To briefly recap some of the content of my previous posts so that this one makes more sense:
We enter this world with nothing, and we will leave it with nothing.
Most people as they grow take on the beliefs of those closest to them and end up living similar lives- unless they are able to change their subconscious beliefs.
Life does not need to be this way!
More empowering choices have always been, and are still available for every one of us.
If we seek out information and experiences that will empower us, we will create a better future for ourselves than the one we are currently destined to live.
Our future is full of possibilities and what we achieve is up to us.
Are you creating the future you desire with your current thoughts and actions?
Anyway, back to the point of this blog! Are you truly happy with the way your life has turned out, or….. Read on……….
Life is hard! Doing the same stuff all the time doesn’t make me happy!
Most of us, on a subconscious level, think we are undeserving of the ‘good’ things in life. If you think this isn’t true, just look around and see how many content, happy and joyful people there are. Are you, or they, living the life you/they desire?
Do you have good work, family, and leisure balance, and do you get to do all the things you want to do?
Ask yourself, “am I truly happy with my life the way it is now?” And “could my life be improved, and if so, in what ways?”
Most people see and do the same or similar stuff day in and day out, for at least five days a week to make money just to fulfill the functional aspects of life. If this sounds like you, then you are living a restricted and limited version of life that probably lacks true passion and commitment.
Following the same routine each and every day does not give our souls much reason to rejoice– unless of course, we absolutely love what we are doing. If not, maybe it’s time for a change!
If you have been a good citizen and followed a similar path to everyone else with the expectation of achieving happiness, but are still not living the life of your dreams, then it is time to ask yourself ‘why am I not happy?
I’ve been doing the same things as others who seem to be happy, so why do I sometimes still feel unfulfilled!
From the moment we are born, our brain is like a sponge and we absorb, through observation and participation, the beliefs and habits of those who have influence over us. By copying the words and actions of our peers we learn to think in a similar way to them, and this cycles back to create deeply-rooted beliefs similar to theirs.
Unfortunately, looking at the state of humanity in general, we could speculate that our peers have not done the best job at raising us due to the fact that most of us are not living a ‘dream life.’
“When I was 5 years old, my mother told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down Happy. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
This means that we were programmed with beliefs and ideas that have limited our potential and therefore are not conducive to living a rewarding satisfying life.
More often than not, these limiting beliefs remain buried deep within our subconscious minds for the rest of our lives, and they are the main reasons why we can’t achieve the things we want to in our lives. Our minds are so powerful that they believe whatever information they are programmed with, whether it is true or now.
For more information on this read my previous posts; ‘what is the consensus view of reality, and how accepting it limits our potential?’ and ‘How can I hack my brain for success?’
One of the most destructive beliefs that many of us take on is that the consumption and accumulation of material possessions is the sure road to happiness. If we buy into this belief, we will spend much of our valuable time, and our hard-earned money, on stuff that, if we really thought about it, we don’t actually need. Many of us have stuff piling up around us until it becomes heavy and burdensome and we begin to suffocate due to its sheer volume. This stuff becomes part of who we are which limits and restricts us, as well as depleting us of our vitality.
We are programmed by endless ads promising their products will make us happier
Advertising is designed for one reason: to manipulate us into purchasing the product that the advertiser has manufactured, whether we need it or not!
What is portrayed in ads is often full of illusions and panders to our desire to fill a vacuum within us, and often does not relate to the benefits, if any, we will receive from the item after purchasing it.
It is good when we use material possessions for what they are, conveniences to make our lives more comfortable.
However, we also need to realize that they are external to us and can be removed, damaged, or taken away at any time. Sure, they can be replaced but, again, they are never permanent. Just ask anyone who has lost everything in a fire, tornado, or had their home broken into and their most precious items stolen. Also, ask anyone who is living their last few hours how important their possessions are to them. I guarantee that the answer is mostly, not very important at all!
