What does it take to make you happy-ever-after? Some will claim happiness is a happy relationship, others say if they won a pile of money they would be happy. Ask a hundred different people, you'll get a hundred different answers.
DR JOHN DEMARTINI - Updated 1 year ago
But what if I told you that winning a pile of money or having a great relationship won't keep you happy indefinitely - it will actually do the opposite half the time! That might come as quite a shock!
So why can't happiness be yours forever? The answer is short and simple: happy-ever-after is a fantasy or an illusion. This one illusion births some of the most prevalent social 'concerns' of our era - stress, suicide, heartache, hopelessness, anger, resentment and depression! The hope for happy-ever-after is one of our greatest psychological and social delusions.
So beware! If you set yourself up with the expectation that you are going to somehow be magically happy-ever-after, you are checking yourself into a lifetime residence at the Heartbreak Hotel.
The reality is that everlasting happiness does not exist!
It goes against the nature of our creative evolution.
Because the purpose of life isn't to pursue happiness, it's about loving the winding road that leads us all to places in our hearts, minds and physical experience. All of these roads are a blend of happy and sad, good and bad experiences.
As we progress along the course of our mystical voyage, we all will experience natural cycles of highs and lows. When we experience these cycles, the secret to a wonderful, rewarding life is not to be found by flying high on the up cycles and sinking down to the lowest depths on the down cycles. Instead it's an ability to appreciate all of life's experiences (both happy or sad) and gain and grow from them in a fulfilling and rewarding way.
Learn to see the magnificence of life, no matter what form of high or low it takes. Find the blessings and be grateful for whatever it is that life confronts you with.
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So, while you may not be able to remain happy-ever-after, you can be grateful-ever-after for each aspect of your life!
Here are examples of how to accomplish this "attitude of gratitude" in the 7 areas of life.
1. Be grateful for your spiritual state:
If you desire to love yourself, others and the experience of life more, being grateful for the gift of life is one of the most important steps you can take towards living the life of your dreams.
It doesn't matter if you are more conventional in your religious or spiritual beliefs or less orthodox - you can still remain grateful for the invisible energy flow of life that surrounds you. Do not under-estimate the power and depth of gratitude that connects you to your own form of higher forces.
Whether you say your prayers each day, give thanks before meals, write up your wish list, tune into uplifting music or spend some quiet time in contemplation or meditation; a little time spent partaking in a daily spiritual ritual is incredibly nourishing for body, mind and spirit.
Put aside a little time each day to connect to your higher spiritual forces through gratitude! Experience how wonderful it feels when you open up your heart and mind to the invisible, metaphysical world.
Gratitude is the key that opens up the gateway of your heart and allows your love and inspirations to shine.
2. Be grateful for your mental state:
How wonderful it is to have a mind of our own?
With our minds we can ponder the mysteries of life, sort through everyday priorities, file information for future reference, assist us in learning new skills, set standards, form relationships and have opinions and on top of that we have the option to change our minds or alter those opinions.
Our minds make up our private world, the secret part of ourselves that often remains a mystery to others.
"Your mind is like a garden. If you don't plant flowers in your mind's garden you will forever pull weeds."
Most of us take our diverse and marvelous mind's powers for granted. We forget that our thoughts and our minds are the way we take information in and send information out to the world. Our minds interpret, filter and assimilate our concepts, strengths, fears and desires.
Being grateful for our mind's many rich gifts helps to grow and expand mentally.
Make a commitment to learn something new every day.
3. Be grateful for your vocational state:
Feeling productive is one of the most uplifting feelings. There's nothing better than getting into your cozy bed at night, with the feeling that you accomplished something worthwhile that day. It helps you feel, sleep and heal better.
Being grateful for your vocational state doesn't have to apply to a conventional nine to five work role. Whether you are a homemaker, a student, an athlete or even a holidaymaker it is important to feel that you have been productive throughout the day.
"Productivity provides you with a sense of purpose, achievement and satisfaction."
Identify seven highest priority action steps you can commit to each day that will ensure productivity. Do these actions first before less-productive distractions occur. If you follow this seven highest action steps rule, you are certain to finish each day of the week with a sense of gratitude for what you have achieved. Not to mention that your life is likely to make a quantum leap forward as well!
4. Be grateful for your familial state:
Family means different things to different people, cultures and trends. Some people have immediate families, like marriage partners, children, parents. Others see those who reside in their city, town or even globally as connections that form their extended family. Your personal sense of family or close connection may even take the form of a pet or a far distanced friend who you only communicate with via email.
Somehow, we all have family - after all we are all part of the cosmic family.
Sometimes we forget the role that others play, and have played, in making our lives fulfilling and complete.
Spend some time each day just thinking of those people that you love and how their presence on this planet has contributed to your existence.
Loving thoughts of others, opens up the heart and enriches our lives.
5. Be grateful for your financial state:
Being grateful for your financial state can be a tricky "attitude of gratitude" to master. Most people are in the habit of affirming to themselves that they don't have enough money.
Money woes are one of our society's biggest stress fests. Many constantly face financial shortfalls and managing money becomes a constant concern or pressure upon them.
There are few people who can truly say they are grateful for their financial state - but the moment they were grateful the faster they would attract greater financial abundance. Their very attitude of "I don't have enough money" is a self-defeating prophecy and makes people miserable.
So often are they filled with angst over finances, that they miss the many riches that surround them. Instead of worrying or feeling 'less wealthy', rather be grateful for your realm of finances.
6. Be grateful for your social state:
Our social and leisure lives are important, because they give us a chance to see the world through the eyes of others, relax, regain lost enthusiasm or energy and to share quality time with others.
Being grateful for the opportunity to have some fun by doing what we enjoy - whether it is to play golf, take a vacation, visit relatives, go to the movies, break bread with others or nurture and create new and old friendships, it is an important part of our every day lives.
"When you love your work as if its play, then your vocation and vacation becomes."
Go out of your way to plan holidays in advance, so you have the anticipation of them coming up to look forward to.
Be friendly and open to new people coming into your life and go out of your way to develop friendships that will enrich your life. This may mean that you don't wait for others to invite you somewhere; but you take the initiative and organize get-togethers yourself.
Each day make an effort to expand your social network and friend connections or have some fun for yourself.
Making a phone call or sending a card to someone you would love to have as a friend, can set all kinds of new social wheels spinning.
7. Be grateful for your physical state:
The greatest art form that exists on this planet is the human body.
What a magnificently structured temple of sacred architecture our human body form represents.
But are we grateful for it?
Some are; but most take their body's great gift for granted. Many complain about the shape of their body - I'm too fat, too thin, too short or too tall!
They will spend a great deal of time in front of their mirrors focusing on what they perceive is the imperfections of their body, rather than focus on its perfections.
"Being grateful to your body for the multitude of powerful gifts it provides can make the difference between experiencing good health or ill health."
Be aware of your body - do not just expect it to maintain its own well being without any contribution or effort on your part. Think of your body as a gift you have been given that is serving to enrich the entire structure and enjoyment of your life.
Tend to your body and take care of it - as you would tend or take care of garden.
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