By Daniel Chidiac
There is one certain myth when it comes to happiness, and it leads to confusion and disappointment for all who embrace it. It causes us confusion, to question who we are, and to go in circles.
The myth? That true happiness can be obtained.
Have you ever bought a new car or a watch, and then, after a month or so, you realize that it’s just a car or a watch? Those materialistic purchases only seem to bring short-term satisfaction and do nothing but send us mad trying to figure out how we are going to get the next fix. We go on a vacation, find a partner, eat food we like, sit in a comfortable chair, or make more money to try to make us happy. When we spend the money, come back from the vacation, or finish our favorite meal, we are unhappy once again. All of these external aspects of life are restricted by other people’s behavior, the environment, social status, time, appearance, and so on. With so many limitations, is it any wonder that your so-called happiness seems to come to a halt on a regular basis?
Shift your focus towards things that really matter in life, and you will notice your power to create true happiness.
While I was in Thailand, I met a multimillionaire who had twelve strong businesses in several countries. He also was the owner of a number of suit shops there, and I bumped into him while he was on vacation but checking up on the stores. If you have ever been to Thailand, you will know what I’m talking about when I say that the guys at the suit shops are pretty hard to get away from. But, it was all in good fun because I ended up buying a few.
I was discussing true happiness with one of the workers there, and he said, “That’s what makes you happy,” pointing at a screen saver of a Lamborghini on the store laptop. The other guy, who I didn’t know was the store owner and owner of that very Lamborghini, said, “That hasn’t made me happy.”
We began chatting, and he offered to take me to lunch.
I found out that this great achiever who had millions of dollars was one of the unhappiest people I had ever met. I discovered that this man had been chasing what he thought was happiness his whole life only to be faced with nothing but emptiness. No matter what he obtained, it never fulfilled him.
I shifted his focus to allow him to see that happiness was right there within him the whole time. That same attitude he takes when going to buy a new car should be the same one he takes into everyday life. I’m glad to hear that his progress is outstanding and that he is contributing to his country for the first time in his life.
The only way to true happiness is to recognize that it has always been attained.
It was never those particular things that made you happy; it was always your choice of attitude in the face of them. If you believe that your happiness lies in certain circumstances or “things,” then how could it be that they also bring you pain? We hear a strange noise coming from the car engine, scratch the new watch, or the food isn’t as we expected, and, all of the sudden, our outlook changes instantly.
If you decide to look at the worst things in life, you are choosing to be unhappy. If you command your focus toward what’s great in life, even in the face of challenges, you will produce emotions accordingly. As time goes on and the more you do this, the stronger and more emotionally intelligent you become. However, as we all know, this is life, and it’s just not that easy at times.
My theory about happiness is simple: I am content with knowing that I will not always be happy. That is my happiness.
I have come to accept that life is not made up of the stereotypical happiness that society has created. To reach the pedestal that social happiness is put on, it must mean we are in that bubbly, enthusiastic mood, or, at least, that’s the common notion. And if we are not, then it means we are sad. Nothing is further from the truth. How about when you are in a mood of complete concentration and don’t want anyone to interrupt you? Would you say you are not happy then? I wouldn’t because life has never been just two emotions: happy or unhappy. It even gets to the point where friends and family will ask you what’s wrong when you are just sitting there. Do I have to be sad or feel as though something is wrong to just sit on my own for five minutes? You must eliminate the concept that society has created about “happiness” and accept all emotions as a part of life.
True happiness is not subject to the circumstances you are in. It is subject to the attitude you choose to have in those circumstances.
Excerpt from ‘Who Says You Can’t? YOU DO'(coming soon) by Daniel Chidiac