True happiness is NOT a secret
I’m going to open this article with a statement that changed my life;
“True happiness can only be found when one’s conscience is clear”. This is ‘deeper’ then it looks and I’ll explain it in this article.
There are millions of articles, courses, books, movies, documentaries and resources on how to achieve happiness.
Have they worked?
Is the world happy yet?
Are you happy yet?
The most important question to answer is actually…what is happiness?
The answer is not absolute, it’s objective to the person answering it. You’re answer changes constantly as you mature. A child’s happiness is simple and easy to obtain. An adult’s happiness is more complicated. Some people think handbags or new cars will make them happy, others think drugs or drink alcohol make them happy.
Of course, we all know that ‘true happiness’ isn’t any of those things. True happiness takes a lot of effort, and needs constant maintenance.
I have good news though…I know the quickest way to start your journey towards this true happiness we all so desperate seek. This information isn’t just from me. I interview people along my travels and I always ask them…
“What are you doing when you feel the happiest?”
There are 3 answers repeated over and over;
1. Spending time with family and friends.
2. Helping others.
3. Achieving something great.
That’s it…it’s not a secret, it’s not surprising and it’s not unachievable. In fact, it’s very simple. However, all these things require effort and lots of it.
To maintain a good relationship with your family and friends takes time and care. You need to keep in touch with them, compliment them when deserved, attend important events, express your love in words and actions.
A friend once told me…”Monica, I’ll be there for you in the good times and the bad times but not always the ‘in between’ times”. I remember thinking…’hang on, that’s not very nice, friends should be there for each other all the time’. Now, 13 years later, I realise how right he was. It’s impossible to be there every step of the way, but a true friend will celebrate with you in the high times, and grieve with you in the low times, you can handle the other stuff on your own. Friends aren’t you guardian angel, and if you expect them to be, you’ll drive them away and end up disappointed.
When people complain about being lonely, I wonder if they maintain their friendships, if they make an effort to keep them around. If not, it’s really quite clear why they’re alone. I have a theory and I’m yet to be disproven. If someone doesn’t have long-term friends, there is likely a good reason for it.
Helping others is a lost art. I think many have forgotten how amazing it feels to help another human being. That feeling is something you can’t explain until you’ve felt it yourself. I have interviewed many charities all around the world and I always ask them;
“Why do you keep doing this despite it’s difficulties?”
4 out of 5 of them cry while answering this and say a variation of…“The feeling I get when I see a smile on their facesm or I see their future change because of me…is priceless, and that keeps me going”.
I’ve met people who’ve given up every comfort because of this feeling. I know you know what I’m talking about! This joy I’m trying to explain…you’ve felt it before, but you forgot the feeling, didn’t you?
Well…give it another try, and another, and another…and before you know it, you’ll be happier than you’ve ever been. For some reason, the effort needed to achieve this feeling can seem too much…until we do it, and realise it was completely worth it! Here’s another great quote’
“You find yourself in the fullest giving of yourself”
Give it a shot. What have you got to lose? Next time you see someone struggling, if you can help them…do it! You won’t regret it, I promise!
I mentioned a quote at the beginning and this article. I read it in a meditation book and the moment my eyes scanned across that sentence for the first time, I knew it would be a ‘mantra’ of my life’s work. Here it is again;
“True happiness can only be found when one’s conscience is clear”.
Let’s ‘unpack’ this. At first, my thoughts were ‘ok, yes, of course, Monica, be a good person and your conscience will be clear and you’ll be truly happy…ok that’s easy enough’.Days went by and I was constantly dissecting this quote and realised that it’s not as simple as that. Being just a good person is the bare minimum, it’s not extraordinary. It’s never completely fulfilled anyone I know…and I know lots of good people.
So, the next question is…so what is a clear conscience then?
It’s obvious that to have a clear conscience you first need to make amends for any wrongdoings that come to mind…yep that one, the one that just popped up in your head :-) Go apologise, give back that $20 you stole years ago, say sorry for gossiping about someone or thinking horrible thoughts about them. Clean up your ‘mess’.
Being a good human being is a start, of course but there’s more…there’s much much more. You know those times when someone asks you for help, and you say no because you’re too busy or whatever other excuse you’ve made up…that doesn’t feel good does it? On a side note, there are times when you truly can’t help others, because you need to help yourself first, but for this exercise let’s assume you’re in a good mental state to help someone, but you refuse to.
This doesn’t make you an outright bad person, you can definitely still be considered a good person in the world’s opinion. On the other hand, we all know what we are capable of and if we deny giving help when we are able to …that will cloud your conscience and you’ll never be truly happy with these cloudy thoughts on your soul.
To have a truly clear conscience, one must not just a be a good person, one must be a GREAT person. One must use their skills to better the world, to better someone’s life, to make someone smile. One must use their God-given talents to make this world a better place for others. If you deny your skills and shy away from the responsibilities of your conscience…I’m sorry but you’ll never be truly happy and fulfilled in life.
Remember…’You find yourself in the fullest giving of yourself’
So my friend, start giving more, and your life will change forever :-)