Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happiness: Is it All In Your Head?


Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.
~Anonymous~


When we acknowledge the power that already exists within us to be happier we begin to tap into the inner resources available to us in the strength of our spirit to embrace happiness as a daily choice. The philosopher William James wrote, “The attitude of unhappiness is not only painful, it is mean and ugly. What can be more base and unworthy than the pining, pulling, mumping mood, no matter by what outward ills it may have been engendered? What is more injurious to others? What less helpful as a way out of difficulty? It but fastens and perpetuate the trouble which occasioned it, and increases the total evil of the situation. At all costs, then, we ought to reduce the sway of that mood, we ought to scout it in ourselves and others, and never show it tolerance.”

Life is comprised of endings and beginnings which will include pain and sorrow, love and happiness. No one should be expected to walk through life with a Pollyanna attitude towards life, however when we fail to monitor and manage our moods and there effect on others, we make our relationships with others much more difficult than they have to be. We don’t enjoy ourselves or our life as much as possible because we don’t take authority over our thoughts and emotions. This state of existence diminishes our ability to manifest the seeds of our greatness. Contrary to popular opinion, our happiness is based more on our internal states.  Gary Zukav wrote in The Seat of the Soul, “When we align our thoughts, emotions and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose and meaning…When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of the soul that is authentic empowerment.”


Finding Your Path to Happiness

One way for you to energize your soul is by getting from between your ears. Putting yourself in situations in which you are not the center of the world provides you with opportunities to see yourself and the world from a different perspective. Self-absorption diminishes your sense of hope and drains you of vital emotional energy and wounds your soul. Shifting the focus of your attention toward contributing value to others helps you to see the value of what you can do to make a difference. Increasing your awareness of the good that you are capable of doing builds your self-esteem and confidence. As you consistently contribute value towards meaningful purposes, your actions will serve as evidence that you are valuable and that what you can do makes a real difference. This evidence arms you with the assertiveness necessary to quiet the voice of your inner-critic, i.e. that voice in your head that is always pointing out “what isn’t right” about you or your life. It is difficult to enjoy your everyday life, when your mind is constantly tuned in to the frequency “WWWM, i.e., “what’s wrong with me” .

Stephen M. Pollan and Mark Levine, co-authors of , It’s All in Your Head: Thinking Your Way to Happiness writes, “When you denigrate yourself, you chip away at your self-esteem. Low self-esteem will affect your career, your finances and your personal life. It dooms you to unhappiness. When you’re constantly beating yourself up, you won’t have the self-assurance to try new things, to meet new people or to take risks and follow your heart. Constantly denigrating yourself establishes a pattern that leads to a life of regrets.” R.J. Ryan writes in The Happiness Makeover, “Happiness is a feeling that arises as a result of thoughts we choose to hold and actions we choose to take to increase those good thoughts - we think our way to happiness.” Ryan points out, “the mind is a powerful thing and its power can be used to make us happy or miserable. We can concentrate on how the world has done us wrong or the way it does us right. We can focus on where we’re stuck or how we’re free. And we can find ways to truly enjoy, even to relish the moment of our lives.”

There are many paths to increasing your sense of happiness. A few of them include:

ü  Looking at what you have with an appreciative mind and heart

ü  Taking action to change what you can and learning how to accept what you cannot change

ü  Smile more

ü  Regularly schedule activities that fuels your emotional energy tank

ü  Look for ways to be more generous and kind towards others without looking for them to return your generosity and kindness

In every moment of your life, you get to choose where you will focus your attention and energies and as a result, you control how you feel.  You have the God-given authority to stop the self-abuse of denigrating yourself. Don’t you think that the world is tough enough as it is without you being against yourself? Seeds of greatness dwell within you. When you engage your personal best with passion and on purpose, you will experience greater measures of happiness and success. As long as you continue to live beneath your potential, you may experience happiness from time to time but if you want your happiness to be sustainable, then you have to activate the best of your highest self. Increasing your happiness is all in your head. Sustainable happiness begins with raising your consciousness on happiness and ensuring that you have realistic expectations of yourself, others and life.

I leave you with this inspiring quote by William Arthur Ward:
“Do more than belong: participate.”
“Do more than care: help.”
“Do more than believe: practice.”
“Do more than be fair: be kind.”
“Do more than forgive: forget.”
“Do more than dream: work.”

It's Your Move ~ Aspire Higher