Happiness Is A Choice … Kinda
They say that happiness is a choice
This is not really true. It is not happiness itself that is the choice. Rather, it is what we think, say or do that is the choice. Happiness or unhappiness, health or illness are the automatic results
of that choice.
Try to tell an unhappy person, who really wants to be happy, that happiness is a choice, and you'll not get a very good response. An unhappy person is unhappy because of other factors and other choices already made. Their unhappiness is the consequence of those factors and choices. So it is the factors such as thinking, speaking and doing in which we have a choice.
Likewise, being fat is not a choice. If it were, there would be no slimming products and weight loss courses on sale. Many fat people have not consciously chosen to be fat. They are fat because of other factors, including dietary and lifestyle choices. Often, such choices are taken because of lack of knowledge and lack of conscious living.
That is why this website exists, to help people move towards more happiness and all the other by-products of coming more into Self-Alignment©.
So, indirectly, yes, happiness is a choice; but, directly, no. Happiness is our natural in-built urge, so we have no choice in whether or not we have the happiness urge. And as it is our natural urge to be happy, then we should all be happy most of the time anyway. But that isn't the case. So we need to learn how to tap into and unlock our inner happiness, and how to stop making the mistakes that result in a less-than-happy state of being.
Happiness is a Choice ?
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The process of human creativity and dynamism
Have you ever noticed that the urge for 'more' or for 'better' does not cease once the desires that have recently been on our mind are fulfilled? This is because desires are always coming into our awareness.
As soon as one set of desires is fulfilled, new ones appear. It is never-ending. We never ever 'get there'. It is an eternal process of change and creativity. So we may as well do our best to enjoy the ride.
Desires are the mechanisms that propel human creativity. The cycle works something like this:
Preferences > choices > desires > thought > action >
> achievement > fulfilment > preferences > choices > etc.
Our prime desire is for joy and peace
There is an innate urge in all of us - a tendency - to do in daily life what makes us feel good. In other words, we seek to be happy. We also like to feel energetic and exhilarated. This is the natural direction of life. It just happens; it just is. It's not a rule or a technique or something we 'should' aspire to. It is simply how we are 'wired'.
Why? Because feeling good is equivalent to feeling happy. And expansion of happiness is the natural instinct of human beings. Like Aristotle and others, I believe that the expansion of happiness is the purpose of life itself.
Desires are not the problem
When this tendency to feel good is not fulfilled - when our innate desire for happiness, for joy, is not met - then all sorts of less comfortable feelings are experienced. These so-called 'negative' feelings indicate to us that we are not fulfilling our natural impulse to expand our happiness.
We describe these shades of feelings by many names: a lack of fulfilment, feeling unsatisfied, frustrated, unhappy, uncomfortable, guilty, depressed, in a rut, bored, anxious, and so on. They are all shades of what one can simply describe as inner discomfort, or simply not feeling 'good' within ourselves.
We have this discomfort too when some of our more material lifestyle desires are not being fulfilled, such as desires for better health, more money, wealth, a comfortable home, a new home comfort device, a music system, a vacation and so on.
The mechanics of desire
Some philosophies teach that desire is the root of all unhappiness; so we should strive to be without desire. What a total misunderstanding of the true nature of life such a philosophy represents.
Each of us has an inbuilt mechanism that seeks a sense of comfort, which in its ultimate expression we would call happiness, or pure joy. Desire is in fact not only natural, but it also plays an essential role in causing us to reach for more happiness in our lives, and to create the life we want for ourselves.
Variety triggers our preferences, choices and desires
The world in which we live is full of differences and contrasts, and arising from this we come to identify what we don't like and thereby, by contrast, what we do like and prefer for our own lives. The things we prefer in fact become our personal preferences and the seeds of our desires and our very life situation.
When we find that we are not living and experiencing our personal preferences, desires and choices, then feelings of discomfort and dissatisfaction arise within us.
We sense that if we could fulfil our desires, such a situation would change the inner feeling of discomfort to one of comfort and happiness. Typical examples would be: when I have enough money I will be happy. Once I am married I will feel fulfilled. When I find a job that I like, I will be much happier. When I live in a better neighbourhood I will be content. And so on.
Many people seem stuck in their present situation, where comfort does not yet feel full and joyful. There is some degree of 'lack'; there is un-fulfillment. It may vary from person to person, and from time to time in the same person.
Why is this? If we know what we want, then why can we not reach it?
The answer lies in where we place our attention.
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