What brings you happiness?
It’s so seductive to get caught up in the thinking that once I get married, have this child or grandchild, get this car, eat at this fabulous restaurant, travel to Bali…then I’ll be happy.
Early on in my career I often operated under the misguided belief that accomplishing certain goals would make me happier. Inevitably after getting there I would find that yes, that was cool—but nothing much changed in terms of my happiness factor.
Most of us have rather uninformed ideas about what brings happiness.
We now know that money buys happiness only for those lacking in the basic necessities. Other than that there is typically a fleeting boost or high that comes with getting more “stuff.” Sadly, in most cases this feeling quickly fades. Then we’re off and running, seeking the next “hit.”
What do you do that predictably brings you happiness? How long does that feeling of joy last?
It’s been shown that we have a built in “happiness quotient” where we inevitably return regardless of what we do or buy.
However, new evidence shows that it is possible to move that needle towards greater joy. But it isn’t done from the outside in—it’s entirely an inside job. When we can quiet down the clammer from all the distractions and temptations, we are poised to discover what actually matters most to us—and very often this is quite different from what we have thought or usually pursue.
As we develop greater inner peace and a more authentic relationship with ourselves we are also able to establish more genuine connections with others.
It’s our relationships that move the happiness needle in the right direction and in a more meaningful and lasting way.
Creating inner peace within:
- Find that place of peace inside—by sitting or lying in stillness. You can meditate for a few minutes or take some belly breaths and relax. Remind yourself that this time is important and though it may feel like nothing is happening—you’re developing a connection within. This is where inner peace begins.
- Return to this place a couple of times a day or whenever you feel yourself going into a zone that feels challenging or stressful. Spend a few minutes or how ever long you need to relax, to belly breathe and to settle down. Find your sense of well-being. Trust that it will come with practice.
- Let go of any aspects of negativity, of hostility, of stress that is within your control. Watch what you say and quite simply try to move through your day treating yourself kindly and not engaging in anything you know in your heart may be hurtful to another.
- Return to your place of inner peace and expand this consciousness. At the beginning, this sense of inner peace is all about you and locating this place within. As you become more familiar and comfortable with the experience and awareness of inner peace, allow it to expand its reach and include those in your life space and eventually beyond.
When you discover and cultivate your experience of inner peace that’s when the magic begins to happen. Operating from this place of calm awareness brings us to know ourselves and the value of our relationships. It is at the intersection of inner peace and healthy connections with others that we ultimately find the most durable and deeply satisfying measure of happiness.
How do you find that place of well-being, of inner peace?