CREATING UNSHAKABLE HAPPINESS

Everyone wants to be happy.

Well, most people I’ve met want to be happy. I won’t say everyone because I am sure that there are certain people out there who want to be sad and hey, if they are happy being sad, then let them be sad… and be happy about it.
If you are happy to be sad, then are you sad or happy? My brain hurts.

For those of us who want to be happy, it can seem like an impossible goal at times.

Someone new comes into your life and you are ecstatic. You get a new car and you take any excuse to go for a ride because you love it. Maybe you even earned a promotion and everything is looking up in life!

But then that person ends up hurting you, that car costs more in insurance, and that promotion has a lot more work with only a minor increase in pay.

How can we be happy when there is always a good and a bad side to every situation we encounter?

Happiness must come from within.

If your happiness comes from anywhere but inside yourself, it can be taken away.

I’m not saying that you should never allow yourself to feel happy because of the people and things around you, I’m just saying that you should strive to achieve a baseline happiness that comes from within yourself.

That way when things go wrong in life—which they will, often—you will be able to take it in stride and learn from it, without it destroying your happiness.

If you want to develop a baseline happiness that emanates from within yourself, like anything else, it will take conscious effort. The most important step you can take towards this goal is to understand what we generally attach our happiness to.

The person (relationships), the car (material objects), and the promotion (goals).

The Person: Relationships.

I’ll let you in on a secret, I have a bit of a crush on someone.

For the past year I have consciously avoided girls because I have wanted to focus on my dreams. From the ages of fifteen to twenty two I never spent much time out of relationships.

I thought that having someone special in my life was integral to my happiness. The problem with thinking that anything outside of yourself is integral to your happiness is that the outside object is bound to fluctuate, and cause your happiness to fluctuate with it.

Every time my significant other would be distant, or things wouldn’t be working out exactly as I wanted, I would spiral downward. It would ruin my mood for days at a time.

Now I have a crush on someone and when things don’t go exactly as I want, I can feel the negativity knocking on my mental door.
Though this time, it is different.

Now I have learned that you can and should allow the people in your life to give you those amazing happy feelings, but you should never base your happiness on those people.

Take in the positive, but when you feel the negativity creeping in, remember that you are enough of a reason to be happy. No person can affect your baseline happiness if it emanates from within you.

The Car: Material Objects.

How many people think they would be happy if they only had all of the material things they want in life.

A new car, a new house and some diamonds sure do sound like they would make you happy! The truth is, that is just not the case.

You’ve heard a millions times that the richest people on the planet can often be the most depressed, and that the poorest can often be the happiest. If that is true, then how can material objects be the key to happiness?

The problem with material objects is that once you have them, the happiness will wear off over time.

When you first get that new flashy car, you will love driving it. You’ll jump at any opportunity to take it out for a spin just so you can show it off.

But humans aren’t thermometers. If you put a thermometer into cold water, it will read the water’s exact temperature no matter how long you leave it there. Move it to warmer water and it will indicate the exact temperature there as well.

Now, if you stick your hand in cold water and then warm water, the warm water will feel piping hot because you just had your hand in cold water. But leave your hand in that warm water for long enough and it will feel normal.

What am I trying to say here? Humans are sensitive to novelty and change, but novelty wears off in time and because the norm.

You had a crappy car and then bought a great car, awesome!

But a year after your purchase while you’re stuck in traffic, you won’t be thinking about your amazing car. The novelty will be gone and you will feel the same as if you were stuck in traffic in your old car.

The same principal applies to all material possessions. They will feel piping hot at first, but eventually they will be the norm and the novelty will be gone.

The Promotion: Goals.

This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way.

When Leroy and I started our blogs the world didn’t bat an eye. No one cared.
But we were happy.

Then eventually we started getting a like or two. From then on, if we didn’t get any likes on our content we would feel like failures.

Then we started reaching some of our goals like getting two hundred views on a post, after that anything less was a disappointment.

The problem with basing your happiness on reaching your goals is that every time you reach a goal, you want to reach further, and again, you aren’t happy unless you do.
And once you do, your expectations are raised again!

You can’t win a race if the finish line keeps moving, and you can’t base your happiness on your goals if your goals always grow.

Again, I’m not saying that you can’t allow yourself to be happy because you have someone new in your life, you got a new toy, or you reached a long sought after goal. I’m just saying that you should never base your happiness on these factors.

I encourage you to cultivate a sense of inner happiness that relies on no outside factors.

Allow happiness to come from outside but when negativity tries to enter, remember that your happiness is based in yourself, not on anything else.

 Be happy because you deserve to be happy, regardless of outside circumstances.

With love,
Steven Farquharson, 2HelpfulGuys 

62 thoughts on “CREATING UNSHAKABLE HAPPINESS

  1. I suppose it also depends on how you define happiness…what is happiness really? I know ‘happiness’ is just a word…we use to communicate…and not easily defined…so I am not referring to your usage here. Happiness can be many things…being present…a feeling of peacefulness…excitement etc. I do think it depends on how someone defines their individual ‘happiness’…what makes them happy….whatever that is? The point being…along with what you’re saying…it is also important to differentiate between what we might think happiness is…or what we’ve been told it is…and to let go of any definition…or expected feeling…just breathe a ‘be’…as best you can. I agree with you…when ‘you’ are happy…it’s the ‘you’ making it so. (a quick response to a very large idea…happiness) :o)

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I completely agree with you. Everyone can have a different version of what “happy” means to them. When you find what being happy is to yourself as an individual you can reach for that more easily. Whether it is relaxing with tea, being with friends, or just ‘being’. Happiness is a massive subject with so many different angles, I have written many thousands of words on the subject and I still haven’t scratched the surface. Thank you for adding to my perspective on the subject! 🙂

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  2. Exactly something that was worth reading. Great! Perfect! Amazing! That’s the place we all need to get to. And my inner joy and happiness comes from Jesus!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m not saying that you should never allow yourself to feel happy because of the people and things around you, I’m just saying that you should strive to achieve a baseline happiness that comes from within yourself.

