HAPPINESS IS A MEANS NOT A DESTINATION

How many of us chase the ultimate dream of reaching complete happiness? What is that elusive destination? How do we get there? Why do some people look like they have reached it and others don’t? Recently I was reading my monthly horoscope as I am known to do and I came across a phrase that made me stop and re-read it.

‘HAPPINESS IS A MEANS NOT A DESTINATION’ – WHAT DOES THIS REALLY MEAN?

It bugged me for a while because it threw out a goal that I thought I was chasing. The more I thought about it though, the more clarity I got on what this truly means and how it has applied in my life so far.

You see, we already have happiness! It is one of our tools in the toolbox of life, we are born with it.  How we use it determines how large and brightly it shines and the positive impact it has on those around us.

So if we already have happiness, why do we not always see it and feel it? The image my mind has created to explain it is an onion. When we shed the ‘baggage’ of our life, like the layers of an onion and truly let them go, we expose a new layer which is progressively thinner and gets us closer to the bright core where pure happiness lies.

Discovering happiness is an internal job.  We can’t find it externally, we need to peel the layers one by one to get to the core of who we are, and in this tender, authentic spot is where true happiness lies.

HOW DO WE GET TO HAPPINESS?

The layers of the onion that cover our happiness are the emotions, perceptions and ‘rules’ we impose on ourselves and others due to the experiences we’ve had in life. For example, my perception that the wheelchair would always be an obstacle in meeting a significant other. That was one big piece of baggage that has held me back for years.

As you work through these layers and shed them one by one, the onion gets lighter, the belief in yourself gets stronger and happiness shines through brighter and brighter. Making this tool more and more useful in our daily lives.

 

WHAT KIND OF LAYERS?

We are continuously shedding layers as we learn, discover and grow.  Some of the biggies can include:

Guilt
Self Doubt
Judgement
Insecurity
Anger
Fear
Selfishness

When we tackle these layers in our day-to-day experiences we start loosening its hold on the onion. To do this though we need to use other tools in our toolbox of life. Without the use of these tools the layers will not budge.

 

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WHAT OTHER TOOLS ARE IN THE TOOLBOX OF LIFE?

In analysing this further, I have come to the conclusion that when we are born we have so many tools we come to this world with. Often we forget or don’t realise we have them. When we acknowledge them and the power they have to help us navigate life,  we become a force to be reckoned with because these positive tools cannot be quieted down or ignored. These other tools include:

Compassion
Honesty
Positivity
Perseverance
Resilience
Emotional Strength
Kindness
Love
Hope
Faith
Creativity

These are all tools we have at our disposal to tackle the darkness that life serves up for us.  It’s there to test us and by using our tools we grow and become our authentic selves.

 

THE POWER OF HAPPINESS – OUR ULTIMATE TOOL

Now, the size of the onion will be different for everyone but the process of shedding the layers is universally the same. The same tools must be used to release the ‘baggage’. As the layers go – it is easier to operate from the happiness tool and utilise it as a means of living.  

Don’t underestimate the power that your happiness has in impacting not only yourself but also the world around you. It is much more difficult to feel down for long when you are around authentically happy people a lot.  The energy is lifted automatically and the impact is positive.

Happiness – being a means and not an end – has explained so much of my life and the impact I have had on people around me.  Once my happiness was described in a way that I will cherish forever because it clearly impacted people in a way that I had never truly realised before.

I was told that when I came into a room it was like opening a bottle of mineral water, bursting with fizz and impacting everyone there. It still makes me smile whenever I remember that analogy. I feel privileged to be able to impact people in that way. I hope I continue to shed these layers and make my happiness shine brighter and brighter as life goes on.

lizzy hodgins