Evidently, I’m touching on a huge nerve when I write about happiness. I’m getting a lot of email and comments from my happiness posts.
Here are some scary numbers:
*Less than 30 percent of people report being deeply happy.
*Twenty-five percent of Americans and 27 percent of Europeans claim they are depressed.
*The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, depression will be second only to heart disease in terms of the global burden of illness.
I believe all unhappy people make themselves unhappy because true happiness has to come from within. No person or material thing can make you happy because as soon as you have that person or thing, you’re going to want that next person or thing.
I know several highly successful people who have done 10 or 15 day silence/meditation retreats. That means there is absolutely no TV, music, internet, and of course, talking for 10 or 15 straight days.
It’s just you and your thoughts.
Many people I know can’t even be alone for more than 10 minutes. They are constantly busy going from one job to the next or one friend to the next or one TV show to the next so they are never alone with their thoughts until bed time and by that time they are totally exhausted.
Walk around NYC and you’ll see most everyone is listening to their iPod. People much rather listen to their music than their thoughts.
But, if you saw a person talking to herself, you’d think she was crazy. In reality, the only difference between us and that ‘crazy’ person is that we aren’t talking out loud. Many people can’t stand their thoughts and they resort to alcohol which calms or stills their mind (or thoughts).
The opposite of calming your thoughts is rising above your thoughts. Being able to rise above your thoughts is another word for being enlightened which is very, very difficult.
Let’s think about this: Your friend says to you, “I’m making myself crazy!” My friends say it all the time, I say it all the time; we all do. But what does that mean?
How can you be making yourself crazy? If you say that enough times, you’ll realize you aren’t your thoughts. There is YOU and then there is your mind/body. We’ve been so conditioned to think that we are our thoughts. Our thoughts define us.
Essentially that is what our ego is. Our ego is our self-constructed self in our mind. I might define myself as a creative and ambitious entrepreneur among many other things. But that’s not what I really am. That’s my thoughts defining who I am.
The big question to spirituality and enlightenment and inner peace and ultimately true happiness is to figure out who and what you really are…
(FYI: No one knows that answer. And the experts who do can’t explain it. Apparently, you can just feel it.)
And if you can do that, you’ll never have to rely on drugs, alcohol or anything else to make you happy.
Pretty, pretty, pretty cool!
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