What is happiness? And how can I get some?
The quest for happiness is as old as humankind.
Where does happiness come from?
If you were walking down the street and noticed
a sandwich shop, you might go in and order your favorite sandwich.
How did you know what to order? You have a memory of eating that
type of sandwich before, and you liked it then, so you expect
to like it again. Your desire begins with an idea or a memory
(of the sandwich) or a sensation (of hunger). You anticipate the
end result (enjoying the sandwich, feeling satisfied), and that
attracts and focuses your attention. You take actions that are
in alignment with those thoughts, feelings, and sensations, and
your hunger is eventually satisfied.
What about happiness? You have memories of being
happy. And you probably seek out the same kinds of activities
and actions that were associated with happiness in the past. If
you experienced happiness while riding a bicycle, you’ll
probably go riding again and again. If you were happy on a date,
you will most likely go out with that person again. We fill our
lives with actions that “should” make us happy, based
on the “it felt good the last time” principle. Unfortunately,
this rarely works to make us happy, because happiness is not like
hunger. It can’t be satisfied with something outside of
ourselves because happiness is not based on a physical need. Rather,
happiness is a phenomenon of the mind, or inner self. Happiness
Most people look for happiness outside themselves,
and for good reason. We are bombarded with thousands of advertising
messages every day, telling us that if we use this make-up, buy
this car, smoke those cigarettes, wear this brand of clothes,
or eat at that fast food restaurant, we will satisfy our desires
for happiness. We will suddenly have satisfying relationships,
joy and laughter, sex appeal, and satisfaction.
It’s not just advertising that convinces
us that we should seek our happiness outside ourselves. We believe
our parents: “If you become a doctor/lawyer/engineer you’ll
live a good life.” We believe our religious leaders: “If
you believe what we believe, you’ll be saved/enlightened/joyous.”
We believe our friends: “If you _______ (fill in the blank),
you will be happier.”
Where does happiness really come from? We know
that it doesn’t come consistently from anything outside
ourselves, although we spend tremendous amounts of time and money
trying to achieve that tenuous state. It must, therefore come
from within ourselves. Is it possible to generate happiness anytime
Try this experiment from the book ReSurfacing:
Techniques for Exploring Consciousness by Harry Palmer: Smile
until you feel happy. It may take only a moment, or it might take
a few minutes. Try it right now.
Now take a minute and try another experiment:
Think to yourself, “I’m happy” until you smile.
Did you notice that there was nothing outside
of yourself that was required for you to experience happiness?
And if that is the case, why aren’t you happy more often?
The source of our unhappiness is likewise within
us. There are four main causes of unhappiness:
1) Our attachment to what is, or what we have (and our concomitant
fear of loss) – such as staying in a relationship that isn’t
2) Our desire for what isn’t, or what we don’t have
– for example, wanting the body of a supermodel;
3) Our resistance to that which we are experiencing in this moment
– such as fear, anger, loneliness or sadness; and
4) Our limiting beliefs about ourselves and about the world around
us – “I don’t have any business skills”
or “Everyone else is much better than I am.”
What does it take to be happy? It takes an honest,
vulnerable, and open-minded assessment of what stands in the way
between you and being happy. It takes time, attention, and practice.
It takes tools that work. It takes a careful examination of your
belief system. It is our beliefs that cause us to create or attract
the situations and events that we experiences as our lives. Most
of these core beliefs are transparent to us. They are constantly
operating, but are below the level of our conscious mind. What
does it take to uncover them and change them?
During my 30 years of self-exploration, I discovered
numerous valuable techniques and teachings, philosophies and exercises.
They each moved me forward toward my goal of being happy, and
I came out of each one with a “workshop high.” But
I had to take another workshop to get that feeling again. This
was my form of “sandwich” – my attempt to gain
happiness from an outside source. Then, through luck or fate,
I discovered a set of tools that I could use to generate my own
happiness. During the nine-day Avatar® Course, I found that
I had a transparent core belief deep down beneath my unhappiness:
“I’m not a happy person.” Using the Avatar tools,
I “discreated,” or disappeared, that belief. What
emerged was a natural state of happiness that flowed easily out
of me and into my daily life.
Using the Avatar tools and techniques, I can now
create any state of consciousness I wish to explore. I can change
my mood at will. When I find myself reacting, I can quickly find
the source of the reaction, and clear it up. I no longer have
to wait for the next workshop, because I am the leader of the
workshop called “my life.”
The Avatar Course is a nine-day exploration of
beliefs, one’s consciousness, and one’s true self,
or spirit. More than 80,000 people around the world have transformed
their lives with Avatar, and have become happier people as a result.
Each person who takes the course uses these neutral tools to create
the life they want. Some use it for economic and material success.
Some use it for spiritual advancement. Others use it to explore
extraordinary beliefs and dimensions. The Avatar techniques have
had a profound impact on every person who has taken the course.
People become happier, more peaceful, and more capable of managing
their lives. Graduates of the program become more pragmatic, more
compassionate, and more in tune with their higher selves. What
would you like to change about your life? I suggest that you try
happiness – you’ll probably enjoy it!
Here to download a copy for future reading.