What is the trick to being happy?
Updated: Jan 17, 2020
What do you pursue each day? Many of us are in the pursuit of building, creating, designing, accounting, etc. And often the goal of all this hustle and bustle is to be happy. What if we were to spend our time seeing and creating with different eyes the joy of life? Would that time spent be more satisfying?
Much of the work that I do with clients is to help them change the meanings that they take from each experience or situation that they have with consciousness. Much of how we do life is fairly unconscious. When we spend time deconstructing our thoughts we are capable of seeing and behaving quite differently.
For me there has always been an external drive to work, that that work especially if it earns money is hard work, it is difficult. It would seem absurd to many people that they should be paid for work that is easy. There seems to be a group consciousness that this is so. Why and where did this construct come from that we have to work hard to make money, to make a living? I think of Dolly Parton's song, working 9-5, I see people state they are giving up their grueling 9 - 5 job to pursue their own business. And yet, what they don't realise is that they aren't leaving the 9-5 they are entering a 24 hour day.
When we deconstruct the meanings that we have made out of our lives, situations, experiences. We can suggest that it might be possible to make more than one meaning and therefore, this meaning that we once clung onto for dear life, may not serve us in the best possible way to move forward more purposefully and fulfillingly and most of all with joy.
Many people say, "Happiness is a Choice!", quite simply it is and every other emotion therefore is a choice as well. Sometimes in our pursuit of happiness, we don't really feel the sadness of life, the suffering. It is often in the suffering that we awaken into different possibilities. Much of the time we don't take responsibility for our emotions, we can and often (when people are depressed, anxious, frustrated, livid) let those emotions consume us and therefore drive our actions. When we are overwhelmed by emotions and we cannot keep in control and find happiness/joy anymore we find ourselves in the counselling room.
If we have waited too long, then we may need drugs to rebuild the chemicals that keep us sane. Once we have control again over our thoughts we are capable of changing the meanings that we are taking out of our experience of life and therefore the emotions that follow. From here we can rebuild our capacity to manage life in quite a different way, in a way that serves us for what we wish to achieve going forward or quite simply to thrive in our day to day life, rather than just exist or survive our day to day.
We have to regain balance, the status quo, some level of control over what happens to us and the meaning that we take from those situations. In order to construct new patterns of behaviour and new ways of being in order to reach the best version of ourselves that we can be.
And when we are the best version of ourselves, we are capable of engaging our will in being happy, we have choice and we have the ability to create whatever meaning we wish to make out of our lives and then the state of happy is one of choice.
Are you experiencing a crisis of meaning? How often are you in a state to choose your happiness?
References: Henry Thoreau & Victor Frankl, from a time when philosophers were the thought leaders!