• Leanne Northwood

Attaining Happiness

Why is it so difficult to find lasting happiness? More often than not, the reason is the nature of things we desire. Without realising, we keep running after the fleeting, impermanent things.

To attain true happiness, along with short term desires, we should also cultivate long term desires. You may work hard to get your dream job. You may even get it. You’re happy, for a while. But, soon this new life starts feeling normal. New problems arise with the new job, the grind begins afresh. You may even decide to go after something else. This is how most of us spend our entire lives. But if we are not careful, this can turn into a never-ending cycle.

We may all have had enjoyable moments in our lives, but the question is: How long did these moments last? How long until an appreciation of something turns into a desire? I MUST have that. This leads the senses to overwhelm our intellect taking us away from happiness. So I ask you to consider this; the happiness is not really attached to the object but the fleeting state of being desireless.

The happiness from transient things leads to comparison. We look at other people and the things they have. We see how happy they are, or appear, and this in turn can make us sad, for ourselves. We have to realise we all have our separate paths that destiny has laid down for us. Our duty is to walk this path, the path that turns us into the best versions of ourselves. Do not envy, do not get sad when you see others happy. True happiness comes when you help others without expectations. Transcend from the finite world of comparisons into the infinite world of abundance. Show gratitude for what you already have and appreciate the happiness you find in others. You don’t really know what everybody has been through.

It’s important to realise, pursuit of happiness is fundamentally a spiritual pursuit. It may sometimes go hand-in-hand with our mundane wants and needs but is not the same as the pursuit of material things. To attain things like wealth and power, you need to contend with the material, physical world. The physical world runs by the laws of physics. These laws limit your options. Physical entities are finite, and the laws dictate that someday they must end.

The spiritual world, on the other hand, runs on the laws of the spirit. Unlike the restrictive nature of physical laws, the spiritual laws are laws of abundance and freedom.

These laws represent two different, but overlapping worlds. The good news is that they don't necessarily have to be in conflict. The objective science quantifies and lays out neat little compartments for little truths of life. The subjective science goes beyond the little truths, and tries to find a unified truth, as experienced from the point of view of the individual. Physics should inform your analytical aspect, while spirituality should inform your existential aspect.

But pursuit of true and lasting happiness doesn’t mean we have to let go of material things. Best approach is to balance your life. Go for the material things if you really want them, but also keep a centred approach. As we peel back the layers of our reality, we gravitate towards the One omnipresent truth. It’s sometimes hidden, but always there. And it takes deliberate intention and work to attain it. You have to watch closely, and learn from what you find.

Long-term spiritual desires serve as the guiding lights for our lives. These are things that won’t change often in your life. They help you build habits. They keep you centred. When you shift your focus towards the infinite, rather than the finite, your goals start to build upon each other, rather than blocking your path to success. You will project a solidified, integrated presence that others can’t fail to notice. You will be secure in your confidence.

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