Wouldn’t it be great if the instructions about authentic happiness were listed on our birth certs' like the directions on a flat pack.
In many cases showing a happy exterior to strangers, work mates and even
family is what we do despite our possibly less than happy feelings.
We usually do not want most people we interact with to detect that we may be unhappy about some aspect of our lives.
But this can also change – something “good” happens and we do feel happy. Our feelings about the less than perfect aspects of our lives are put on hold. There is now no faking it; now it is possible to smile at strangers and be generous to our work mates and family.We may even think we have found the secret of how to become happy.
But life is life and inevitably something “bad” happens and more than likely its back to playing the happiness role again.
This is where we could really use those instructions about happiness sadly missing from our birth certs'.
So is happiness just something that ebbs and flows with events in our lives or can it be a constant companion sustaining us through life?
“Anyone can be happy when life is going well.
It takes a warrior to be happy when life is hard”. - Dan Millman
This quote in some ways states the obvious but if you can become what Dan Millman calls a “warrior” perhaps it is possible to be happy no matter what.
The fact is that there are many “warriors” out there who can sustain happiness no matter what – they hold the secret of happiness.
One such man was Viktor Frankel author of Man’s Search for Meaning and survivor of the Holocaust. In his book he says -
“But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to “be happy”. Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically”.
Another “warrior” was Hellen Keller someone blind and deaf from infancy who went on to author13 books, write countless articles, and devote her life to social reform. She said-
So based on what these two “warriors” believed and practiced it is possible for each of us to build our own instructions on how to keep authentic happiness in our lives.
Standing back and asking some questions can help clarify personal views and feelings about happiness –
* Do you feel more comfortable with unhappiness as a “secret” way of life while playing a happiness role for others?
* Do you feel trying to find happiness is self centered?
* Do you feel guilty striving to be happy when many people are less fortunate than you?
* Will unhappiness help you to turn around everything that is “not ok”?
Most of us may not be warriors when it comes to happiness but by honestly answering questions like these we may be able to build our own blueprint on how to be happy.
My blueprint Looks Something Like This
Your personal blueprint may give you the list missing from your birth cert and a sense of what to do may be clearer. But as usual the “what to do” is most likely easier to establish then the “how to” do it.
But this is the key – don’t chase happiness, as Viktor Frankel says – “it must ensue” – that is it must follow, develop, or arise from your attitude to life. So using your own blueprint to allow yourself to create a new positive attitude whenever you can will surely help you find a reason to choose happiness.