How Can I Really Be Happy?
Everyone Wants To Know: How Can I Be Happy?
I think everyone has at one time or many times asked themselves "How can I be happy?", "How can I be happy with myself?", "Why can't I be happy?". What's the point of running around and exerting so much effort in life if one isn't happy?
Happiness is obtainable. I have 100% certainty on this fact. It is entirely possible to, not only become comfortable with oneself, but to become unshakeable as a being, to be enthusiastic towards life, to love and be loved, and not be mired by fears, depression, anger and upset. The surefire route consists of gaining, bit by bit, a better understanding of oneself and of life itself. As this is accomplished, one becomes more connected and one's goals and actions begin to align and one's rate of personal success increases. I say this with certainty as I have been, and am, living this path of happiness, so I would like to share with you how I can be happy in life and how you can too.
I am a real person. I'm making my way through life and learning as I go. I will not make empty promises to you, or speak from anything besides my own personal experience. I am sharing this information for you to look over because I honestly want to help, as others have helped me, and I honestly believe you are valuable and worth helping. In fact I personally believe that helping each other is the only way we are going to survive in this world.
The Good News
Everyone knows money can't buy happiness. But there are many other false ideas about requirements for how to become happy.
Here's the good news: To be happy, one does not require drugs, money, power, beauty, superior intelligence, popularity or a boyfriend/girlfriend. While some of these things, such as wealth, popularity or a soulmate, may result as side effects of happiness, they are not required beforehand. What IS required, is an open mind, a willingness to open one's heart and to observe without bias, and to trust one's own judgment over the judgement of anyone else.
While these things are easy to do, very few people can honestly claim that they do this most of the time. It is too easy to give in and let someone else tell oneself what to do or how to think, or to pop a pill, hoping that will make it all better. But in reality, if these things worked, you wouldn't still be looking for answers and reading this article. No, all the happiness you ever find lies in you and you have the power to decide that you CAN love, you can observe, you can understand and you can decide for yourself about what is true and what is REALLY important in life. The first step is to admit that any bit of happiness and understanding that you get, rests with you.
What is Happiness?
From my point of view, happiness is a state of mind. It's not the result of attaining any specific goal after which you can then live happily ever after. I think this may be a common misconception -- that you just need to have [fill in the blank] and then you will be happy. Fairy tales end happily ever after when the poor girl is saved — her problems are solved and she marries the prince. The reality is we will always have problems. This isn't really a bad thing because we naturally like to solve problems and make things better. It only becomes negative when we feel it is hopeless to solve them. Our attitude in approaching these problems makes all the difference in happiness. If we feel we CAN solve our problems and we are progressing toward that solution, however slowly, then this makes us happy to that degree.
There is another condition that sometimes happens where there are not enough problems. I've been there too. Basically, I was bored out of my mind, generally uninterested and not participating in much of anything. There was no worthwhile game. So while I didn't have any major problems, I was still unhappy. So then, "what is happiness?" if it's not the lack of problems?
I may eventually reword this but I would sum it up as, fundamentally accepting oneself and being interested in life. This would include having self-chosen games to play and the confidence and certainty that one can and will eventually attain whatever goal one sets out to accomplish. Here's another thing: the degree that his goal aligns with his natural instinct to attain good effects, for himself, for his friends, mankind, the planet and the universe, increases his relative fulfillment.
A kid who is intent on building a fort can be perfectly happy, collecting cardboard, cushions or wood scraps and chairs as he goes ahead and builds his fort. He wants to do it, knows that he can and goes ahead in his creative process. Now if his parents stop him, he becomes unhappy. He will be unhappy UNTIL he either realizes he can eventually get his way by doing it in secret, or by winning over his parents, or he chooses another game he can play. Once he builds his fort, if he shares it with his friends, he becomes even happier and the goal becomes to make use of the fort. Is there any more to it than this? It can apply to any area, whether it's personal relationships, career, health, etc.. If we feel we really CAN accomplish what we want, then we are happy. So why do we ever feel we can't accomplish our goals?
