happiness

Why Happiness Comes From Within

What defines our happiness?

It’s a common consideration. Many of us look outside ourselves to define our happiness, with things, distractions, events and experiences. And because of this many of us give our inner power away by placing it inside these externalities. Though, it’s not just a bad habit, it’s an understandable conditioning. Our consumer oriented society promotes and supports this way of life. Big companies want nothing more than for you to feel your happiness is dependent on what they provide. A recent soft drink slogan springs to mind which tells you to open your happiness. Governments want to support this lifestyle also, so they can sell patriotism and xenophobia. Perhaps even the executives of the company you work for want to sell you the idea that you are dependent on your job for happiness too. We listen to promises and hand over responsibility for our happiness to the world of things, others and circumstances.

Though ask yourself, what really makes you happy? For some let’s say your goal  at the moment is to buy your favourite flat screen TV. You attract to yourself the means to make this goal come to fruition all the while fantasizing about what it will mean for you to have it, to watch your shows in comfort, to play video games, to have friends over, to even watch movies with your kids. It represents the lifestyle you desire with which comes your happiness. But if you are sitting there one night watching your TV and there are no desirable shows to watch, and what you are watching seems to be broken up into an unreasonable amount of commercial breaks all of which just serve to irritate you. Then are you happy? Maybe it’s not the TV that brings happiness, maybe it’s the shows? The television network executives would love for you to believe that.

As another example of placing your power in externalities, think about the emotional rollercoaster of just being outside in the street for some people. Insecurities abound when our happiness and mood is dependent on the outside world of things, others and circumstances. Let’s say you are wearing your favourite clothes, your hair looks good, your skin looks good and you feel good because of how good you feel that you look. What if then you find that nobody is staring, nobody watches you pass, nobody double takes you? You will question yourself, your entire view of yourself will change, you may even start noticing flaws that stand out like a sore thumb when you look in the mirror. Your feelings of happiness are drained. For those who have these insecurities it could even ruin your enthusiasm and lust for life for the entire day.

Happiness does not come from these things. It’s illusory, there is nothing intrinsic to an object or effect that makes you feel good. It is because of who you believe you are inside and what you believe you want deep down and what you believe you should react to in order to be those things. All those ‘things’ which give you pleasure are just mirrors, reflecting back to you confirmations of who you think you might be. It’s no wonder that so many of us cannot answer the question with confidence when somebody asks ‘Who are you?’ because so many of us are trying to define ourselves, by the reflection we see in the things, others and circumstances we interact with.

The feelings of happiness you feel when you buy your favourite car, or receive compliments, or eat at an exclusive restaurant start within you; they are not aspects of the things, people and circumstances at all. It is all illusory. Even on the level of quantum physics we are finding that the physical material universe is subject to our consciousness, rather than us being subject to it in it’s organized chaos. Superposition tells us that all physicality exists in it’s every theoretical possible state simultaneously until it is measured or perceived and then it will show effects related to that measurement only. It’s easy to dismiss the deep wisdom in clichéd sayings like ’The world is what you make it’ but this is one of the few things that science and ancient wisdom are agreeing on; you become what you think about.

If you live in the hall of mirrors, only knowing what you are and that you are significant by analyzing the reflections all around you then you wont know where the real you is in all those different definitions of you. You will be lost in a labyrinth, looking for the laid out path, when the real way to freedom is to define it yourself.

Living a happy life starts inside you. If you know who you are, and need not the definitions of others to know yourself. When your drive comes from inside you, will be bold, and have no need for circumstances to be right, for people to support you, for things to make it easier. The eagle stares the cloudless sun in the face.

Ross writes on metaphysics, new science, self growth and primarily the law of attraction.

Photo credit: ‘Rainbow‘ by Big Stock

  • http://www.mazzastick.com/blog-3/ Justin Mazza

    Hey Ross,
    Good to see you guest posting here at PTB. Well said my friend. I buy things that I need for practical reasons mainly, because I learned a while back that “things” don’t equal long-term happiness.

    We can be happy for no reason at all, it’s a choice to do so.

  • ForthHorizons

    Really good article!

