I will be happy when.... That is quite often the circulating thought that churns in the minds of many. Have you had that thought yourself? Now, for some reason, we all believe that we deserve to be happy. Second of all we are conditioned to believe that happiness is a state external to ourselves. Strange isn't it? We want to feel happy inside by looking outside. That is like expecting a room with no windows to be illuminated by the light beyond the walls.
Over the last weeks I have been contemplating happiness and the contrast dissatisfaction. While doing this I asked many of my colleagues what would make them happy. As a joke I suggested a 'golden cape of excellence' might help. Strangely the thought of trotting around a vast corporation in a gold cape did make us very happy. It was the sense of rebellion that came with it. Yet wearing a gold cape and adopting super-hero poses can only make a person happy for a short amount of time. So the state of constant happiness - where does that come from? This then resulted in the question - can a person be in a state of constant happiness? If they were would they know it?
Yes, here I am again, with questions on the interior world. It seems that we will never experience another person's interior world so one person's feeling of happiness will be very different to anothers'. Of course we will never find out because we can't step into another person's true experience of life.
So happiness, in my opinion feels like a state of relaxation with a sense of warmth in the heart. A feeling of openness like your whole being is smiling. With that definition, I thought what was it that prompted this inner state. Try it - list all the things that make your being smile.
Mine are as follows:
Being naughty / mischievious.
Laughing heartily with my friends and colleagues
The feeling after yoga or chi kung.
Feeling united in a team sport
Stand up paddle-boarding.
Doing quiet meditation.
Being on or in the sea.
Running and being in a rhythm.
Having a lovely dinner.
Having a nice, clean home.
Playing with children.
Writing my books and laughing at my own jokes.
Barbecues on the beach with friends in the summer.
So all of the above bring me personal happiness. I looked at the list and realised that none of the above are bought, owned or rely on money. At any moment I can choose to do one of the above and that will make me happy.
What causes me dissatisfaction?
Not having enough time.
Things that make me feel stuck.
Getting close to overdraft.
Lies and liars.
Bad things happening to good people.
Other people's stupidity.
People who moan.
When I look at the dissatisfaction list, they are based on money and negative character traits. The reality is that I will always have to pay bills and money ebbs and flows. So there is acceptance in that.
So can happiness be simple? Try writing your list... What makes you happy and you will see it is the simple things. A nice car and home are great yet you may well discover that what actually makes you happy are the simplest things. You can choose to fill your life with those and reduce those that make you unhappy. In doing so you increase your happy state.