Before we get into why we sometimes feel hopeless about accomplishing our goals, let's look at what goals we're setting in the first place.
Important Basics To Accomplishing One's Goals
I recently ran into an interesting video (based on the book "The Secret") that focuses on the impact of positive and negative thinking. The idea of projecting positive thoughts having positive effect is not new, especially in the world of motivational speakers and the "new age" movement but it is no less fundamentally relevant. We get what we focus on. So if you are constantly focusing on negative things ... guess what, negative things happen.
The concept that we create what we get in life is important and is covered well in Chapter 1, "IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE HAPPY?" of the book, A New Slant On Life. Overall, I found this book helped me to put some fundamentals in perspective, to think for myself more often and to trust myself more often, which for me is the first essential step on the road the happiness. The book costs little and is a short, easy read -- I think for most, it makes sense straight away and gives a renewed and more productive perspective on how to progress forward.
It may seem that periods of sadness or depression come about with no apparent reason. It is common to not know why one is down in the dumps or behaving or feeling irrationally or just non-optimally. And thus it may seem impossible to just do "the secret" above to solve one's problems. But I want you to know that there is a cause for everything and it doesn't have to be a mystery. The correct causes CAN be found and when you do find them, it will be evident because it will lead to immediate recovery.
Barriers to Happiness
There are a few barriers to happiness which are important to know from the outset. If you have these affecting you, any gains you make towards happiness can be easily torn down.
Whatever your circumstances, you must must must believe in yourself. Factually, you have nothing to lose by believing in yourself. But you might say, "If I believed in myself than I would be happy already!" But this can be accomplished gradually. You could first just acknowledge this in theory: that it is possible to believe in yourself (or to believe more in yourself). Examine the times when you DID believe in yourself more and perhaps self-doubt wasn't even an idea in your mind. If there was ever a time, even as a child, then you know it is possible.
When I was much less stable than I am now, I was wandering about, doing things I thought I was supposed to do, trying to attain happiness. But I remember one uncommon day when I was walking down the street smiling, the sun was shining, I greeted people and they greeted me. At that moment in time, I was not concerned with how I looked to people, how much money I made, that I didn't have a girlfriend, none of that - I just felt great and I didn't know why. But having noticed that, I knew that, that was how I should naturally be and feel and I also knew that it wasn't like that most of the time. So I set out to remedy that.
You need to know this: there are definite (even scientific) reasons a person feels insecure. These root causes can be found and remedied. A person is not naturally insecure -- insecurity is added at some point. You are naturally a VERY powerful person, far more powerful than you or anyone ever gave you credit for. Know that the reasons you are not exhibiting that level of power (and certainty) now need to be found within you. Yes, the reasons for insecurity could have, in all likelihood, involved other people doing something to you, but in the present, it is all within you to solve. There are techniques that work in unrooting the causes for insecurity and the result is your own natural security, confidence and power. And that is not something that is given TO you - it IS part of the real YOU.
Because of insecurity, people give in to caring too much about what society thinks of them or they conclude things like "if I had a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a career, or more money or status than I would be more secure and happier". This way of thinking only invalidates you and makes you weaker and less you. For now, I suppose my point is to get a grip on this: you ARE powerful, the stuff that triggers you to be insecure can be licked, don't care so much about what everyone thinks. Validation from others and being liked by others is nice but you don't NEED it.
Life Isn't Fair!
This is a great example of how you can lose your personal integrity by caring too much about what other people think. If you are blaming your present circumstances on other people and are waiting on THEM to do something (or stop doing something) to deal with conditions in YOUR life ... Rocky Balboa tells it like it is. Everyone needs a little jarring now and then to shake the nonsense out of them! You really are much bigger than that.
I've gained a new respect for Sylvester Stallone after discovering that he wrote, directed and starred in Rocky Balboa as well as his other Rocky movies (with the exception of not directing Rocky and Rocky 5). His interview (DVD extra commentary) in Rocky is great and so real. Though each movie is actually surprisingly different than the others, the persistent theme of picking oneself up and persisting in life no matter what, is spot on. Great for inspiration. Sometimes the right story can help you pick yourself up.
