5 Paths to Happiness and why you’re probably on the Wrong Path

Path to Happiness

 

I want to be happy

Am I safe in suggesting that everyone wants to be happy?  I think I am, but what is holding many people from finding that happiness?  I can probably guess that they are searching for it in the wrong place.

You see, happiness, and even unhappiness, is not something that can be found externally, it is created internally by the way our brains have been trained to react to situations.

How we react has a direct correlation to how happy or unhappy we become.  I’ll explain in more detail and outline the five paths that affect our happiness.

Forgiveness

Some of the biggest roadblocks to finding happiness stem from the worst emotions and reaction to these emotions.  Hatred, fear, envy, helplessness and desperation lead us to hold grudges, hate, blame, and plot revenge.

These emotions and reactions can lead to untold physical and mental health problems and the only way to avoid that is to learn how to forgive.  More specifically, we have to give ourselves permission to forgive.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that we’re letting people off the hook for past or perceived transgressions.  We still hold those people accountable.  We don’t have to reconcile and allow them back into our lives and it doesn’t mean we have to forget or revert to being a victim.

Forgiveness means you’re not holding onto those negative emotions. You’re not allowing those transgressors to live rent-free in your head.  It means you’re leaving the judgment to a higher power, God or Karma, it doesn’t matter.

What matters is once you forgive others and yourself, you can move further down the path to happiness.

Let Go

Similar to forgiveness, you need to learn how to let go of envy and stop comparing yourself to others.  People don’t become unhappy with what they don’t have. How could they?  It’s a perceived value that is most likely a false value.

Here is a scenario to think about.  It’s something I heard a long time ago and I’m paraphrasing though I don’t remember who I heard it from:

You’re driving to work in your 10 year old beater and get passed by someone in a brand new BMW, the car of your dreams, and immediately become envious.  You pass a co-worker riding his scooter and he sees your beater car and wishes he had it because winter is coming and its going to get cold.  The guy on the scooter passes a kid on a bicycle running late to get to his job at Burger King and starts thinking how great it would be to have a scooter.  The kid on the bike nearly runs into a girl walking to school.  The girl wishes she had a bike to make it easier on her.

You see how envy is an endless cycle? Let go of things that are out of you control or out of your current reach because envy is keeping you from being happy.

“Our envy always lasts longer than the happiness of those we envy.” ~Heraclitus

Self Awareness

Also known as mindfulness, self-awareness is the means to sync your unconscious and conscious thoughts that make up your core beliefs.  It allows you to identify those emotions that have lead you to react in negative ways.

When you are self-aware you can catch yourself in the exact moment prior to saying or doing something that will eventually cause you to be unhappy.

This is obviously the hardest path to follow because it takes year of practice and training to un-train your brain.  Practicing forgiveness and letting go of envy are a start in the right direction.  Learning to meditate and learning to view yourself as other’s view you will allow you to see what other people see.

Once you see what other people see, you have to learn how to accept what you see and feel what you’re feeling.  The more you can accept, the more you will be happy.

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” ~Tao Te Ching

Stop pursuing Start expressing

It’s like a dog chasing his tail; at times he may catch it but then what?  A clearer path is to start expressing more of what makes you happy.  Do you like to create art or crafts?  Do you like to exercise? Do you like to cook or find new recipes?

Obviously adding more of the things in your life that help you be happy is something you should be doing.  Stop chasing after the things that you perceive will make you happy.  Remember, happiness is created internally.

Material things, money, and sex are all after affects of the things that bring you happiness. They are the rewards but the actions that bring those rewards are the true building blocks to our happiness.

“What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful.” ~Dalai Lama

Smile

You may think you have no reason to smile but look around you.  You are part of the miracle. You are alive for now so smile.

It’s funny that we have to remind ourselves to smile but look what a smile does.  It’s infectious.  If you smile at a person in passing the normal reaction is for them to smile back.

I have a neurological disorder that prevents me from smiling without great effort but I make that effort several times a day and especially when I’m out in public.  An infectious smile can cause a chain reaction and wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if we all were met with a smile?

“Smile, it’s free therapy.” ~Douglas Horton

On to you

Nobody can make you happy.  People and things can be a part of your happiness but it all starts with you.  Happiness is an internal creation and the blocks to your happiness can be removed or eliminated with time and practice.

Have you noticed that any of the above paths brings happiness?

Before you go, please leave a comment below and grab a free copy of my eBook Manifesting an Abundant Life.

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