The Happiness Perspective: Seeing Your Life Differently
We have the goal of being happy, yet do not give a thought as to what that looks like for us as an individual. We may see a commercial, movie, or a television program that has a character whose lifestyle might exemplify what we think would make us happy. Or we see a product that promises that once we get rid of that [annoying problem – insert yours here], then we will be happy. There’s even a movement that says that if we simplify our lives, then we will be happy. That may not be the case for those who take pleasure in juggling many things at once. The key is finding what works for the individual. What all these scenarios have in common is the false idea that “I’ll be happy when… [insert scenario here].”
Your Perspective: What Does Happiness Look Like?
The real question is: What does happiness look like for each of us and is it even possible to achieve? Without a personal definition of happiness, we float in fantasy land waiting for that vision to come forward so that we can be happy. The reality is that we already have at least fifty percent of the ingredients we need to achieve happiness. Our perception of them gets in the way. Their existence does not seem to fit what society tells us equates to happiness, so we perceive them as outside of the happiness equation.
Going on the premise that we have created everything in our lives, there must be some components that we want to maintain.
Aspects of Life that Lead to Fulfillment
Exercise: To find out, clear every obstacle to happiness from your mind. Knowing that you could create joy any way you want, what aspects of your current life would you keep? Certain relationships? Pets? Work? What in your life currently gives you a sense of fulfillment? If you say none, then it is time to clear the slate and start clean. But most of us would say that they would keep their loved ones, their personal traditions, or their hobbies. Take stock of the things that currently exist in your life that make you feel valued, fulfilled, and inspired. Those are the aspects of your life that lead to happiness. Include these in your vision.
Now to create a broader vision of what life would look like to achieve sustainable happiness. This does not mean that there will not be moments of anger, frustration, or sadness. It does mean that over the course of time, the sense of happiness is maintained deep within the core. A life built upon self-awareness allows for the person to live according to their true nature. For example, if the individual prefers a quiet, calm environment, then working in the city or going out to loud venues would not result in happiness. But if everyone else is going there, then the individual may go just to be with those they care about. That is okay once in a while, but finding relationships and circumstances that align with personal tendencies results in greater satisfaction over time.
Change Our Perceptions to Create Greater Happiness
Additionally, changing the way we view circumstances and how we perceive the world is critical to create happiness. We filter everything through our own belief system. We create constructs of the world that are then applied to life experiences. These can enhance or diminish the level of happiness we experience. The way we perceive circumstances – whether they originate within the self, outside of the self, or because of divine will – leads to fulfillment or frustration. When we gain control over our reactions, we have a greater opportunity to create the life we want to have.
Dump the fear, helplessness, and hopelessness. Determine what happiness means and ways to get aligned with it. Get rid of the wish list filled with “stuff” and strive for an enriching way of being. It is time to evaluate beliefs, circumstances, and our vision for the ideal life. Defining who we are at the core and what we want brings clarity in how to achieve and maintain happiness.
Copyright Diane Wing, M.A. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Diane Wing, M.A. is the author of The Happiness Perspective: Seeing Your Life Differently. For her, joy comes through helping others find their happiness and ideal way of being, connecting with nature, and studying the mysteries of life. When it comes to getting unstuck and feeling great, her philosophy is: Let go. Be grateful. Stay open. See the magick. www.DianeWing.com.