2. Jellyfish Will Sap Your Happiness
Yes, jellyfish are gross, gooey and they sting - stay away from them! Well actually, I'm talking about the people kind (which are also gross, gooey and sting). Have you seen Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason? If so, you might know what I mean right away. There are people out there that will overtly or covertly try to bring you down. Any insecurity you may have is trounced on by such people.
The overt ones are, well, obvious. These are the people that yell at you a lot, tell you you'll never amount to anything, tell you you're too ugly, too old, too young, too stupid, too smart, they laugh when you fail, and insult you when you win. While everyone may stoop to this type of behaviour in periods of stress, there can be people in our lives that do it chronically. And though these antagonistic people may be easily spotted, we don't necessarily make a decision to deal with them effectively or disconnect from their influence. Dealing with them so that you are thoroughly out of their negative influence is a whole worthwhile discipline entirely, but for now, at least spotting who they are and that they are unconsciously trying to squash you should make you a little more resilient.
On the other hand, there are the covert ones, and these are the deadliest. Like true jellyfish, you often don't spot them. These people are more like Janey Osborne in Bridget Jones. They will put barbs in you while pretending to be your friend and claiming that they are saying things "for your own good". I think a video would best illustrate here ...
A great movie about a regular, flawed, insecure yet funny and loveable girl who must overcome her own self-caused misgivings to find true love.
This is a great example but I want to point out that, unlike Bridget in this movie, usually we don't know that we are being stung by jellyfish. A person may even place a lot of trust in such a person. We just walk away feeling bad and often attribute it to ourselves or to "having a bad day". After such underhanded digs, we may be more prone to get into accidents and even become ill. We basically become weakened, more insecure and less aware of our surroundings, far from "on top of your game". It's sort of like being punched in the head by an invisible man, which leaves us in a daze and feeling shitty. If you have been unaware of it, it helps immensely to first recognize the digs when they happen and WHO they're coming from. Fortunately, there is a full remedy to this so that you are fully impervious to such covert attacks.
3. Wrong Reasons & Harmful "Solutions"
The point I'm going to make here really requires your ability to think and look for yourself and be able to overcome the need to rely on "authorities" to tell you what is best for you.
If you are told the wrong reason for the problem and then take remedies based on that wrong reason, then logically, you will not get better, and very possibly, you will get worse. Personally, I am quite certain that sadness or being unhappy is NOT the result of a "chemical imbalance in your brain". I am a man of science (and there is a difference between pure science and something presented as "science" for profit), which means I rely on the scientific approach and the chemical imbalance theory is an assumption contrary to actual scientific observation. No case of inherent "chemical imbalance in the brain" has even been claimed to be proven (or remedied) scientifically. Diagnosis is based purely on opinion which is often random and varied depending on which psychiatrist you see. No tests exist to confirm someone's chemical imbalance. And not every psychiatrist and psychologist agrees with the popularized theory. It is easily apparent that anything we do in life affects our BODY chemistry, whether it is physical exercise, facing danger or exhilaration, falling in love, grieving a loss, being in fear, etc.. But this is the question: is the body the original cause of our feelings and body chemistry or is it the things that happen to us, how we, as conscious beings, deal with them and feel about them that are the cause of those changes in our body? Since there were real events or actions, outside of our body, that prompted our feelings, then I think the answer is obvious. To be happy, the better question might be: How do we get in better understanding and resolve our feelings about the events of the past and present that affect our well being.
Drugs. Your brain does not suffer from a zoloft deficiency any more than it suffers from a cocaine deficiency. Many have turned to drugs, whether from the street or the pharmacy, to deal with their unwanted condition. But since there are real reasons that cause the unhappiness, the drugs only serve to hide those reasons even further from you. It can also tend to hide the real you. Most (if not all) drugs make you less "you" and less aware to some degree. The extreme of this would be going into a comatose sleep to escape depression -- but obviously, this does not get you any closer to happiness. Further, most drugs have a harmful long lasting effect beyond the "high" that one gets -- the body must after all compensate for the foreign substance. And of course, there are serious side effects (the fine print includes increased risk of suicide and violent behaviour) and the added problem of addiction.
