7 Steps to Achieving Happiness

7 Steps to Achieving Happiness

Achieving happiness and wisdom is so simple, almost too simple to believe. Yet true happiness seems to elude most. Most dictionaries define happiness like this: “Feeling pleasure, feeling or showing pleasure, contentment, or joy.” Aristotle said, “All human beings want ‘happiness,’ an active, engaged realization of their innate capacities.” The Declaration of Independence says that all men should have the right to the “pursuit of happiness.”

Where Does Happiness Come From?

It seems to me that happiness, though it might not seem this way, is a natural state of being, or as Aristotle said, “an active, engaged realization of their innate capacities.” If the state of happiness is an innate state of being, then why are most people not happy? Babies tend to be happier than adults. Why? Because they have not placed the focus of their consciousness on their thoughts about life. They have not yet developed thought, so they respond to life in a natural way. It is thinking that our thoughts represent reality that is the cause of most unhappiness. Thought, as I have said before, is at best an approximation of reality, and at worst a total distortion.

The life force, which is the creative energy that animates everything, experienced directly, with a minimum of distortion from our thoughts about life, produce what we call happiness. A moment when we bite into a perfectly ripe peach as we experience its taste, being in “The Zone” in sports, experiencing a beautiful place, or the unconditional love of a child, are examples of these moments of happiness. None include a lot of thought. Happiness comes from the direct experience of life as opposed to our thoughts about life.

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