To be happy is something most people want on this planet and there are many ways of achieving happiness. Some of these ways are beneficial and actually enhance ones general quality of life. And then there are other ways that can make one feel happy for a short time and then cause them to feel a lot worse after.
This is because happiness doesn’t have one meaning for everything. What will make one person happy might not make another person happy. There are also different levels of happiness that someone can experience; from feeling content on one end of the spectrum, to complete euphoria on the other.
One way to achieve happiness is to accomplish a goal or to reach a certain outcome that one wanted. Here one will attain a feeling of happiness for a short time and soon this will begin subside.
How they felt at first won’t last forever and one’s mind may start to crave another achievement in order to feel happy once more. The enjoyment may end up being short lived and the next achievement consumes one’s mind.
This could feel like being on a treadmill that is stuck at high speed and every now and then, it slows down. Here, one is able to feel a sense of relief. But just as they are getting comfortable with this feeling, the treadmill starts up again.
Through craving or wanting happiness, one can easily start to forget about what they have. This is due to ones attention being on what they don’t have, as opposed to what they currently do have.
And based on the contrast that is created, it will be normal to feel unhappy and that one needs to have or to gain something in order to be happy. However, if one were to focus on what they do have and not on what they don’t have they might gradually start to observe a shift in how they feel.
This could take a while though, especially if one has got into a habit of placing most of their energy on what they have yet to gain or achieve in life. To be in this place, could be described as a place of acceptance and is another way to feel happy.
Another way to achieve happiness is through drinking alcohol, taking drugs or eating food. These might not always be useful one’s body and mind, but they will cause a momentary experience of being happy.
After consuming them, one could end up feeling far worse after the effects have worn off. Either through a hangover, a come down or through feeling bloated. So these are then nothing more than short term solutions or options.
What these examples show is that happiness is a transitory experience; it doesn’t last for very long. Once it is achieved, it soon starts to disappear. And when it comes to the mind, the law of diminishing returns is at work.
So what did cause one to feel happy at one point will no longer have the same effect as time goes on; something more and something better, will be needed. What did it at one point, will no longer be enough at another point.
The Ego Mind
When it comes to the ego mind, seeking pleasure and avoiding pain is the norm. To feel pleasure feels good and can allow one to feel happy. To feel pain feels bad and can cause one to feel unhappy.
The mind is then hell bent on the pursuit of happiness and this is how it functions. And yet when one consciously observes this process, it is clear that it’s a game that can never be won. Where there are ups, there will be downs. And where there are downs, there is likely to be ups, if one allows them to take place.
Of course, to be happy is something everyone should embrace, but to see happiness as the be all and end all is only going to result in more pain. For one thing, the desire for happiness or anything else for that matter causes it to be pushed away. When one seeks something they are telling the universe they don’t have and this will create more of the same thing.
To drop out of the mind and into the body, one will experience something completely different. While the body lives in the present moment, the mind only knows duality. One can get caught up in their mind and play all the games that the mind plays. Or they can be the observers of their mind.
Here, one can see that happiness and unhappiness is an experience that comes and goes, it is not who they are. It can be natural to think that one is either happy or they are not happy and that’s the end of it. But beyond these two sides of the same coin is presence. This presence is there when one is happy and when one is not; it doesn’t go away.
So being happy is the purpose of the mind and this allows it to avoid pain. The challenge is that pain is part of life and can’t be avoided. Life undoubtedly doesn’t always go as one wants it to go, people pass on, losses take place and the unexpected often happens.
And as happiness is transitory and can’t be maintained for very long, it would be easy to conclude that there is no other option. One is then trapped between the heaven of feeling good and the hell of feeling bad. Underneath this duality is having a sense of purpose.
This purpose is going to be different for everyone, but no matter what this purpose is, it has the potential to be far more fulfilling than simply being happy. It is inevitable that this will cause one to be happy, but even when one has moments when they are not happy, this will give them something more substantial.
One can then experience being unhappy, but the fact they are living their truth and a life that is meaningful can cause them to experience pain without getting too attached to it. And this will enable one to see it as a temporary experience and not necessarily something that one needs to completely avoid.
For someone who is living their truth and has a sense of purpose, they might be able to see how this grounds them during the challenging moments in their life. And if one unsure of what purpose of or what gives their life meaning, it might be necessary to take a deeper look at their life.
One could begin by looking back on their life and at what is currently going on and seeing what gives them a sense of being on course. Or what do they do that feels easy and causes their sense of time to disappear through doing it.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.