What do we really desire more than anything?
What is it that drives us to do incredible feats?
To travel the world?
To climb mountains?
To help a friend in the middle of the night?
What is it that motivates us to do things that are out of our comfort zone?
It may seem trite, but the answer is simple.
We just want to be happy.
We just want that feeling of joy we feel when we are surrounded by beauty.
Or are held by a close friend.
Or we see someone we love getting the recognition they deserve.
It warms our hearts.
It brings a smile to our face and we may even laugh.
The trap we all fall into from time to time is to make our happiness dependent on something or someone else.
It is a an easy trap to get caught in.
It seems to make sense.
Something good happens and we are happy.
Something bad happens and we are not.
The trap is in the defining of things as good or bad.
In making one thing right and other thing wrong.
Yes, some things may feel much better than others.
Yet do we really have the perspective to know if something is ultimately good or bad?
Some of our greatest struggles have been our greatest teachers.
In fact, they are the very thing that drives us to change, to improve, to do something else.
So how bad are they really?
If we could view our lives from a 1,000 year perspective, would we have the same judgments?
Suddenly, the very things we thought were so horrible turn out to be our biggest gifts.
So then how do we know when to be happy?
When we change our perspective from making our happiness dependent on something and instead make it a gift we give ourselves, we can be happy at any time.
For there is always something we can focus on that is happy for us.
If nothing else, the fact that we are alive and breathing can be enough to produce a smile.
How many people have lived so that we could be born?
How many ancestors do we have, that if one of them had not lived we would not be here?
Is that not cause enough for celebration?
If we recall a happy memory our state is instantly changed.
We are suddenly happy.
And we can do that anytime we wish.
We don’t have to be happy all the time.
We have a whole range of emotions to feel.
We can, however, choose to be happy whenever we want.
As long as we know that it is not dependent on anything else.
~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant