03 Sep Happiness is uncovering what you already have
I love Zen Habits and I love sharing their great articles with you…
…and today I'm happy to bring you yet another wonderful posting on happiness and how we all have it within us.
Happiness is Uncovering What You Already Have
Post written by Leo Babauta.
When I set out to convert my unhappiness with my life into happiness, about 7 years ago, I had some ideas about how to do it.
I was going to get out of debt and lose weight and get a better job and declutter my house and get into shape and become productive and write a book.
And I actually did all those things and much more. It was great. They changed my life, and I’m very happy now.
Those things, however, didn’t get me happiness.
What I learned is that I already had all I needed for happiness, but it was buried beneath my insecurities, my discontent with my life, my loathing of my body and myself. I already had it, but it was all covered up.
Happiness is the uncovering of what you already have.
You have all you need for happiness, right now. You don’t need to change anything about yourself, or your life. You just need to see what’s already there.
Let me show you what I found out about myself, and how I became happy.
Changing My Life
When I set out to become happy, I wanted to change my life. I had an ideal life that I wanted to create, and I thought if I created that life, I would be happy.
It’s all a fantasy. We all do it: we fantasize all the time about the ideal partner, the ideal kids, the ideal job, home, car, computer, clothes, travel, furniture, TV, and of course, body. If we have these ideal things, this perfect fantasy, we’ll be happy, right?
Well, no. Because first, the fantasy can’t ever come true. We can believe we’re making it come true, but the reality will never match up with the fantasy.
For example, I learned this because while I decluttered and created a minimalist home, it didn’t automatically give me a feeling of contentedness. I needed to learn that separately.
Decluttering, however, did teach me a lot: I learned about why I was holding on to things (fear), and learned that the fears were unfounded. I learned that I could do well even without all that false security, and that I was already strong enough to live life without a lot of unnecessary things.
I still recommend simplifying your life, not because of the fantasy life you think you’ll create, but because you learn about yourself.
When I lost weight, I was still unhappy with my body. It still wasn’t perfect. And let’s be honest: it will never be perfect, in the sense of matching the fantasy of the cover models you see on men’s magazines. I’ll never match up to that fantasy.
But losing weight taught me that I could enjoy eating healthier and exercising. I learned that these weren’t as scary as I thought, and that food is not needed as a crutch for stress, fears, loneliness, boredom and the like.
This was true in every area of my fantasy: I learned that striving for the fantasy didn’t ever work, that I could never get there, that even if I got close, I wouldn’t be happy. But I learned along the way that I didn’t need my old baggage, and that everything I needed for happiness was already in my possession.
What You Need for Happiness
So what does make you happy? What do you need for happiness?
…keep reading the full article HERE