INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL REALITY
A fundamental part of maintaining a healthy energy, including your mental, emotional and spiritual state, is directly impacted by your personal view of your reality.
You may think that your reality is completely external, and it is in the sense that other people exist; there is a world that you are standing on, there are animals and physical objects that surround you. However, for the most part, your reality is internal; your belief systems, how you understand and interpret your surroundings, our own socially developed views we place upon others, and ourselves… these are entirely controlled by you. So you could see how adjusting these internal constructs could dramatically affect our world experience.
Now we can link this into personal happiness. You may have heard that happiness equals the difference between expectation and reality. If it’s above your expectation then you are very happy and vice versa. This is in the same vein of the point that I’m trying to convey; however the key difference I have is that it’s not about expectation. Expectation denotes the idea that you can compare how ‘good’ your life is to others. I prefer that you assess the life that you have and decide whether it’s the life that you want, without being concerned about making comparisons to other people.
This is where gratitude comes in as an extremely important tool to help you understand and perhaps readjust your own views on your reality and use it to your advantage to achieve goals and find happiness.
READJUSTING YOUR BELIEF SYSTEMS
Now you may be thinking, it’s much easier for people to be grateful if they have money, love, assets, a job and indeed these are all things to be grateful for. But you are still comparing an individual’s success based on the conceived reality that a certain amount of money, love, and assets equal success therefore happiness.
These are the belief systems that you need to step away from. Start viewing your life outside of the preconceived notions of, good, bad…right, wrong… success, failure and start to view it objectively for what it is to you, with the intention to find what you love about it.
Everyone has hardship, everyone experiences loss of varying degree, and we could argue the validity of some having more hardship than others, but the fact of the matter is they are living that life and you are living yours. No one should feel better or worse for the life they have been given in comparison to others, as long as that life is being lived to the best the individual can conceive. With grace and gratitude. To put it more simply, a person with no money, living in a humble home, with little possessions can find incredible happiness because they are grateful for what they do have, and wish the same for others. Conversely, someone with perceived wealth can be incredibly unhappy despite physical possessions, or bring nothing but negativity in the world.
WHAT IS HAPPINESS ANYWAY?
So how is this going to help you? For one thing, I’ve noticed that the general human condition is inclined to dwell on what we don’t have, yet we have many fears that can block us from moving forward making progress to change it. This makes for very dissatisfied, confused and angry emotional state, which in itself is not conducive of happiness and success.
What I propose is that we start to question and challenge the notion of what we think happiness actually is. Maybe if you were able to identify what it looks like, feels like, sounds like to you, you may better understand how to achieve it or indeed know if you already have it. It’s more than just the feeling you get when you win something as that is a fleeting emotion, joyful yes, but happiness?
Could it be what we call contentment, where we are satisfied that we have achieved or have all the things we require to function in the world, with no obvious lacking. Though you could argue that without continuous goals to strive for or new achievements, contentment could be tedious.
Personally, happiness to me is knowing that I’m making the world better by being in it, in whatever capacity that may be. Knowing that everything I decide to do I do purposely because it is aligned with who I am, my own needs, wants or personal joy. It’s finding balance with what you need to give, with what you need to receive. It’s having the courage to admit that you choose this for no other reasons but your own. It’s knowing that with whoever I shall interact I will honour their ability to do and have the same. Happiness is having great things to experience, someone to share it with and something to strive for.
For you this may be quite different, but that’s the point.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you need to give away all your money and personal possessions to be happy. It is perfectly fine to strive for personal possessions that enrich your life, including money in order to function in this world to buy food shelter and things we need to survive. There is also nothing wrong with wanting to buy say a video game to bring you some fun or a new dress to feel fabulous. All of these things combined can contribute to your overall satisfaction of life but be sure that you do them because you want to not because you think that consuming them automatically equals happiness.
Once you have decided what you truly think happiness is for you, we can start to assess our own lives and begin to move out of pessimism and into gratitude. Be grateful for what you do have, acknowledge it, be thankful for it. You may encounter resistance; we are not programmed to acknowledge all the wonderful things that we are and have to offer, it feels much more comfortable and even safe to focus on the negatives. Resist the urge to criticise and commit to being gentle with yourself. You can start small. I am grateful for how the warmth of sunshine feels on my skin. I am grateful to play with my pet. Then this can grow to being grateful to the people in your life, and don’t forget yourself. What wonderful qualities do you have that you could be grateful for? Maybe you are a great listener, a loving mum, a musician or an athlete. The skies the limit, no thing is too small or large to be appreciated.
Once we are in a place of gratitude something amazing will start to happen. Life becomes lighter and easier.
You will start to have a clear idea of exactly what you want and since you are operating from a place of optimism you will find yourself focusing on what you do have rather than what you don’t. You can then bring your attention towards what things you would like to add to your life, utilising what current resources you have discovered during your gratitude exercises.
When you want to achieve any new goals, make changes or improvements there are a few belief systems that may come up as potential reasons you can not achieve what you after, the most common being; I have no time, no money, no skills or fear of judgement or failure.
These beliefs are created from your internal perception of your reality. They are completed fabricated and controlled by you. These are fear-based concepts, fear of failure, loss of money and support, fear of embarrassment and being judged. All of this is due to a misunderstanding of ones own worth and value.
This reinforces how valuable gratitude is, as it will help change our perception of what equals happiness and success and indeed how we view ourselves, naturally you will stop focusing on what you don't have and start focusing of clever strategies to get the things you want. There is always a way if you are determined and willing to do what it takes to create your own life so be brave and take a leap of faith.
If you tell yourself you will never have money or freedom or fun in work you have already sealed your fate. If you can't even imagine something being real, you won't try, you won't take actions that lead to opportunities, progress and growth and you certainly won't surprise yourself. There is comfort in thinking you will always be stuck. You will never be disappointed, when things feel worse all it does is feed and validate your negative personal view of your reality
I'm not saying that everything will be given to you but those who at least ask for things then show themselves deserving with actions eventually do get things handed to them. That's how it works.
My challenge to you is to incorporate gratitude into your everyday life until it comes so naturally your old habits and belief systems will drift away. The way that works best for me is writing them down, just start listing all the things to be grateful for, do it everyday if you need to. Then you can start being thankful for moments in your day, for example the other day I left my phone at a restaurant and a lady came running after me to return it to me. I made sure to be aware and thankful for that moment.
I truly think gratitude has been one of the most important tools I have used to achieve my personal goals and overall sense of happiness. We all deserve to live our own unique vision of happiness and so do you.
Love and Light