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Your Happiness Depends on Time Perception

Updated on November 18, 2017

The Real Secret to Being Happy

It is good to know that this was written in September 2011. I am not trying to create a complex title but did not know another way to say this. By now you have probably heard of Eckhard Tolle that was made popular by Oprah. He teaches people to be in the present to be happy. I have another lens (article on Hubpages) that explains that this is also taught by psychology and Dianetics/Scientology.

Human Suffering

First if you have a very traumatic event like being raped, that could cause you to be very unhappy for months. Your attention is trapped in that past event. A great therapist can help you to get out of it.

So that shows how your past can greatly influence your present happiness. Now say that something traumatic happens like your best friend dying. That is a little more complex. Now you are not really stuck in the event that killed them, unless you were there. But you are remembering your nice times that you had with them. And you are projecting into the future how you will never have them again.

I am kind of going through that now. That helped me to come up with this article. The person (Amanda) did not die but I am out of touch with her and I do not know how long that will last. I guess that could be happening with many having a spouse overseas in a military operation, that is also called a war.

Please note that Ron Paul is running for president in 2012. He is conservative and radical. His radical idea is to immediately take all troops out of foreign countries and bring them home. He feels that money and resources is all needed by the U.S. These are facts. I am not leaving my opinion on whether this is good or bad since I am not running for a political office.

Now the future is unknown. Any person can die tomorrow. Now as far as happiness, people know the future is unknown but they judge the odds in the future. Someone that is 20 and in good health puts that odds of dying in the next 2 years as extremely low. So they do not worry about it. That is something that they do not have to worry about.

Now a guy that is 70 and in bad health has much higher odds of dying in the next 2 years. So they can start thinking about how in the future, they will not have a future and not be able to do anything on this planet any more. To make things more complex, if someone is in this condition and depressed, then the possibility of dying soon may make them happier.

Another example that is all about time is money. Having money 10 years ago or having money 10 years in the future does not help you now. The saying is "Money cannot buy happiness." Studies show that people that win multi-million dollar lotteries are no happier 2 years after this happens than before it happens. But they can be much happier right after it happens.

Now if you are very wealthy then this question means very little to you. How would you feel if you won $10 million dollars tomorrow? Would you feel sad or excited in a good way? If you have a job and get fired tomorrow, then you determine that your odds in the future are not as good as they were yesterday. But say that a week later you find a better job paying a lot more. Then you determine your odds are maybe better than before you lost your job.

Now you can be very rich but fall in love with someone that you love more than anyone else ever. Then if that person wants nothing to do with you, you can feel very bad and your money does not help you. But why? You remember past moments with them and project into the future how you will not have them. The past and future exist in your mind and you visit them with your thoughts.

But it is still about the odds. The future is not known. You figure the odds of meeting someone that you love even more are very small. So you figure that your odds of being heart broken for years are high. Also another strange thing is that if you have lots of money and a spouse and kids that you adore, then if you lose that, then it could be devastating. And you will lose that since everyone dies. But if a person has none of that, then they cannot lose it.

More About Love

If you have not experienced this then think of someone that you know who has. When you start dating someone that you will marry or you are about to get married, you will feel really great. That is because you feel that your future is going to better. That is your perception of the future.

Now divorce can be motivated by different things. But consider this example. My brother divorced his 2nd wife and she had nothing to do with it. They got along great and loved each other. He stayed in touch with his 1st wife since they had a kid together.

But after 10 years with his 2nd wife, he learned that he divorced his first wife due to a miscommunication. Neither of them wanted to get divorced. She was married now with a child. They have both loved each other more than anyone else.

So my brother divorced his wife and his original wife divorced her husband. My brother moved in with her and they lived happily forever after. Now since his 2nd wife had no problems in their marriage, she was devastated by him divorcing him. So why is divorce like this so painful? She remembers her past with him and projects her thoughts into the future that she will have that no more. So this extreme unhappiness is all about time.

I helped his 2nd wife get over this and she met a guy and had twins-- a boy and a girl, her first children. Recently my brother died and his first wife was devastated. Also last weekend I was very in love with Amanda. I was feeling euphoric and I was doing some food shopping with a friend of mine, Pete. He has a car and I do not. Now I ususally feel a little apprehensive about finding him in a big store.

It is potentially possible for us to walk around for hours and not find each other. But this weekend I had no apprehenison and complete trust. The odds of me meeting Amanda were extremely remote. I had this strong trust that everything would work itself out.

