The problem with happiness stems from the fact that we try to find it in everything else but never from within ourselves. We expect a promotion at work, a sudden windfall of cash, or a new relationship to give us happiness. Those that chase material or external factors to be happy will never find it, and if they do find something they feel is making them happy, it often disappoints them like trying to cash in fools gold at the bank; the joy is always short-lived.
There are many factors in finding the happiness from within us, the most significant factor is believing that you are always in control of using it. To find happiness, you must be happy, it is within us, and it always will be. You will become what you think you are. If you think you are poor, you will be poor. If you think you are lonely, you will be alone. If you think you are small, you will play small. If you think you are happy… you will become happy.
There was once a point in my life where I continually chased happiness in buying stuff. I was an avid collector of hockey memorabilia and the thrill of the hunt to surround myself with more stuff made me feel like I was happy. At one point I even bought a Ford Mustang that I had convinced myself that by driving it in the open air, I was chasing happiness. I never could catch up to it with my hockey stuff or that sports car. I was addicted to the dopamine hits that buying all of that stuff gave to me, I was chasing the fix, not happiness.
Dopamine is called the “happiness hormone,” and it is released when we become excited. Like when we buy a new car, house or enter a new relationship. When it is released inside our brains, we think we are happy, but really we are just on a high. If deep within we are not feeling happy thoughts and the crash of dopamine hits, we can fall into deep and uncontrollable sadness. While dopamine is a great mood booster, it is not a state of mind.
Bliss comes from within, it is never a result of external forces. Work on yourself every day by practicing positivity and seeking it in everything that happens to you. Understand that external forces that make us feel happy are like the morning coffee that jolts us awake, but continual positive thoughts is a deep sleep that we should have had the night before. Both make us happy, but only one is sustainable.
This blog post is part of a series of 26 that focuses on finding your inner happiness. Please check out the rest of the series here: The ABC’s of a Happy Life