How Happiness Works

Saints, sages and shrinks have shared many ideas about happiness. I’ve synthesized what I’ve learnd and experienced into this short essay.

As a thinking adult, I’ve made it my life’s mission to understand and experience happiness. Of course, Life has thrown me curve balls, rapids, fun fairs, tricksters and tail winds, and yet, I am happy.

In my work as an NLP and Coaching Trainer I’ve been privy to many stories of weird and wonderful conditions and people life brings, and I’m always amazed at the innate resilience people show when the decide to show courage. “How does one decide this?” you may ask. Firstly, you need to know that you have choice and secondly, use that freedom and make the choice …over and over and over again.

Over the years I’ve noticed that people who overcome circumstances, feelings and thoughts have something that the ones who don’t, haven’t. Connectedness. The overcomers of even the ghastliest of conditions, are the ones who know they are part of something bigger. The ones who continue to struggle feel alone and isolated, like life is a battle to be fought. And is the difference that makes the difference!

When we understand that we are internally connected to everything and everyone else, we also understand that we can never be alone. It is an impossibility.

Take a moment and look at your hands. Come on…go ahead. Now, ask yourself “what is looking through my eyes?” What do you think is in there using your eyes to see? It is you! It is the you that is the experiencer of whatever you are experiencing in this moment. It is the you that is choosing your responses and your emotional state.

Happiness is not something we find in others or in things. It is a state that the one using your eyes from your inside can and wants to experience, regardless. How? By giving.

The kind of giving I’m talking about, is the giving of yourself. Give love, give recognition, give hope, give opportunity, give forgiveness, give friendship, give cooperation, give whatever you can, because all your gifts will return to you in abundance.

Know that inside of each person, is that same thing looking through their eyes and experiencing their lives. Perhaps, just perhaps, your gift is what they desperately need in order to be seen, to be recognized. Perhaps your gift will make others remember who they are. I think this is the greatest gift of all gifts – giving people back to themselves. And the more we give others back to themselves, the more we become whole and happy.

I challenge you to take this day and decide to be happy. Decide to think good and kind things, so that you can act accordingly. Recognize beauty and acknowledge it. Give up holding back. Give your gifts freely and feel how happiness is birthed inside of you. Keep on giving, for it is the only way to grow your happiness.

My wish for you is that the attitude of giving moves happiness from a fleeting state to a more stable trait.