Effortless Happiness

Posted by M ws On Thursday, April 26, 2012 2 comments
Have you ever noticed just how unhappy you can get over the fact you are not happy? Unexamined, this behavior seems to make sense. But a closer look at it will reveal that being unhappy over being unhappy is like throwing gasoline on a fire to put it out. You get lots of fire and smoke - even a strange excitement - but in the end all you are left with is ashes. This is why you must understand this next amazing fact.

You can make yourself miserable but you can't make yourself happy.

This shouldn't be too much of a surprise as we begin to learn that we have been unconscious conspirators in our own unhappy lives. Even if it wasn't being pointed out, most of us can admit that at times we do make ourselves miserable. But there is nothing good about feeling bad. There is never a justification for tolerating self-misery because what is self-induced can be self-reduced and ultimately eliminated if you are willing to understand the underlying causes. This is why we must look at why it is impossible to make ourselves happy if we ever want to come upon authentic happiness.

Outside of drugs and alcohol, which are obviously not the way to happiness, whenever you want to make yourself happy, you must put forth an effort of some kind. Effort implies the application of force in a specific direction. We can see that this is good and necessary in following preconceived plans for construction projects, business concerns or cooking, for example. You can also make an effort to imagine or visualize new shapes and ideas to help in the creative process. But when it comes to being happy, any effort is the wrong one. Let's see if this is true. If it is, then we are on the verge of an even higher discovery: Real happiness is effortless. Let's find out more about this new possibility.

As we described, where there is an effort, there is, whether known or not, always a plan. All plans by definition are to build something; in this instance your plans are to build happiness. With this preconceived plan, this picture of happiness firmly fixed in your mind, you meet each of life's events looking for your picture instead of experiencing what life has brought to you. This painful and stress-producing process of comparison goes on unknowingly and it ruins everything it touches. Life becomes a series of disappointments instead of a series of happy adventures. Please ponder this next point. You could never be unhappy with anything you found in this life if you didn't already have it fixed in your mind what you were looking for.

Hopefully, we can learn from this that our ideas about happiness are more often than not the very root of our unhappiness. The point here is that happiness cannot be made. It is not the result of anything. Happiness comes to those who understand that you can't seek it any more than you seek the air you breathe. It is a part of life to be found within living. The excitement of anticipation is not happiness, any more than smelling freshly-baked bread nourishes a hungry body. All pursuit of happiness is based upon the false assumption that happiness can be possessed. It cannot. Happiness is the natural expression of a stress-free life, just as sunlight naturally warms the earth after dark clouds disappear.

Excerpted from "The Secret of Letting Go" by Guy Finley

About the Author

Guy Finley is the acclaimed author of more than 30 books and audio programs on the subject of self-realization, several of which have become international best sellers. His popular works, published in 16 languages, are widely endorsed by doctors, professionals, and religious leaders of all denominations. Among many others, his popular titles include: The Secret of Letting Go, Design Your Destiny, The Lost Secrets of Prayer, Apprentice of the Heart, Let Go and Live in the Now, and The Essential Laws of Fearless Living. Finley is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for self-study located in Southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. Visit http://www.guyfinley.org for a wealth of free helpful information, free audio and video downloads, and to request your free Self-Improvement Starter Kit.

2 comments to Effortless Happiness

  1. says:

    walla Our frame of mind is important. It is like a picture frame whose design may either enhance or diminish the effect of the picture it holds.

    If we consciously select one that can stand by us efficiently to continue our journey in life, we can tackle the happiness challenge more soberly.

    If a frame of mind is healthy, we may set goals to achieve but we will also be realistic that we may not be capable enough to achieve them or circumstances may arise to thwart our success.

    In this case, we learn to accept that happiness is just a temporary sensation triggered by our achieving the goal we have set for ourselves. Realizing that, we can therefore temper our expectations and buffer ourselves against any disappointments that often lead to undue stress and erosion of our future capacity to perform.

    Sometimes one can get fresh insights by just mechanically analyzing an event that has either resulted in happiness or sadness. In this case, the frame of mind acts less like a picture frame and more like a reel of film unrolling one moment to the next.

    It is sad our education system does not have such a module on how to use the mind in more positive ways which can release its higher powers to bypass the negative thoughts that have sundered many lives.

    In its absence, we should perhaps be like zebras. They don't have ulcers. But one suspects they have to pay the price of not being able to experience happiness. On the other hand, life on earth says happiness and sadness will be inseparable twins with one accentuating the effect of the other under some regime of the pareto 20:80 rule.

    The challenge then is how to consciously shift the equilibrium of that rule so that we can ourselves be more productive in cheering others up even whilst knowing all have to face up to daily trials beyond any ken of our respective minds.

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith My dear Walla,

    Your precious and wise comment has blown me away completely. I am dumbfounded because I know not how I can or should or even try to respond to your effortless elegance that exudes so much wisdom, practical tips and rejuvenating hope for each one of us.

    In my writing classes, I often give my students this question:

    "What is happiness to you?"

    Alas, no one has ever answered that question honestly, succinctly or lucidly. Perhaps they are too young and have not lived enough.

    I believe the one who has truly lived to heights of greatness and the pits of despair is the one who has tasted true happiness.

    And is happy effortlessly.

    Because, he has truly lived.

    And you, my dear Walla, is the epitome of happiness.

    Only one who has come to be at peace and at rest with one's lot in life is truly happy.

    Thank you for this marvellous comment which has made me teary..

    Pardon the sentimentalism of an old sleepy woman.

    Take care and God bless!

    Much love to a happy, beautiful and serene Walla.

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