Almost everybody today is searching for happiness. People are buying things, chasing success, embracing spiritual practices, following their passion, engaging in romantic relationships, believing that these factors will lead to a permanent state of happiness.
We believe one day, when this or that happens, we will be happy permanently. We hate the present moment, and we always look forward to an imagined future, thinking that permanent happiness will arrive when we meet our goals.
Little do we know that the search for happiness, as Eric Hoffer observed, ‘is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.’ This search leads to unhappiness by making us less thankful for what we have in the present moment. It also causes unhappiness because frustration sets in when people realize that what they worked hard for cannot bring permanent happiness.
People who believe riches lead to permanent happiness become depressed when they realize that riches increase anxiety. People who get into a relationship expecting permanent happiness get frustrated when they realize that relationships limit their freedom.
Permanent happiness is an illusion. You will never be constantly happy regardless of the number of ‘I am happy affirmations’ you make. Someone you love will one day die or get seriously ill, you might also get seriously ill one day, your businesses might fail, you might lose your job, your spouse could break up with you, and many more unpleasant events that are part of life will happen.
It’s almost impossible to be happy when these things happen. Thus, because some of them must happen, permanent happiness is impossible.
You must commit to cultivating inner peace rather than searching for happiness. Inner peace is the ability to attain a state of mental or spiritual calmness regardless of what is happening in one’s life. People who have found inner peace stay calm in difficult moments.
These individuals do not fear the possibility of hardships because they trust their ability to overcome them. Whatever happens does not disturb them. They welcome all life events believing that everything happens for the good. Thus, inner peace is almost a permanent state of mind because difficulties cannot disturb it.
Inner peace is easier to find than happiness because you don’t need material things to achieve it. Moreover, finding inner peace increases your chances of experiencing happiness frequently. Therefore, you must cultivate it.
Although many factors lead to inner peace, wisdom is the most reliable. Understand how life works, and inner peace will be your psychological state.
Peace be with you.
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