My personal advice is to stay away from drugs except for immediate short term medical emergencies (in which case you may need pain killers, anesthesia for surgery, etc.). The only valid case I can think of for any sort of "chemical imbalance" leads to nutritional remedies. Your body CAN weigh you down if it is deficient in nutrients which are it's building blocks to repair itself. More on this later.
Inducing pain and shock by means of electric shock is likewise not a valid therapy. To some, this is overwhelmingly obvious but the prevalence of the procedure in present day means it's likely there will be people reading this that aren't aware. Adding more pain and shock will not fix you or make you happy. People that want to do this to you are the jellyfish of #2 above (or are the blind followers of jellyfish, who have yet to observe and think for themselves).
If some things in one's life seem too unbearable to confront, than there are ways to cut back, step away for a bit and confront them on a comfortable gradient on your own terms. But to be happy, confronting life as it is learning from it, and working with it, is in my opinion, the only real way to real improvement.
If you are currently on drugs and you want to get off them, here's a rehab program I can recommend. I like this program because 1) it competently addresses the body's withdrawal symptoms with nutrition, 2) it uses a detoxification procedure which cleans out your system and 3) most importantly, it addresses the underlying personal reasons the person resorted to drugs in the first place.
- Narconon International
Narconon is a non-profit drug rehabilitation program dedicated to eliminating drug abuse and drug addiction through drug rehab, drug information and drug education.
The Three Real Aspects of Happiness Per Epicurius
4. Past Failures
One's past failures can mire one into inaction and giving up on the dream. This can be remedied ... [Article to be continued. Feel free to explore the later sections in progress and check out the video clips]
Some people can be so suppressed that it is a matter of infringement of their human rights.
What is Human Right?
Do we have rights as humans? And if we do, how is this established? Are these rights given to us by some governing authority? There have been several milest...
The Way To Happiness
The Way to Happiness is simply a straightforward guide to doing well in life. It's a short book that I recommend as it helps people make positive decisions. Many will recognize the contents as common sense stuff. But if we examine the lives of so many around us, we'll see there are areas where they are not applying some of these basic principles and are yet in a mystery as to why they are miserable. Put all these practical guidelines together and achieving happiness becomes pretty simple.
I think that many religions throughout the ages have tried to teach such principles to lead to better survival, prosperity and happiness for society. But since we have rightfully excluded religious indoctrination from education, a void has been created where some positive morals were taught. What is needed now is a basic and logical/ethical, non-religious, non-judgmental and non-enforced, guide to living. "The Way To Happiness" is a good tool to use to help ourselves and the people around us to live happier, more successful lives. A major benefit is that this guide holds principles that all religious and non-religious people can agree on as positive conduct -- such as being honest, not harming people with good will, taking care of oneself, being competent, etc.. In the end, it's not important to prove any one group as "right"; what IS important is to simply help people become happier, regardless of their affiliations.
Here is a film based on that book:
Are You Happy?
Let's have a look around. Perhaps more of us are in the same boat than you think. There was a period in my life when I was definitely unhappy. Be honest with yourself (why did you come to this page?). Take this anonymous poll ...
Are You Truly Happy?
New Sections In The Works ...
What Other People Think - Does It Really Matter?
Valid and Effective Therapies (Short Term and Long Term)
More good news. There are many things that you can do yourself, or with a friend, that will remedy your barriers to happiness. Some of these remedies apply to short term situations that occur, such as a fight with a spouse or sudden grief from a loss, while others are aimed at at more lasting and permanent stability, gain and ability.
Kindness Keeps The World Afloat - It Can Start With You
Ultimately We Can Change Our Emotions
Our Deepest Fear ...
Does this ring true to you?
I will be adding to this article on a gradual basis but I wanted to get it started and published right away for people that are searching. Write any questions or requests or comments here and I will try to reply or I will address your subject in this article. Since I'm not an experienced writer, your comments may also encourage me to keep going! You can also message me on pretty much anything.