  • http://www.clintcora.com Clint Cora

    Happiness coming from within is especially important for those of us who are single.  We must always remember that we can’t rely on a future potential partner to make us happy.  It has to come from ourselves first regardless if there is a mate or not.  I just cringe whenever I hear somebody say that they wish they can find somebody to make them happy.  It’s the wrong type fo dependence.

    • Hulllindal

      Your right true happiness comes From in yourself First

  • Pseudonym

    This post seems like it’s coming from a point of economic privilege: the (questionable) arguments here apply only if the basics of survival have been met, like stable shelter, food and water.  It’s a lot easier to go on a mental quest for intrinsic happiness if you’re not starving to death, or, if like a yogi or mystic, you *choose* to live a life of extreme privation.  This implies a certain EXtrinsic latitude and freedom that many don’t have– the ability to have control over your economic conditions.

    There is a valid point in this article that gets lost in ridiculous statements like, “You attract to yourself the means to make this goal come to fruition all
    the while fantasizing about what it will mean for you to have it,” and “Governments want to support this lifestyle also, so they can sell patriotism and xenophobia.”  The INtrinsic elements of happiness *are* important and can be swallowed up by a materialistic consumer mentality, which is the only valid point I’ve been able to detect. 

    But EXtrinsic elements can be just as important.  One of the best things many can do for their mental and emotional health is to *purchase* a pet and love and care for it.  A connection to one’s spouse/significant other and/or children can be a major component of one’s happiness.  The *ability* to purchase said TV set in the above example can be a major component of happiness, even if the choice is made to forgo that luxury.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=886000353 Heather Chell

       I think you’re missing the key point here which is about the Law of Intention and Desire. Purchasing a pet with the intention of fitting in is of course much different than purchasing a pet to experience the joy of giving and receiving love.

  • http://www.thoughtful-self-improvement.com/ Natalie

    There have been many studies of happiness and the best balance between happiness and materials is the point just above where all needs for food, shelter and security have been met. 

    People with much more than the basics are not any happier than those just above it.

    I don’t remember which nation was deemed to have the highest proportion of their people rate themselves as being happy, but it was one of the “poor” nations.

    I think all this reinforces your position of happiness as being from within. I’ll go a step further and say that “happiness” is a state of mind people achieve by being optimistic.

  • http://www.thoughtful-self-improvement.com/ Natalie

    There have been many studies of happiness and the best balance between happiness and materials is the point just above where all needs for food, shelter and security have been met. 

    People with much more than the basics are not any happier than those just above it.

    I don’t remember which nation was deemed to have the highest proportion of their people rate themselves as being happy, but it was one of the “poor” nations.

    I think all this reinforces your position of happiness as being from within. I’ll go a step further and say that “happiness” is a state of mind people achieve by being optimistic.

  • http://www.communicationskillsactivities.net/ Steve

    Part of the difficulty is in defining what we mean by happiness. To some, happiness is like a momentary high. To others, it’s a lasting sense of peace. This causes unnecessary confusion.

    I think it’s safe to say that external things can never fully provide lasting inner contentment and peace of mind.

    I also was going to mention what Natalie said about the studies which show that happiness does increase with greater material wealth to a certain point and then after that the correlation stops being very strong.

  • http://twitter.com/gaelblanchemain Gaël Blanchemain

    I really liked your article,

    I think you did a great job identifying the true location of happiness. It’s funny to see how arbitrary that process is: we chose the object of our happiness, usually a disempowering one. And we do it unknowingly. That can be changed IF we become aware of that, and this article helps a lot doing it.

  • http://twitter.com/gaelblanchemain Gaël Blanchemain

    I really liked your article,

    I think you did a great job identifying the true location of happiness. It’s funny to see how arbitrary that process is: we chose the object of our happiness, usually a disempowering one. And we do it unknowingly. That can be changed IF we become aware of that, and this article helps a lot doing it.

  • Edel

    so how can we be trully happy? How do we know who we are?

  • Soul Sister

    what about who you’re surrounded by? there are plenty of people who are trapped in abusive situations. there are people who are surrounded by energy suckers but for them to escape it could cost them their lives so either way it seems there is no hope. what do you tell those people?

  • Mike

    This was great until you brought in the quantum woo.