by Wendy Keller, student of life
If you ask most people what they need, the first answer is “More money!” This is true whether they are barely paying their bills or trying to make the mortgage on their fourth mansion.
But what do you really need? What would truly make you happy?
If you strip down why you want money (or love, or a new motorbike, or a baby, or more career success or…) the bottom line will be because you think it will make you happy. But happiness is an emotion, and it has nothing to do with other people, money or things. We think it’s based on those things, but this article will show you it is not. You don’t actually need anything else to be happy.
Here are 3 steps for moving from Need-Based Living to Happiness With What You’ve Got:
1. Get in touch with negative feelings inside you. Negative feelings steal your happiness. You can’t fix them until you notice them, so pay attention. You might have feelings of depression, sadness, anger, guilt, fear or self-hatred. Maybe you feel hurt or tricked or like your life is worthless. Feel those feelings. They’re what’s stealing your happiness.
2. Understand that the feeling is INSIDE you, not outside in the world. There are people living in cardboard boxes in India who are happier than you are. We all spend time, energy, money and focus trying to change external things. We say, “When I fix this, that and the other problem, I’ll be happy. I NEED to do these things first, get a better car, a better spouse, better kids, a better job, THEN I’ll be happy.” Uh-uh. That’s not how it works. Negative feelings are in you. Nothing outside of you can make you feel bad without your permission. Nothing. If you disagree, ponder the concepts in this article for a few minutes.
3. NEVER identify your self with the feelings you’re having. Never say, “I am hurt” or “I am depressed” or “I am worthless.” You can say, “I am feeling hurt” or “I am feeling depressed.” That’s fine. That’s a statement of fact at the moment. But you are NOT your feelings. Your feelings happen to you from inside you. Leave your feeling be. Leave it alone, don’t pick at it and don’t take it out on others. Every feeling passes. Your happiness will pass, your sadness will pass. Emotions just move back and forth in all of us. If you seek out only good times, big thrills, lots of fun, get ready for the opposite: your emotional hangover. If you live on the pendulum, remember that it swings both ways.
You want all these things, all this money. You want people and external circumstances to change. Wake up! Stop! You don’t need all this stuff, you can be really, truly happy without them. Happiness is an inside job.
As humans, we think if we can just get the world set up perfectly, then… But this isn’t so! We say, “I feel good because my world is right.” No! The world is right, it is what it is, and you are content…because you feel good. You can learn to detach from the external and focus on your internal happiness setting.
Here’s the trick to happiness: You just need to be loving – abundantly, endlessly loving to the world, the people around you, and yourself. That’s what generates happiness. Try it for the rest of the day – you’ll see.
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Thanks for reading!