Adult caucasian woman practicing yoga exercise at home. Soft light, candles, brick wall in background
Adult caucasian woman practicing yoga exercise at home. Soft light, candles, brick wall in background petrunjela

Why the path to happiness takes some work

THIS quote from Stephen Covey, "mental creation always precedes physical creation,” highlights the powerful impact of our own thinking.

In other words, the thoughts you allow, nourish and develop are who you eventually become.

Most of us want to be happy.

We want to live a life that's peaceful, joyous, loving and laughter-rich yet we generally look outside ourselves to find that.

I've heard people make statements like "when I get to that point, I'll be happy”, "when I can get that I'll be happy” or "if only I could do what I really want, that'll be me happy” or "I'd like to do that and I know it would help me to be happy but I'm not comfortable with it”. We tend to equate happiness with having things, usually possessions or relationships or often money, and sadly pursue them as goals for happiness.

Yet how fleeting the sensation is once the desire is satiated and how quickly disappointment and desire return.

Of course, once sampled we then find some new thing that will resolve our unhappiness and make us "truly'' happy.

We get hooked on the sensation or the anticipation of having something that we don't yet possess.

Unfortunately, true happiness cannot be found in things.

It is available to us regardless of circumstance.

However, it requires work and that work, as S.N. Goenka (a wonderfully affable and enlightened teacher) states, is to discover real peace and harmony within oneself.

He says this peace will then naturally overflow to benefit others. "The mind spends most of its time lost in fantasy or illusions, reliving the past either pleasant or unpleasant or anticipating the future with eagerness or fear,” he says.

"While lost in such cravings or aversions we are unaware of what is happening now, what we are doing now (and why).”

The work, which links back to Covey's quote, is to investigate inner thought, to become conscious of the emotional residue of the past and how it shapes our reactions and habits.

We must also learn to "let go''.

The wisdom of self-awareness provides liberation.

The past is just that, and the future is not here yet, so spend time creating an amazing "now''. Appreciate the moment and what a wonderful world you can create. Be happy.