Achieving Happiness

You’ve heard of Murphy’s Law, which says that whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Well, there’s another law, which says that left to themselves, things have a tendency to go from bad to worse.
When something is making you unhappy, for any reason, the situation will tend to get worse rather than better. So avoid the temptation to engage in denial, to pretend that nothing is wrong, to wish and hope and pray that, whatever it is, it will go away and you won’t have to do anything. The fact is that it probably will get worse before it gets better and that ultimately you will need to face the situation and do something about it.
There’s an old saying that you can’t solve a problem on the level that you meet it. This means that wrestling with a challenge is usually fruitless and frustrating. For example, if two people who are in a relationship together are constantly fighting and negotiating and looking for some way to resolve their difficulties, they are attempting to solve the problem on the wrong level. Dealing with the problem on a higher level, those people would ask the question, “In terms of being happy, is this the right relationship for us in the first place?” As soon as you begin to use happiness as your measure of rightness, you begin to see a situation entirely differently.
Many people work very hard and experience considerable frustration trying to do a particular job. However, in terms of their own happiness, the right answer might be to do something else, or to do what they are doing in a different place, or to do it with different people – or all three.
There are a few questions for you to answer in this topic of happiness. Many people refuse to even consider these questions because they are afraid that if they do, they won’t like the answers. But, have the courage to clearly define your life in your own terms. Write the questions down at the top of a sheet of paper, and then write as many answers to each one as you possibly can.
The first question is: “What would it take for me to be perfectly happy?” Write down every single thing that you can imagine would be in your life if you were perfectly happy at this very moment. Write down things such as health, happiness, prosperity, loving relationships, inner peace, financial security, travel, car, clothes, home, money, and so on. Let your mind run freely. Imagine that you have no limitations at all. Write everything down whether or not you think you have the capacity to acquire it or achieve it in the short term. Your first job is always to be clear about what it would take for you to have your ideal life.
The second question is a little tougher. Write down at the top of another page this question: “In what situations in my life, and with whom, am I not perfectly happy?” Force yourself to think about every part of your day, from morning to night, and write down every element that makes you unhappy or dissatisfied in any way. Remember, proper diagnosis is half the cure. Identifying the problematic situations is the first step to resolving them.
The third question will give you some important guidelines. Write down at the top of another sheet of paper these words: “In looking over my life, where and when have I been the happiest? Where was I, with whom was I, and what was I doing?
By asking and answering those three questions, you begin to delve deeper and deeper into yourself and your feelings.  You begin to accept your own happiness as a legitimate standard by which to evaluate everyone and everything in your life.  You begin to develop the wisdom, courage, and the foresight to organise your life in such a way that you become a much happier person.
Once you have the answers to those questions, think about what you can do, starting immediately, to begin creating the kind of life that you dream of. It may take you a week, a month or a year, but that doesn’t matter. Every single thing you do that moves you closer to your vision of happiness will be rewarding in itself. You will become a more positive and optimistic person. You will feel more confident and more in charge of your life.

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10 thoughts on “Achieving Happiness

  1. Great post – I love that there’s real advice which can be used to set things in motion! 🙂 x

  2. I love it!! I’m the kind of person who needs to have a plan with notes written out so these questions are perfect. I feel like this advice would really help me see what areas of my life need to change! thanks for the post!

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