    The above resonates with me, I’ve spent so many years keeping others happy, that I’ve lost the art of happiness/contentment, which is my next goal.
    (as an aside I’ve just written a post along these lines, it seems that Christmas brings about these feelings in most.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This time of year can definitely bring out some powerful emotions. It is a time of reflection and expression. I’m so happy that my words have resonated with you, I have also spent too much time trying to make someone else happy. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The problem I have with desiring happiness is that it’s an emotion (like sadness) and I think it’s a mistake to have the maintenance of any emotion as a goal since our emotions inevitably fluctuate. Instead, I seek–happy or sad–to find a way to be at peace with myself. :~)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I really appreciate this, Steven. I’ve had exactly the experience you describe regarding blogging since I began six weeks ago. It’s kind of embarrassing, so I’m glad to know I’m not alone, and to be reminded that basing happiness on externals — including response to your work –is a good way to sap all joy from the creative process. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yeah, basing your happiness on the response you get can be a deadly trap. I wrote for seven months with almost no response on anything, so I know the feeling. Keep going, and do it for the expression of it, not for anything else. 🙂

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  6. There was a time in my life (earlier this year and past one too) when my happiness fluctuated a lot because I was basing it upon others. I learned the lesson a real hard way. And I am working on that. This post is certainly a very helpful way for those who still haven’t learned the lesson to be happy. Always find a reason to be happy in any situation. Trust me, there always is something to be happy about in even the worst circumstances. As always, I loved your post.

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    1. I think quite a few of us have learned these lessons the hard way, but at least that way they will stick. I have had a long history of basing my happiness on everything external. It can be a deadly trap. Thank you for the appreciation and thank you so much for sharing your insight.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems that is the way most advice works. That is why I write, to remind myself as often as possible. It’s an uphill battle that you have to fight many more times than you’d like. Thanks for joining in on the conversation, I appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I run my own website at http://dotcamom. It’s web authoring tool is WordPress.org. I don’t get WordPress.com followers anymore. The free WordPress.com blogs get advertised to the WordPress.com bloggers. So a .com blog will have a 1000 WordPress.com bloggers subscribed to it while a .org run website is not part of the WordPress.com blog community and isn’t advertised to the .com blogger community.

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  8. Also about happiness:

    You might as well expect aspiring goals is a pursuit. So a pursuit of happiness is self-defeating. But to set a goal and then earn it and be satisfied with it is sustainable.

    What will make you crazy is a pursuit of one goal, then another, and then another. Never settling makes you ungrateful because a present goal, which you earned, is less valuable to you. Or you always want a future goal and are never happy with the present goal that you have.

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  9. The moment that the penny drops that happiness does not come from another person, a target reached, money or any other external thing is the moment that you can truly start to be responsible for your own happiness. Great post!

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  10. I used to rely on others for happiness and found i was more unhappy than i ought to have been. Now I’m at a point where I’m learning to have a happiness that isn’t reliant on external factors and although it isn’t easy, I feel so much better.
    I’m glad you wrote this 🙂 x

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  11. Awesome points! Happiness must come from within–nothing wrong with external factors contributing, but I agree that you are in for a train wreck if you depend on them. I’ve been working on “letting go” of the things that once brought me joy but are no longer in my life. Thank you for the reminder to be open to the joy that life brings, but not clinging onto it with expectation.

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  12. Dudes – yet again a fabulous article. Being a normal human (albeit supreme) being I tend to dip into downs and depression if not careful. I try to ensure as you heartily recommend that my happiness is based on inner harmony rather than others emotions. It works. It makes life easier. Oh my life is so much easier when I let go of all that. 🙂 As for goals – I need them to function and grow, but if I don’t meet or exceed them I value the journey and effort and growth or change I have under gone in the attempt at reaching them. I have learnt to shrug off disappointment and accept that at least I tried and I am nearer my goals and no worse off. Hope you have a fabulous Christmas and new Year. x

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  13. If you understand your core values and make choices that support those values, happiness tends to flow. If your partner doesn’t share your core values, it will be a rocky road. If financial security is a core value, the new car over budget will undermine your happiness. If your core value is professional growth and you take a job that offers a higher salary and nothing else, that opens the door to unhappiness. Be true to yourself.

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  14. Hello – great blog!

    Love the part – “Now I have learned that you can and should allow the people in your life to give you those amazing happy feelings, but you should never base your happiness on those people”

    It’s very true – I think too often peoples happiness, I’m guilty as charged too, is too reliant on others. I think everyone should be happy within – i.e. find what makes them happy and stick to it, in order to help maintain happiness on a daily basis. Other people should merely help develop that happiness, and never should they ruin it or become a factor which is the reason for it.

    Anyway, I’m rambling – great blog – made me think about a few things 🙂

    Nice wee wednesday read – thanks.

    Maxine x

    Like

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