Posted: 29 Oct 2010 02:04 AM PDT
We all want to be happy, right? We all work towards having a happy life and even a happy life for our kids, don’t we?
Or do we?
I think the evidence is that very few of us actually know what happiness is, and many of our efforts to pursue it are misguided and can be damaging.
So – what is happiness?
It is easy to define happiness in terms of what it is not. Happiness is an absence of fear, stress, tension and so on.
But that definition only helps us understand what we want to avoid, not what we want to pursue. And it is what we pursue that is the problem. In our pursuit of happiness, what many of us end up seeking is euphoria.
Happiness is NOT the same as euphoria, and this is where much of the problem lies, because too many of us confuse happiness and euphoria.
Euphoria is a short lived state of exultation that we might experience in a moment of intimacy, triumph or creativity. Euphoria might also be chemically induced through, stimulants, alcohol or drugs.
The risk is that the pursuit of euphoria leads to addiction.
Athletes in pursuit of the euphoria of triumph turn to performance enhancing drugs.
When corporations, governments and whole countries are in pursuit of euphoria, rather than happiness, we get what you might call a Red Bull Culture – all buzz and no beauty.
Euphoria leads to addiction.
Addiction is not sustainable and leads to harm both for the individual and those around them.
So, what is happiness?
Happiness is a prolonged sense of inner peace. It is alignment, it is calm. We feel happiness in our bodies and in our minds when our emotions feel balanced.
Peace is created through the removal of tensions and the cultivation of alignment.
Happiness is created through love. Through being loving with others, through loving our work and what we do with our time.
Love is the bit beyond the logical, the bit beyond the transactional. We ‘like’ people or places or things because of the logical, transactional benefits they offer us. When a relationship transcends the logical and transactional it becomes loving.
We experience happiness when we are immersed in loving relationships with people, places, work and things.
Working and living authentically is the path to happiness.
Join us on our Authentic Business Radio show every Thursday at 5pm UK, 6pm Euro or 12.00 EST. This week we will be discussing “Red Bull S**t”.
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