Everybody wants to be happy….don’t they?
Most people, if you ask them, will tell you that they want to be happy, so an article on ‘how to find happiness in life’ should be of interest to many people. But where does unconditional living fit into this desire? And can unconditional living bring happiness?
Let’s look at what most people say they want in their lives. They may tell you on the surface, straight up that they want to be” happy” but then when quizzed, they can’t define what that actually means. They may give you lots of other things they want as well that they believe will make them happy – such as holidays, cars, houses, freedom, good relationships etc, etc, but this begs the question: Do they believe that having these things will bring about an immediate improvement in their feelings? And is this really what they need to feel happy?
There is an NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) questioning technique which aims to elicit the underlying reasons that people do things. You start with the problem and ask, “What does X do for you?” When you ask this question, the answer is usually another ‘thing’ – at least to start with. For example, many people say that they want a good job, and the conversation may go something like this:
Interviewer: What does having a good job do for you?
Subject: It gives me money in the bank and a sense of achievement.
Interviewer: What does having money in the bank do for you?
Subject: It means I can do whatever I want.
Interviewer: What does being able to do whatever you want do for you?
Subject: It means I don’t have to worry.
Interviewer What does not having to worry do for you?
Subject: It means I can enjoy my life
Interviewer: What does being able to enjoy your life do for you?
Subject: It makes me happy.
Now the length of the conversation may vary, but eventually most people get their answers down to one of two things they are truly seeking:
1) To be happy, and
2) To feel loved.
This is not rocket science but it’s amazing how few of us really acknowledge that these are what we are really seeking in our life. We tend to think of the physical ‘things’ we crave as being the things we want, when in reality it is the feelings we think these things will bring us, that we are truly seeking.
The wonderful thing about being conscious of your own thoughts and using your insight to create the life you want, is that you can choose to feel those thoughts of being happy or being loved anytime – even in the absence of the ‘thing’ you wanted in the first place.
“Whoa – so are you saying that I can feel happy even without more money?
Answer: Yes. The money you seek is the condition you have put on your own happiness. It may be desirable, it is most often sought, but it is really not necessary for you to feel happy. But we convince ourselves that it is.
So what is stopping us from being happy more of the time?
The problem is that we have forgotten what we really want and are seeking happiness through the fulfillment of a set of conditions that we may or may not have.
For example, how often do you say or think something like:
“I’ll be happy when I…..
- get that new job
- buy a new car
- move to a new house
- have a baby
- have a boy/girlfriend
- my children leave home
- my divorce comes though
- I get married?”
Of how about…
“Things will be better when…..
- my boss stops giving me too much work
- person XYZ leaves or stops doing that thing they do that is annoying
- I’ve lost some weight
- I’ve put on some weight
- I’m older
- I’ve left home?”
You see, most of us will admit to thinking or saying some of the above things at some point in our lives. And what we are doing here is putting a whole load of CONDITIONS on our own happiness. The “I’ll be happy if” scenario. The problem with this is that most of the time, the conditions we cite as preventing us from being happy are TOTALLY OUT OF OUR CONTROL, so what we have in fact done, is given the power to make ourselves happy, to someone or something else who usually does not have our best interests at heart! If we do that, how can we expect to ever be happy?
Let me give you an example. Suppose you have a job which you like 50% of the time. It’s not what you really wanted to do but it’s not that bad either and most days you muddle through because you know it, you can do it easily because you’ve been doing it for so long, and you don’t really have to think much about it. You know that other people have been promoted and you expect that sometime in the future, you too, will receive a promotion at some point. You have convinced yourself that you’re just waiting for the promotion and then you will be happier because you’ll get more money, a bit of extra responsibility and you’re willing to sit it out and wait your turn. So you go on hoping and moaning about the job saying that one day it will be better if only you could get that promotion.
In reality, you waste years of your life in a job you don’t really like because you are waiting for something outside of you and your control, to change.
Now, I’m sure that as an astute reader, you will have noticed the flaw in this situation already…….haven’t you?
The problem is that you have given up all power over your own happiness to an outside condition – that of getting a promotion – which, by the way, you may or may not, get. You have left your happiness to the whim or someone else and you are constantly waiting for this ‘condition’ to change in order to allow yourself to be happy. What if the condition never changes? Will you never allow yourself to be happy?
You see my point? This is no way to live your life if you want to be a deliberate creator.
The moment you set conditions on your own happiness, you are in trouble. You forget your own power and join a queue of people waiting for something different to happen in their life in order for them to be happy. But you know what – if this is your mindset, you can bet your bottom dollar that if the promotion does come your way, chances are you will still not be happy!
So here’s my question to you – what conditions are YOU putting on your own happiness?
If you have answered in a way that suggests you have given away your power, then read on because it is something you can change, and change quickly. It is within everyone’s power to be happy, right here, right now. You do not need to wait for conditions to change in order to feel the emotions you really want to feel. You just need to change your thinking and that will lead to a change in feeling.
There are a few things to realise in order to do this.
1. You do not really want the ‘things’ – but the feeling you think the ‘things’ will give you. Lots of us want to be richer, but few of us would be happier sitting in a tower locked away with all the gold we could ever want and nothing to spend it on and no one to share it with. That’s the lesson Scrooge learned in Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. What you want instead is the feeling of happiness that the money will afford you but you can achieve that NOW!
2. Removing the conditions from your life does not mean you have to give up the things you want – it just means you need to think slightly differently about them.
So what is unconditional living?
Living unconditionally is not the same as having no opinion on things and forcing yourself to think that everything is wonderful. In fact, integral to the concept of the law of attraction, is the idea of perception or choice where we are actively encouraged to state our preferences for our life. Some people choose to follow the arts, some prefer the sciences, some people go fishing, others dance. There is no limit to the diversity that we are creating on planet earth and beyond, and with that diversity comes preference. Esther Hicks and Abraham call it ‘contrast’ – the things we know we DON’T want, which then lead us to know the things that we DO want.
So if it’s OK to express a preference, what is this unconditional part and how does it fit in?
The answer is simple – unconditional living means that you do not place any other conditions on your own happiness other than the way you choose to feel each and every moment – and you are totally in control of that. So you do not convince yourself that you can only be happy if certain conditions are met – such as you get this job, or this person treats you differently; you simply choose to be happy in every moment and follow that path….STARTING NOW.
Unconditional living is allowing yourself to be happy whatever conditions you are living in. Whatever the world brings you, you choose to be happy because you know that you have the ability to choose your thoughts and not be lead by an over-reaction or a learned reaction to circumstances. So when you hit traffic on the way to work, you consciously choose to maintain your joy because you realise that although you cannot control every situation, you can control the way you feel about every situation. So you start looking for reasons to feel good about the traffic instead of bad. Sooner or later you realise that the extra time spent in the car allowed you to clear your thoughts, or give you time to think through a problem that had been bothering you; or you get to work and realise that the traffic allowed you to miss a major pile up on the motorway, or listen to that audio book you wanted to finish. Opportunities to feel good are all around you, but you must be able to recognise them in order to direct your thoughts in the positive and joyous directions. (See my article on “What is an opportunity?” for more on this subject.
If you can manage to do this, you will be setting your vibration to a high frequency which the universe will always match, bringing even more joyous situations into your life.
So why not set your intention to go through your day today living unconditionally? I promise you that your day will be one of the best you have ever lived.
Please leave a comment below too – why not tell me what condition you are going to give up waiting for in order to feel happy – and then do it!