Has this ever happened to you too? You read or you hear something in passing, but then the words just stick, spinning round and round in your mind?
I had that with this quote from Ricky Gervais:
“Happiness is the only success that really matters, and the one that your critics are most jealous of.”
The man may be a television comedian and not a philosopher, but traditionally the fool has always spoken far greater truths than any learned man in the kingdom.
“Happiness is the only success that really matters”
That’s so very true, but it also begs the question:
What is happiness, really? How do you define it? What is it that makes you truly happy?
Is it the size of your car, or the value of your house? The amount of money you have in the bank (or hidden away under your mattress)?
No, of course not. You and I both know that. Material things can make our life more comfortable, but they don’t bring you proper happiness, do they?
So how about friends and family? A lasting relationship with a soulmate?
You might be tempted to start nodding your head at those. Because surely, these people make us happy, don’t they? (most of the time anyway)
But hang on. Does that mean someone who’s single can’t be happy? Or that your happiness increases the more friends you have?
Nope, that’s not how happiness works either.
So what is the key to achieving real joy and happiness in your life?
Being able to feel happy for no apparent reason!
Okay, that may sound silly. Stupid even. But just think about it. As long as your happiness depends on something external (your car, your house, your friends, your partner, the weather), you will never be truly happy.
Because all the time you’re at risk of losing your happiness. Circumstances change. People leave. And if you’ve built your happiness on that foundation, it’ll come tumbling down like a house of cards.
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t attach yourself to the people you care about. By all means, love them and love life as much as you possibly can.
But don’t let them become your sole source of happiness.
Your first and most important source of joy… should be you. Joy and happiness come from the heart. It wells up from that place deep inside of you, like an infinite spring of water. And it doesn’t need a reason to flow. It’s always there. Because it’s your natural state.
There are many ways to get in touch with that unstoppable flow. Personally, I use spiritual means like meditation and energy work to connect with my source of joy.
The idea is always to clear your mind of the regular stream of silly day-to-day thoughts. To make way for the sound of your heart.
You don’t need to become a zen buddhist to get in the right state of mind ;-)
At first, it only takes a minute of your time. And the clear intention to reach out and connect with your own source of joy.
If you need me to give you a little push, I’m here for you.
Image credit: William Warby on Flickr