Have you ever wondered how some of the most "successful" people can also be the most miserable and how the "poorest" people can be the happiest?
This clearly shows that success does not equal happiness like many of us have been conditioned to believe.
In the wise words of Maxwell Maltz,
"Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get."
So what's the difference? How do you find lasting happiness in your life?
Well, the first secret is that happiness isn't something that you find. It's something that you create.
Through my studies and my continuous practice and observation in my own life, I've found that happiness can be boiled down into one key element.
And the beautiful thing is that this element is something we have complete control over at all times.
It's our awareness of what we choose to focus on.
Our brains are hardwired for survival after millions of years of evolution. Therefore, it's very ingrained in us to focus on the negative instead of the positive -- to focus on what might kill us rather than what might lead us to a life of joy, love, and abundance.
Our minds naturally tend to shift to what we might lose, have less of, or might never get. It's no wonder that even the most successful people can still be miserable.
So the trick is to learn how to shift your focus from fear to appreciation; from anger to gratitude; from loss to love.
And the way to do this is as simple as making a choice to see the light instead of dwelling in the darkness. Both are always present because one cannot exist without the other.
As Tony Robbins says,
"What's wrong is always available... but so is what's right."
So it really doesn't matter what life throws at you, you always have a choice in how you allow your circumstances to affect your level of happiness.
All that's required is a shift of focus.
One of the practices I've learned is to make a conscious choice to be unconditionally happy. The way I do this is by becoming aware of my own awareness. There's a part of you that is deeper than you circumstances; deeper than your senses; deeper than your physical body. The more you learn how to identify with that part of yourself, the more you realize that there is a part of you than can never be disturbed by what's on around you -- just like there's the quiet center of every tornado; and just like the water gets calmer the deeper you dive, regardless of how much chaos is on the service.
Another practice is to simply find something to be grateful for when you find yourself getting caught in your emotions. Fear and gratitude cannot exist at the same time.
This isn't to say that you shouldn't feel your emotions. On the contrary, through these practices you'll be able to have an even richer emotional life because you'll feel safe enough to feel your feelings without becoming your feelings because you will have an anchor that is unshakeable.