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How to Find Lasting Happiness in Your Everyday Life

How to Find Lasting Happiness in Your Everyday Life
Your imagination is taking you there again. You know to the 40th floor of your future executive office. You swirl around in your leathery office chair as you listen to the voicemails of all your friends, family, lover, or lovers. A knock interrupts your sexy voicemail message. It’s your secretary. “Are you ready for your butternut squash raviolis with nuts and honey sauce? I know we had the best chef in Chicago, but we had to let him go. Don’t worry though, we replaced him with the best chef in Europe.” You see the steam coming off your meal as you take in your first bite and the incredible view.


You snap back to reality. It’s Jim the employee of the month. The one who took your promotion. The one who loves to burp at you as he walks past your stuffy little office cubicle.

So the question you ask yourself is do I really need the executive office to be my happiest self or can I achieve the same level of happiness as I work on my computer tan stuffed in this tiny little cubicle?

If we rely on our external environment to make us happy, that happiness is fleeting. It’s short lived. Yes it can make you happier for a little while, but this level of happiness will eventually expire. Nothing in life is permanent. Everything is constantly changing. Your brand new BMW is looking good one week and has a huge dent in it the next week.

So how do we fill ourselves with more joy and less sadness? The answer: Turn your everyday experience into a constant spiritual practice. The closer you get to yourself the more peace you will discover. As you get better at growing spiritually your attention will be consumed by the energy field of deep peace instead of the thoughts that try to drag your attention away. Another name for these thoughts is your ego. You need to transcend the ego if you want to achieve lasting happiness. It’s that nagging voice of the ego that prevents you from enjoying life more. That voice is a magician at making problems appear. The ego always whispers reasons why your life isn’t good enough. How many times have you said, “If only I had this my life would be so much better.”? How many times have you got exactly what you wanted only to want something new shortly after? It’s never enough is it? The ego is an impossible guest to satisfy, so we might as well ignore him.

“The ego wants to want more than it wants to have. And so the shallow satisfaction of having is always replaced by more wanting.” – Eckhart Tolle

One of the most valuable things that help us maintain our psychological wellbeing is our perspective. If you’ve been through a lot of pain you can use the depth of your pain to compare to any situation. Each person has his or her own viewpoint on how good or bad a situation is. Even if the same exact thing happened to two different people, one of those people will view the situation as being worse. This all depends on what they’ve been through.

I heard one story of a black dude from the ghetto who worked at his friend’s moving company. He lugged around heavy ass furniture for ten hours a day in New York City apartments with no elevators. His next job he worked at Abercrombie and Fitch with beautiful white kids from upper middle class families. Because of the pain he endured previously, this job was paradise to him. The white kids on the other hand did nothing but complain all day.

This guy gained valuable insight and has experienced first hand how much worse life can bite. It’s easier for him to get excited about the little things in life than someone who experiences many of these little things on a regular basis. Those lucky enough to receive this abundance eventually become desensitized to the little things in life and require much more to make themselves happy. They require circumstances that don’t necessarily come around all that often. One of these middle class white kids may be complaining about how slow their laptop is, but someone else with a lot less would kick a bear in the nuts for that laptop.

We should aim for this deepened perspective by facing more painful situations. The more tough times we endure the easier it will be to enjoy the small stuff. The more small stuff we are grateful for, the more beauty we will be able to see in our lives.

Also realize that the Universe doesn’t owe you shit. There is no such thing as deserving. Who says you deserve something better? You have 24 hours everyday just like everyone else to make epic things come true in your life. Once you accept this, you are free as a bird. After this, you can put on your work hat and play your hand to the best of your ability. It’s that mental juxtaposition you imagine of a better life that threatens your current happiness. Instead you should be focused on the present.

Another way to become your happiest self is to focus on how a particular goal will make you feel internally, instead of focusing on the end result. Then go after that feeling until you reach it.

“So many of us pursue some end result -- whether it's a career, a possession, an achievement or a relationship -- because we think that this external circumstance will purchase the internal state we really want most in our lives. In fact, we probably believe that achieving the external circumstance is the only way we can have the inward states of love, joy and peace. But this is never true. In fact, it's one of the greatest lies on the planet.” – Alexander Loyd

Take working out.

Your true self probably doesn’t give a shit if you have washboard abs or not. If washboard abs were suddenly considered too try hard, no one would sweat that hard to achieve those results. You do it for the love. You do it for the attention. The problem is once you reach your external goal you will say to yourself – “Is that it??” Feelings of unfulfillment will seep in and you will go around searching for the next thing to fill up your emptiness. Remember, this feeling of emptiness is created by your ego and the ego is never satisfied for long.

So free yourself from the burden of comparing your life to your wishes and others. No matter how difficult your situation is, someone always has it worse. Use these dark times to deepen your perspective so that when life’s small blessings do arrive, you’ve been through enough to appreciate them. Even if you feel trapped in a cubicle with loud burps make it a deep spiritual practice. Every moment do your best to reside in the deep peace that exists in all of us. Realize that external circumstances are short lived and the real question you should be asking yourself is how will this goal make me feel? Use the present to achieve this feeling because it the only way to get closer to yourself and your dreams.

“Your intent is for the future, but your attention is in the present. As long as your attention is in the present, then your intent for the future will manifest, because the future is created in the present. You must accept the present as is. Accept the present and intend the future. The future is something you can always create through detached intention, but you should never struggle against the present.” - Deepak Chopra


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