More often than not, the physical manifestations of wealth that we see around us are the results of someone getting into debt to make purchases that they really can’t afford. If we need to take on debt to purchase items or services that we consider may fill the void, we may be creating more worries, stress, and anxiety for ourselves. This will actually negate the sort after perceived benefits, as we may end up worrying about where we will get the money to repay the debts, instead of being able to truly enjoy our purchase- free from guilt.
I have to work hard to get all the things I want: Still, I’m not satisfied. Do I need to work harder?
Before making purchases, we can ask ourselves, “How many hours/days/weeks/months/years do I need to work to save enough money to purchase this item?”
Then ask yourself, “Am I happy to go to work for this amount of time just to purchase this item, and when I finally have it, will it really bring me satisfaction?”
We need to remember that our working hours also need to cover all of our other expenses like food, mortgage, power bills, debt repayment, transport, and other products and services.
Endless ‘wants’ deplete our energy as they just lock us into a system of having to go to work, to pay our bills and debts….. and we are forced to work for more years of our life to keep consuming.
Unfortunately, many people today are living in a cycle of constant debt which creates stress, sometimes unrealized, that does affect the ability of individuals to be happy, productive, to think freely, and also, more importantly, keeps them trapped as an indebted worker.
We may be good at accumulating possessions, and they may bring us satisfaction, however, it is important to realize that when we leave this body we cannot take any of them with us.
So before you purchase the next ‘latest and greatest’ item you want, maybe you should ask yourself “What will I gain and what do I have to sacrifice to purchase this item?”
Why do we do this to ourselves? Is there a way out of this madness?
So, most of us, through conditioning, are hooked into thinking material success is the main route to happiness in this life. We are constantly bombarded with images of people becoming happy when they have purchased the latest item designed to relieve them of their money.
This seems to be an outcome of living in a capitalistic society, where we are encouraged to purchase excessively beyond our needs, and more importance is placed on what we ‘have’ instead of who we ‘are.’
However, the ‘wanting’ and consumption of material goods is not a path to lasting happiness. Once we realize that previous items we purchased, in the belief that they will bring us lasting happiness did not achieve the desired result, then we can begin to free ourselves from the cycle of working to purchase goods in the pursuit of happiness.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that having and using material goods for our comfort and to satisfy our wants and needs is appropriate. However, purchasing with the desire to achieve true inner peace, happiness, and satisfaction with life will never work.
Our dissatisfaction continues as the relentless quest for more and more stuff overrides the satisfaction we have with what is right in front of us here and now, including the stuff we just purchased yesterday that was supposed to ‘make us feel better.’
Possessions can bring us joy and comfort but they are never the source of our happiness and the greater our attachment to material possessions, the greater our stress when we are separated from them.
Our way out is to release attachment to ‘impermanent stuff.’ When we can happily possess and use material items without attachment. This allows us to free ourselves from the discomfort and pain that separation will bring.
True happiness cannot be purchased: True and lasting happiness is something we cultivate from within ourselves
Both Jesus Christ and Buddha are reported to have walked the earth with very few, or no, possessions, yet they were able to find absolute peace and contentment within.
They lived in different times and different places but this type of surrender is still available today to those who seek a similar path to freedom from non-attachment.
In today’s material world, this path will be considered to be extreme to many people, so luckily other alternatives are available.
However, it is possible to be fully engaged in the world within a family and societal structure and achieve the same perfect state of being while living a life of abundance and comfort. Then what is the difference you may ask?
The difference is in the level of emotional attachment that a spiritual person has with their possessions compared to a materialistic person. A spiritual person relates to wealth in spiritual terms and therefore measures success in terms of happiness, health, vitality, fulfillment, and achievement, instead of accumulated material wealth.
For a fantastic example of this, you could read one of my favorite books. ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Paramahansa Yogananda. Yogananda is an example of a self-aware man who enjoyed living within the normal society and all that it encompasses. He and many others like him show by their example what is possible for all of us to achieve.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and would love to read your feedback and any comments that you may have.
Shared with love and respect for all beings,