I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself.
For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is
determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.
– Martha Washington
Can you be happy forever?
I think everyone’s happy. We always do what brings us pleasure. Even avoiding pain is pleasurable so that, too, brings us happiness.
On a certain level we’re all happy all the time.
But, I also know that we get bored after awhile and we eventually want more. So we delude ourselves into thinking we’re unhappy.
Here’s what I know to be true.
Most people, when you ask them, when you push them, actually believe themselves to be happy. They’ve reach a certain level of attainment or fulfillment and they’ve rationalized that, while things “might” be better than they are, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” (so to speak). In other words, most people plateau as to what they experience about happiness and how they live through Life. They might be somewhat, kind of, or relatively happy forever . . . but it’s not the kind of happiness they might otherwise choose to experience forever.
I think everyone can agree with me that old habits are insidious.
Breaking them is insurmountable for most.
Many are charmed by old habits into believing that everything is okay and nothing needs to be changed.
For me, it seems that a person’s level of perceived happiness is very much like an attempt to intentionally lose weight. The desire to achieve a certain weight is there (much like the desire for more or better happiness). We do whatever we believe necessary to improve our health and lose weight to some ideal amount. Results start to appear. Then . . . we level out (something that’s been called “weight plateau”). We get confused and angry and disappointed because there doesn’t appear to be any reason that amazing gains (or weight loss) don’t keep happening.
It is then that many people become discouraged and give up. And if they’d only kept going a little while longer, even better gains would have been realized.
Unfortunately, we go back to our old, comfortable patterns (and our old weight . . . or worse) and excuse the failure away.
We’re all pretty good about apologizing to ourselves about failure and justifying why we let it happen or why it happened to us.
Bringing this back to a discussion of happiness, the challenge for you—as a Magician—is to find consistently successful ways that allow you to break free of complacency, break your old patterns or habits of happiness because they’re keeping you from achieving even greater happiness, and develop even more powerful ways to create astonishing outcomes.
Being happy forever doesn’t entail some untrustworthy or crafty way of redefining happiness. Happiness is whatever happiness means for you. I’m not here to change what you define as happiness.
Rather, I’m here to encourage you to actually embrace what brings you pleasure (so long as you’re not harming anyone). To stop vindicating what you have now and to start moving towards what you really want.
You can be happy forever. That will require you to start making the concept of “change” a component of your happiness.
Why do I say this?
Because new, novel, refreshing, and surprising “stuff” gets and keeps our interest. That “stuff” might be an experience, a feeling, an actual thing, a conversation, a person, and on and on. Whatever that new “stuff” might be for you, you must come to realize that your happiness is built in part on your amazement and astonishment with the “stuff” of Life.
Why do you think technology companies keep releasing new iterations of their offerings as often as they do (yes, I know some of it is built around new breakthroughs and components and materials)? Much of what they do is a way to keep your attention. It’s called giving you a surprise (just look at the way Apple, for example, teases you with product launches before anything is actually available).
You can learn to do exactly the same thing for yourself.
Here are three suggestions to get you started:
1. Create a personal manifesto or worldview that you can return to time and time again to keep your perspective fresh.
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2. Commit yourself to staying flexible and to changing your course in order to make your dreams come true.
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3. Start doing stuff rather than just thinking about it or talking about it.
You can be happy forever.
Indeed, you’re going to be happy forever. That can’t be helped.
What can be helped is that you can start realizing a greater happiness beyond your current wildest imaginings by simply engaging in the few simple techniques that I’ve outlined.
Remember, you can also continue this conversation by subscribing to my blog at http://thinkingmagically.com or you joining me on any of the major social media sites to take this discussion to an even deeper level.