The purpose of life is to be happy – so says the Dalai Lama. Sadly, most people are not quite sure what happiness actually means. Is it having lots of nice things – nice home, second home, fancy cars, nice clothes, exotic holidays? Because, certainly over the last number of years, many people fell into the trap of evaluating their happiness based on these kinds of things – and of judging their happiness by comparison to what others had. Believe it or not, I had a client ’phone me a while back to tell me that his wife was going to leave him because and I quote ‘The neighbours go on better holidays!’ Wave her off, I said!
Happiness has nothing to do with having lots of nice things – it doesn’t exclude them, but they are not the be all and end all. Happiness is about having happy times or, as I say to my clients, ‘being gurdy!’ It’s a feeling you get when all is well with the world and your little piece of it. It’s a sense of wanting for nothing – not not wanting to travel to new heights on the wonderful adventure of life’s rollercoaster – but simply of wanting nothing more in this perfect moment.
Happiness is a now thing. Unfortunately, the normal mind is not present now, so it simply cannot experience happiness. Psychology tells us that the average mind is focused in the past (in particular on the childhood experiences that have made us who we are) and wandering in the future (either looking forward to something good, wanting for something that we haven’t got or worrying about something or other that we don’t want to happen). Under these circumstances it’s pretty much impossible to be happy – on an ongoing basis.
To be happy, you’ve got to become abnormal. Normal people couldn’t be bothered to turn up to their own lives – and there’s more than seventy years’ research to prove this conclusively. To achieve effortless happiness (oh and that includes effortless success) you’ve got to turn up to now – the only place and time that life is lived. You’ll need a focused and attentive mind to be present – there are many different ways of developing your focus and talent for paying attention. But your success and happiness depend upon it – they are directly linked to your ability to pay attention – again an ability that the normal mind will never master. You must relearn how to pay attention – it was second nature to you as a child when you experienced everything new by using all of your five senses. To be successful and happy you need to come to your senses all over again. Once you do, you won’t need to go in search of happiness – happiness will simply find you.