Is happiness a choice or something to aim for?

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Is happiness a choice or something to aim for?

Postby fortune » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:31 pm

Is happiness something we can decide to have right now or do we have to overcome certain obstacles to attain it? I feel as if the external world of form doesn't satisfy me so I look within and there's nothing there so what is going to satisfy me?
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Re: Is happiness a choice or something to aim for?

Postby lmp » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:02 pm

Hi,

maybe this answer won't satisfy you either :) , but I think that to begin with, what is simple but genuine is the beginning of the road of happiness. If you are kind, explore kindness, dare to be kind and take this position in your life. If you are generous, explore it, what does it mean to you, not according to an ideal. If you are drawn to writing poetry, then do it. If it is all three of those, then be a kind, generous poet.

Isn't happiness simply in the things we know we'd love to do or be, whatever they might be for you/me, and not allow our society to eat us up completely.

So in that sense it is a choice, but we didn't really choose to love poetry or the basic qualities we have. And it is something to aim for in my opinion.
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Re: Is happiness a choice or something to aim for?

Postby lmp » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:16 pm

You can't simply choose to be happy, or I should say that I can't but perhaps you can, it is what comes when we live right, well, but I don't know what that means for you, in the sense I don't know what you want and what is important for you. Perhaps you can tell me a little about it.
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Re: Is happiness a choice or something to aim for?

Postby lmp » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:35 pm

I don't know exactly what you mean by obstacles, but there must be some amount of freedom to do the things which are natural for you, because to constantly be under obligation or pressure is not a good starting point.

And there must be at least a little passion for something outwardly, no? Some interest in people or something, otherwise life just comes to a stop.

And inwardly if you find nothing there, is it that you believe your own qualities not to be worth anything? Surely you have some drive or feeling that moves you forward in some manner.
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Re: Is happiness a choice or something to aim for?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:51 am

Viktor Frankl surmised that happiness, like success is a by-product of our living rather than something you can strive for. By striving for it you push it away - mostly because you're putting conditions on it --- I'll be happy when... I'll be happy if...

But then Mahatma Ghandi said “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
It's often an 'accident' but it can be through aware responses to stimuli. So for me, it's kind of neither 'out there' nor 'in here' it just is when and how it is.

Imp said: You can't simply choose to be happy, or I should say that I can't but perhaps you can,

we can choose our responses to situations, and in that choose the thoughts, words and actions that creates the harmony that Ghandi mentions above, and add in Frankl's wisdom that we often cannot choose the situations we are in, but we can choose our responses to it.

Go full circle and respond in harmonious thought, word, deed -- and there it is - the 'by-product' happiness :D

Maybe that's why honesty is the highest form of love - & love is associated with happiness. If we're honest with ourself and others our thoughts, words and deeds will be in harmony.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com
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Re: Is happiness a choice or something to aim for?

Postby ZenCowgirl » Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:59 am

Victor Frankel also offers the fork in the road that we face at every moment if we stop and think for a moment about it and pay attention to the fork:
- on the one tine, we have the "lower self" which is always there seeking its needs which is protection and safety and snugginess
- on the other tine, we have the "higher self" which is always there beckoning us to a higher purpose. This is where civilization is rather than animal-instinct-survival.

It is wise to acknowledge that we have these two "urges" or "realities" or "possibilities" or ... "tines" in us.
then we choose

perhaps this strange thing called "happiness" comes when we habitually choose for civilization, which is love. Dare I say it is love? I like to think it is.
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Re: Is happiness a choice or something to aim for?

Postby viking55803 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:06 pm

I really appreciate the references to Victor Frankl - there is so much wisdom there. Like him, I've always felt that happiness was a byproduct of living a life that is true to my nature, not a goal. Perhaps it would be easier to grasp if we called happiness a form of joy - joy being the undiluted form of happiness that arises spontaneously in a moment. Joy is to happiness as anger is to annoyance - maybe?

By the way, there are many times I may appear troubled and withdrawn, especially when I am in emotional or physical pain. In those moments, I truly do not want to be happy but rather stay with my inner state of suffering. It's exactly where I need to be.
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Re: Is happiness a choice or something to aim for?

Postby DavidB » Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:59 am

Love, happiness, joy, these are our natural state of being, they flow into the world through surrendering to what is.

"Your task is not to search for love but to find a portal through which love can enter." - Eckhart Tolle

Happiness is knowing who we are at the deepest level. :D

And btw, I definitely recommend reading Man's Search for Meaning a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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