Updated: Sep 24
People are either in a constant search for happiness or are waiting for it to arrive to them. We are constantly on the hunt for happiness in the form of all types of entertainment – socializing, holidays, drinking, movies, TV shows, sports, relationships, marriages, children, fulfilling work, exercise – the list is endless. We devote our entire lives to avoiding pain and moving towards happiness. Then there are those who simply wait for happiness to come to them, having given up on the search.
I fell under the latter category. None of these things people seemed to enjoy, I could find lasting happiness in. I was in search of a permanent source of happiness. I was tired of having any sense of happiness fade so quickly from condition to condition. But it also didn’t just come to me either. In fact, the more I rejected the worlds perception of happiness, the darker my mind became. So, I became thoroughly trapped within myself, imprisoned in my mind. So, I wondered,
“If I can’t find true happiness in these fleeting conditions, nor does it show up on my doorstep, then where can it be?”
I honestly sunk into despair and depression as the entire world around me became a dark and sour experience. I can’t say I ever lived, I just endured, and I had a good life, with good and loving people all around me. But nevertheless, it got to a point where it boiled over, and I thought
“this can’t be it… This can’t be life, can it? What the hell is the point of this? Why even bother living?”
"Happiness is an inside job"
Have you ever heard the above phrase? Buddhists devote their entire lives to it. People have written countless books around it. People have searched high and low for a way to understand it. But is it really that simple, and is it really possible?
Think back to when you were a child - carefree, no worries, no responsibilities. Maybe you had some traumatic experiences as a child, but in general, for most of us life was good. It was simpler. Why is that? Simply, you had less minds. Before I explain this, I want to use another example. Have you ever been to a developing country? I’ve been to several, and on the outside the people always seem to be much happier than people in first world countries. A recent study showed that Latin American countries and developing nations tended to score higher in happiness. Those with less, have less to complain about, and have more gratitude for what they do have. Again, they have less minds.
5 tips for finding unconditional happiness
1) Learn to self-reflect and let go of your false mind through meditation.
Self reflection is an invaluable skill. If you learn to reflect on the life you have lived through meditation, and abandon all your attachments, you’ll find effortless happiness. The less you have in your mind, the freer your mind, the more naturally happy you are. You have the eternal happiness within you, but it’s been covered over by the conditioning of life. This doesn’t mean to become an empty, lifeless vessel. Quite the opposite! It means to find yourself that is truly alive and live as that.
2) Go back to your childlike mind.
The great Universe, which is the source of happiness is within you. When you live from there as the Universe, you are always happy. You don’t need anything to make you happy. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy things – in fact you can enjoy and appreciate them more! It just means to let go of your conceptions of happiness, and everything in your mind so you’re not bound to those concepts. If you spend 48 weeks of the year resenting work and waiting for the 4 weeks of holidays you get in a year, you’re miserable for 90% of the year. Do you really want to live like that? If you’re not confined to the idea that holidays = happiness, then every day is a holiday! Your mind is like a child – everything is a new and happy experience.
3) Be grateful for everyday life.
Gratitude is the highest and most positive frequency of emotions. But it takes a lot of effort and is much easier with a clean mind. To be grateful every day is to appreciate everything – the good the bad, the highs the lows. If you can do that, you have mastered gratitude, but it's only truly possible with a pure mind like the Universe.
4) Find the meaning of life.
The meaning of life is to live forever. Within this is your purpose as a human being. It might sound unbelievable, but it’s actually possible, and it’s happening all around the world.
5) Help others.
When you help yourself, it’s fleeting. When you help others, you’ve made true happiness in the world, because it’s not just in your mind, but it’s in the mind of the one you helped. This is extremely energizing and an endless source of happiness.