You can either be happy, or…
Happiness is the ultimate purpose of human existence
Chapter one – where I invite you to do a reality check
Which one of the following sentences you ever said or thought:
- When I will have more money/no debts, I will be happy
- When I will have a bigger house/bigger car/bigger boobs, I will be happy
- When I will be healthier/thinner/more muscular, I will be happy
- When I will have a partner/child/dog, I will be happy
- When my partner/my parents/my boss will behave differently I will be happy
- When I will get a job/quit my job/start a business/finish my studies, I will be happy
- When … something will happen (insert any bucket list goal) … I will be happy
If any of the sentences resonates with you, you are in trouble!
We all are trained, conditioned and indoctrinated into believing that when we will:
- DO something (e.g. meditate, play, travel)
- ACHIEVE something (e.g. gold medal, management position, parents’ approval)
- HAVE something (e.g. a beach house, a child, the new iPhone)
- BECOME something (e.g. rich, married, famous)…
… THEN we will be happy.
But do we?
Chapter 2 – where I share a few of my ‘happiness experiments’
I don’t know about you, but I was striving for many things in my life – things to do, things to achieve, things to have and things to become… things I passionately believed would make me happy as a puppy.
But what I discovered is… that the more my IDEA of happiness was dependent
on doing, achieving, having or becoming… the more unhappy I became.
All along, as I was striving to do, achieve, have and become – I was acutely aware how much I’m not there (yet)… thus… unhappy, by definition.
And when I did DO (e.g. climbed the Kilimanjaro), ACHIEVE (e.g. got my driving license), HAVE (my dream house) or BECOME (a millionaire)… the feelings of pleasure and joy didn’t last long… often not more than a fleeting moment… and I was back to being mildly unhappy.
One New Year’s eve, looking back on an amazingly successful year, I got so annoyed with my inability to feel happy and content for even a moment that I set for myself a New Year’s resolution to find out what happiness is (for me), and how do I ‘get me some more’ of it.
So, for a whole year…
- Each morning, as I woke up, I would spend a few minutes asking myself, “what would make me happy today?” (nature, world peace and sex – not necessarily in this order)
- I would constantly ask people I admire, “what makes you happy?” (prayer, YouTube videos of kittens and sex – not necessarily in this order)
- Each day, I would mediate with the intention to experience happiness (one time I felt that I am happiness meditating with the intention to experience me… very deep… I know…)
And, after all the sitting in Lotus posture, the hikes, the prayers, the YouTube videos and all the sex… by the next New Year’s Eve… lo and behold… I was back to being unimpressively unhappy.
The pursuit of happiness only made it clearer that I’m not there yet.
The few moments I did experience joy, pleasure and even ecstasy were so short and blurred, they left me an irritating, faded, and quickly forgotten image – like a beautiful, impossible dream just seconds after waking up…
In frustration, I started to question, are pleasure, joy, ecstasy and bliss the same as happiness (as Hollywood movies, advertising campaigns and drug dealers push us to believe)?
OR… maybe happiness is something totally different?
Chapter 3 – where it’s time to commit or… go home
After spending enough time in frustrating inner search, I think I found an answer… and I’ll be sharing my (practical and down-to-earth) way of living happily in the next article (next week).
But until then… I would like to offer you a (potentially) life-transforming exercise.
It’s not for everyone, and if you’re one of those people who waits for life to spoon-feed you with shallow answers to mediocre questions, then I guess, this is a good time as any, to bid each other ‘goodbye’.
But if you understand (I mean, really get it) that your happiness is determined by the quality of the questions you ask yourself, then you’re ready for…
Chapter 4 – where you have a chance to be awesome
Here is your Awesomeness Assignment for today:
What is happiness (or the meaning of living happily) for YOU?
I want to hear from you!
Let’s teach each other and learn from each other.
Later this year I will share my vision for what I call, the “Modern Tribe” – where we become members of a group of like-minded individuals, sharing similar values – one of them is ‘contribution’.
By contributing to this discussion (by posting your thoughts about happiness in the comment box below), you’re becoming a member of a very special Tribe.
A Tribe that, I believe, will lead a movement that will… change… the world.
But more about this later…
For now… take a moment and post your thoughts about happiness in the comment box below. It can be a one-liner or book-chapter-long… as long as you thought about it for more than 15 seconds (which is significantly longer than the average person wonders ‘what is happiness’ in their entire life).
Ready To Design Your Own Life?
Join me, wednesday June 28th in The Netherlands, in my newest adventure: the Life Design Masterclass.
Living by design means living according to a plan in order to achieve your purpose in life.
Take the first steps in creating an empowering and effective Life Plan.
And that’s not all. I will also be launching my new book “Living by Design: 28-Day Journey to Create the Life of Your Dreams”
Can’t wait to meet you there!
Don’t miss this opportunity!
And until then…
Live fully, be awesome…