Are You Trying Too Hard to Be Happy?

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Are You Trying Too Hard to Be Happy?

I’ve written three books so far on the topic of happiness—actually, all my books, whether fiction or nonfiction, hold the intrinsic idea that we are meant to be happy beings, but we are the ones getting in the way.


But how do we manage to do that? With all the self-help books, blogs like the one I’ve been writing since 2009, countless articles about “the pursuit of happiness,” how come we aren’t walking around practically delirious with happiness? If advice from someone else can’t make the change for us, then how on earth can we change ourselves from the inside out?


The reason for all this uncertainty is that many of us learned that happiness is something that must be earned, by doing something specific, such as being a really good person, or doing something unselfish for another person. But we are always cautioned that happiness is fleeting, that money can’t buy happiness, and don’t expect to have a happy marriage because that’s as rare as a purple penguin.


I think when we redefine happiness to be a very personal concept, then we open up the door to feeling happy. If we pin our happiness on outside conditions, or on what we hope someone else will do or say, then life becomes a roller coaster ride, where we are at the mercy of circumstances beyond our control.  Instead, when we look within, and make a decision to choose happiness as our attitude and outlook, then we find that the whole path gets a lot smoother.


No longer are we in thrall to what others do around us. We can become calm and enjoy contentment even during challenges that used to make us plummet into despair. When we understand that our emotions are indications of what we are thinking, then we can lead a more evenly paced life of feeling satisfied and happy, no matter what’s going on around us, or what news headlines are blaring at us with a negative message designed to keep us glued to the media for another terrifying update.


In addition, I think it’s important to allow happiness itself to ebb and flow, to experience moments of quiet contentment and also the higher moments of joy and exhilaration during certain events.


Esther Hicks, channeling Abraham, reminds us, “Don’t try to re-create peak experiences. Instead, just accept them as the gift that they are, and don’t beat up on yourself for not being able to stay there. Because if you stayed there, they wouldn’t be peak experiences. They would be normal, everyday in time hum drum boring, experiences. So, savor the peak experiences and compliment yourself upon your achieving of them, and expect more of them, and leave everything else out of the equation.”