Although happiness is something that is hard to define it is something that we seem to want more of.
There are dozens of books written on it and the subject seems to pop up on a daily basis on social media.
I was reflecting on this and it seems to me that there is one single question, innocently asked, that is at the root of all this wanting…
What will make me happy?
And this is the problem because the answer is… nothing.
Nothing can make you happy and yet our entire society is built upon the belief that ‘things’ can make you happy.
The advertising business is built upon the idea that the lack of something is the cause of unhappiness and then the product rides in on a white horse and saves the day.
They even try to convince you that floor cleaner will make you happy!
Many people believe they need the right person or a relationship in order to be happy. Some have such stringent criteria about the required qualities of their perfect mate that this person may not even exist!
Thinking that happiness is a result of external circumstances leads to the most common trap of all…
‘I’ll be happy when.’
We create an imaginary list of what will make us happy and this is what we put our time into.
I used to be a regular meditator and my teacher made a point that I never forgot.
He said you will never experience a better meditation by really going for it. It just does not work that way.
Happiness is just the same. The harder you pursue it, the further away it gets.
The imaginary content of the ‘I’ll be happy when.’ list is the barrier.
Is there a secret to experiencing greater happiness?
The natural backdrop to the mind, beyond our intellectual thinking, is a space of inner peace, contentment, grace, resilience, engagement in life, perspective, love – there are a many words that point to what is available to every single one of us.
When we fall into this space it would not even occur to us to ask ourselves if we are happy or not.
So, there really is nothing to do.
The logic of the inside-out understanding is that the mind only works one way, no exception. The clearer we realise this truth the more happiness, contentment and peace of mind we experience.