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We all want to be happy. In his book “Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart”, Dr Gordon Livingstone tells us that for most of us, having something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to are the three basic things that make most of us happy. Having held many vision board workshops over the years, I have to agree with him. On every vision board, I see the desire for enjoyable and meaningful work, for a loving partner and things to look forward to in the future. And yet there will be times in our lives that we don’t have one, two or even all three of these things in our lives. How, then, can we be happy? To quote from my recent publication A Shift to Bliss:

“True and lasting happiness doesn’t come from a desired outcome. If you are relying on a desired outcome for your happiness, it will be short-lived. True happiness can only be found from within and it follows that this inner fulfilment will create your outer fulfilment.”

Although we have been conditioned to believe that certain things will make us happy, but we each have the power to generate our own happiness no matter what is happening in our lives. We cannot get true happiness from “out there”! It’s not what happens to us that creates our happiness or our unhappiness; it is what we think about what happens to us that creates our happiness or unhappiness.

Our fearful ego mind, always in the vibration of lack and looking for what is missing, has all sorts of habits and tricks to keep us feeling unhappy, and here are the most common:
Not being present – dwelling on the past or anticipating the future stops us from being fully in the moment. When we can be fully in the moment, we discover most of the time that all is well in that moment!

Obsessing over the destination and not the journey – we all have goals and dreams, but if we focus too much on a future outcome, we can forget to enjoy the now … life really is a journey, and very often the destination isn’t as rosy as we had anticipated.

Resisting the What Is – challenges are a part of life. By accepting everything that happens in our life, we work with it and not against it. Whatever we resist, persists. By accepting things as they are, paradoxically, we are more likely to bring about positive change.

Misaligned action – if what we are doing is in conflict to what we really want and who we want to be, we won’t be feeling happy. Conversely, if what we do is in alignment with what we really want and who we want to be, we will be feeling a sense of purpose and inner joy.

Suppressing feelings – if we are to live a full life, then we are meant to feel the full spectrum of feelings that are a part of life – even the so-called negative ones – anger, guilt, shame, hopelessness, loneliness, fear, jealousy – by feeling and acknowledging our feelings, we allow them to pass through us. If we try not to feel them, we suppress them and they remain stuck in our energy field, creating more situations that trigger these feelings.

Repressed fear – it is normal and human to have fears. Problems arise when we deny our fear. It then stays locked in our energy field, attracting to us everything we fear! If we acknowledge our fears, they begin to lose their power over us.

Expectations – if we are overly-attached to certain outcomes, we can plummet into disappointment if the expectation doesn’t materialise. While it’s good to be optimistic, we must balance this with acceptance.

Believing in “should” – “I should be more successful by now”; “he should know that this is not ok”, “you should be more generous”. The word “should” denotes an expectation, and it is usually the expectation of the mass-consciousness, not necessarily any personal value system of our own.

Comparing ourselves to others – this is a pointless exercise, because there is always going to be someone more attractive, more successful, or more wealthy than us! We are each on our own unique journey, and we are each here to learn different lessons and to create different things. If we feel envy for others, that very vibration will block us from getting what it is they have. So if you find yourself comparing yourself to others who have what you would like, send them love and gratitude to them for showing you that it is possible and that you can have it too.
Depending on other people to make us happy – if we depend on other people to make us happy, then we are at their mercy when they make us unhappy – and they will, because no one can make another person happy all of the time.

Believing “I can’t be happy if others are unhappy” – we must all generate our own happiness. If someone you care about is unhappy, you will be doing them a disservice by becoming unhappy too, but if you remain in a positive vibration, you are more likely to help lift them up than if you are wallowing down there in the lower vibration with them.

Believing in “Happy ever after” – there is no such thing! Life is a series of events – some we see as positive and some as negative. Even if we fall in love, there will be challenges in the future. If we find our “dream house”, it will still need cleaning. Life will always contain challenges. Once we conquer one challenge, a different one will appear.

Lack of gratitude – is your glass half full or half empty? An attitude of gratitude is the greatest way to delete the vibration of scarcity – that is, noticing everything that you don’t have, as opposed to noticing all that you do have. “I already have so much and I am so grateful” is a wonderful affirmation to say every day, as well creating a gratitude list in your mind or on paper.

We cannot chase happiness! – happiness is not a commodity. It is a by-product of a life well-lived. Don’t make happiness your ultimate goal; you’re bound to be disappointed. Make a meaningful life your goal – something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to are worthy goals. Deep down, we all know what we truly want and what will make us happy. If you haven’t worked it out yet, then ask yourself:

• What truly matters to me?
• What would I like my life to be about?
• Who do I want to be?
• What do I have to give?
• How can I contribute?
• How do I want to feel on this journey called life?

You will have gifts, talents and preferences that are unique to you. Don’t deny them. Be true to yourself, follow your heart and know that the Universe truly is on your side!