Then this weekend I was feeling very heartbroken while still being in love. For me, once I am in love with someone it never goes away. So in the store I was feeling this apprehenison again. But I remembered last week and I felt that the truth is not about worrying, but trusting and having faith, even though I was heartbroken. So that shows how what happens can change your perception of the future.

Again the future is unknown. One time a woman was living with her mother and she had 2 kids from a previous marriage. They had been instructed that whenever I call, to say that she was not home. She had told me that she had no interest in being involved with me, but we were still friends. I was in love with her and she just wanted to be friends with me. After that we were involved with each other for 4 years and lived together.

Is There a Purpose of Human Suffering

I guess many feel that there is no purpose for human suffering. Today I am editing this and it is 9/10/11. Tomorrow it will be 10 years since 9/11/01. Many feel that human suffering is a waste. That is not my experience. I feel that people are getting just what they need to learn to be infinitely happy. Looking at things this way changes everything.

Like there are some people who say that they cannot be happy since there is too much suffering in the world. This is like saying that you cannot eat any food, since there are so many people starving in the world. So what does Eckhart Tolle say about human suffering? In A New Earth , Eckhart Tolle says "Suffering has a noble purpose: the evolution of consciousness and the burning up of the ego."

Is There Something Else in Life

You can say that all of the above is normal or ordinary. Now in psychology they have something known as the flow experience. It may be called other things like a peak experience. Now with this, it does not matter about your past or future. You are so in the moment that time seems to stop or not exist. Many professional sports people have this experience while playing their sport. While playing they can get so into it that future and past do not matter. Right at the moment they have everything that they ever wanted.

So a big part of happiness is someone's view of their future. Although as you get older, you get closer to death. What people are looking for is happiness and a feeling of peace. There are things that you can do to help you to feel this happiness, mentioned above, that is beyond time and space. It is inside of you all of the time. One very popular way in America is yoga.

People are mostly familiar with the postures but it can include other things like meditation, devotion to God or your higher self, doing good deeds and other things that help you to move closer to this experience that is beyond time and space. This is what Eckhart Tolle is talking about when he says to be in the now or the present moment. I have been doing yoga since age 12. Another method of yoga is learning about truth by reading about it, like reading the ancient Indian scriptures

If you look around the internet you will find many people (at least in America) that tried out yoga to lose weight or help with stress and they found much more. Now they are in love with yoga. People can just use yoga to get healthier or they can choose to do more with it. Note that September is yoga awareness month. These different things in yoga are about helping you to move closer to that perfect peace that is inside of you that cannot be diminished by anything in the world except maybe death.

Or maybe not. Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, Socrates taught that the most important thing in life is the immortal soul. He said "Know thyself!" Some Christians will talk about a beatific vision of the soul. So it is believed that the flow experience of beyond time and space or timelessness is the experience of the immortal soul and that is why it feels better than anything else. This way, by practising yoga, as time goes by you can feel more happy than ever before.

Many American celebrities practice yoga. Did you know that yoga is good for secretaries? Secratary of State, Hillary Clinton does yoga. See this article. It says:

She’s in good health from yoga and exercise, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she’s tired by the “merry-go-round” of public life and ready to get off it for good at the end of President Barack Obama’s first term.

Her husband, Bill Clinton, is a vegan so he can live longer. Since I am heartbroken I should feel very sad since my future with Amanda looks bleak. And I do feel very sad. Do I sound very sad? But I also feel very happy because I am learning all about what life is all about. I am learning that what I am looking for is not outside of me, but within me.

Also I have learned that this is part of the process of finding the supreme happiness and perfect peace inside of me. In fact even if someone has no interest in spiritual growth or evolution of their spirit, it is still taking place in everyone. In fact if you look deep enough, you can find great love and happiness, in the worst situation. There is a line from God in an ancient Indian scripture that I have not been able to locate. It is "Even in your darkest hour, I do not abondon you."☺

An ancient Indian scripture, The Ashtavakra Gita , says:

Realising that suffering arises from nothing other than thought, dropping all desires one rids oneself of it, and is happy and at peace everywhere. 11.5

Another translation of this says:

Knowing for certain that in the world sorrow is caused by anxiety and not otherwise, a person free from this becomes happy and peaceful, with his desires melted away. 11:5


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    • profile image

      KL Adams 

      7 years ago

      Great hub. You also need to have something, i.e. a book, inspirational speaker, a quote or etc, to keep your mind from taking back over. Your mind is what creates the need for things and moments, your body does not need your mind's wants to survive.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thumbs up for this hub. The secret in happiness are really simple. Just choose to be happy.


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