Have you ever wondered if anyone really achieves the unconditional happiness spoken about by sages and gurus over the centuries? Can you really be happy and improve your life, when you’re exhausted from work and have overdue bills? The answer is yes!
According to Buddhist principles, happiness originates in the mind and is achieved from the inside out. Everything we experience begins in the mind, and we experience our world through our thoughts about the world.
In 2016, only 31% of people surveyed reported being happy, a number that’s been declining for several years. That’s because 69% of the population only knows conditional happiness.
By shifting your perspective on what happiness is and where it comes from (within you), you can attain happiness that is completely self-directed. Here are three ways to start developing this mindset today:
- Be unreasonably happy
“A fool is ‘happy’ when his cravings are satisfied. A warrior is happy without reason. That’s what makes happiness the ultimate discipline… happiness is not just something you feel – it is who you are.”
– Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior
Looking for reasons to be happy is the leading cause of unhappiness. Since nothing in this world is permanent, basing your happiness on a circumstance that will inevitably change guarantees your future disappointment.
Living this way only generates fleeting moments of temporary satisfaction. True happiness is a state of being that emanates from you, regardless of your circumstances.
Being unreasonable is the secret
Have you ever met someone who just couldn’t be reasoned with? Perhaps you’ve negotiated a business deal with someone who wanted unreasonable terms in their favor, or you’ve seen someone who couldn’t be talked out of pursuing an opportunity that nobody in their right mind would consider.
People who persist in unreasonable endeavors might seem crazy, but if you pay close attention, you’ll notice that unreasonable people almost always get what they want. It’s not because they’re pushy or just plain lucky. It’s because they know what they want and they’re not waiting for anyone else’s approval to get it.
In other words, their circumstances don’t determine their ability to achieve a goal. This is the mindset to adopt regarding happiness. You have the power to choose happiness.
- Tap into the power of meditation
Happiness and meditation are intimately connected. The Art of Living explains, “to be unconditionally happy and have peace of mind, we need to tap into the power of meditation.” Although meditation isn’t the only way to achieve peace of mind, it’s often the fastest because meditation releases the stress and anxiety that prevent peace of mind.
When you’re living unconsciously, your inner dialogue, or self-talk, can follow the same groove of negativity without your awareness. With peace of mind, you’re able to consciously choose your self-talk, which leads to the next tip.
- Monitor and control your self-talk
Unreasonable people cannot be talked out of what they want by any sort of logic. They don’t allow anyone else’s experience to determine their experience. They think in terms of possibility rather than probability, and their self-talk is proactive.
This is what an unreasonable person’s self-talk looks like:
- You’re right, I don’t know where I’ll get the money, but I know it will be there when I need it. I always find a way. Let’s proceed.
- Yes, the terms of the agreement are mostly in my favor, and that’s because nobody else can get you the results I’m about to get you.
Reasonable people can be talked out of their dreams. All you need to do is appeal to their fear of failure and they’ll rethink their whole dream.
This is what a reasonable person’s self-talk looks like:
- Yeah, you’re right, I don’t know where I’m going to get the money, and without credit, nobody will lend it to me. I’m probably better off starting a little smaller and working my way up.
- You’re right, I’m over-charging for my services. I’ll lower my fees if you’ll agree to work with me. I really want this contract.
The conversations that take place inside your head determine your mood as well as your perception of what’s possible. Switching your inner dialogue to a positive nature will show you how you can choose to be happy in any moment.
Happiness is an inside job
When your friends ask you why you’re so happy when you can’t pay your bills, be that person who can’t be reasoned with. When they remind you of all the reasons you have to be depressed, thank them for their concern and remind them that happiness is an inside job.