I used to think that happiness was the result of something external like a new car, a new job, love or accomplishing a goal. Boy, was I wrong. In fact, I managed to achieve all of these things, but I still wasn’t happy. I could not figure out why I felt so miserable despite what many considered to be the best times of my life.
During a brief stint of being unemployed, I started to become interested in Buddhism. I began reading books by Eckhart Tolle who inspired me to look within myself for happiness. Soon after I discovered authors such as Joel S. Goldsmith, Thich Nhat Hanh, Sri Ramana Maharshi and Robert Adams who echoed his teachings. This was the beginning of my journey to liberation and happiness.
Below are a few quotes that have taught me how to genuinely be happy.
“As you well know from experience, things change. The only thing that's permanent in this life is change. If your happiness depends on person, place or thing, when that changes there goes your happiness, out the window. Same with peace and joy. As long as things bring you happiness, joy and peace, you will be miserable most of the time. For these things must change sooner or later and there goes your happiness with it.” - Robert Adams, Satsangs
“Some people find it easy to be happy and others don’t, even though they have plenty of conditions for happiness. You can buy conditions for happiness, but you can’t buy happiness. It’s like playing tennis. You can’t buy the joy of playing tennis at the store. You can buy the ball and the racket, but you can’t buy the joy of playing. You have to cultivate happiness you cannot buy it at the store.” Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power
“The thought forms of “me” and “mine,” of “more than,” of “I want,” “I need,” “I must have,” and of “not enough” pertain not to content but to the structure of the ego. The content is interchangeable. As long as you don't recognize those thought forms within yourself, as long as they remain unconscious, you will believe in what they say; you will be condemned to acting out those unconscious thoughts, condemned to seeking and not finding – because when those thought forms operate, no possession, place, person, or condition will ever satisfy you. No content will satisfy you, as long as the egoic structure remains in place. No matter what you have or get, you won't be happy. You will always be looking for something else that promises greater fulfillment, that promises to make your incomplete sense of self complete and fill that sense of lack you feel within.” – Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
1. Happiness cannot be manufactured (based on things being a certain way)
2. True happiness can be cultivated regardless of external conditions
3. Ego is nothing more than a narrator inside of your head (it’s not who we truly are)
4. Silence and presence equals happiness
If you are interested in learning more Google the authors listed above, or head over to your local bookstore.