for much of the time. But by consciously forging an inner state of contentedness and peace, it is entirely possible.
Happiness and unhappiness as we imagine them are constructs of the society we live in, with the one reinforcing the other. Real inner happiness does not exist on such a polarised scale, it simply is. It is an acceptance of the way things are, whatever they may be, and though some things in life may displease us and spur us on to take corrective action, they should not upset our mental balance.
In order to experience this kind of happiness, we must cast off our ingrained expectations and beliefs in the happy/ unhappy dichotomy. By doing so, we remove the power of people, things and circumstances to control our lives and our mental states.
True happiness cannot exist in the presence of acquired insecurities, hang-ups, obsessions and fears. It can only come out of a natural, instinctual state of mind - the one we all had when we were very young, before we learned to be unhappy.
The importance of being present in the moment
Happiness can only ever be found in the present moment. Dwelling on the past is like longingly looking at cherished photographs with disdain for your current life, while constantly peering into the future will also only decrease the satisfaction we feel in the here and now. Our souls and our bodies exist only in the moment, and if our minds are not also present there it becomes all but impossible to experience the true joys of life, and the wealth of happiness that is available to all of us.
Happiness is available for you wherever you are at this moment; it only waits for you to recognise it.
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