There are two roads to happiness and I've tried them both. Here is my personal report.
The first way, which is by far the most common and well-traveled, is the way of struggle, effort and sacrifice intermingled with joy. You see what you think will make you happy, you create a goal or aspiration of some kind -- and you go after it with all the strength you have.
The trouble with the first approach is that no matter how dedicated we may be, we never quite seem to "arrive." For example, perhaps we finally take the cruise we've dreamed about. Or we notice that our bank account has reached $1 million, or perhaps $1 billion.
There is a glow all right. We taste a little bit of the nectar of happiness. But then where does the glow go? If happiness is based in some kind of external activity or pursuit or accomplishment, it doesn't last. It's like an addiction. We have to pick up the search for happiness again -- and if we're not careful, it can all get quite tiring and frustrating.
I dreamed of writing a bestseller
For example, I’ve been a writer all my life, and for a long time -- in fact until quite recently -- I dreamed of writing a bestseller that would change my life forever.
I loved this dream. I cherished it. I remember very well the day it started. I was a kid of 7 or 8 in the early days of the blitz in London when one day, for some reason -- without any nudging from my parents or anyone else -- I suddenly decided to write a story in a large scrapbook someone had given me.
Oh my. How exciting it was to let that story unfold in my imagination, and how excited my parents were too, when I finished scribbling away and showed my story to them.
My life took various twists and turns. I worked as a reporter on newspapers and magazines. I worked as a weekly newspaper editor. I wrote 4 or 5 books while I was a member of a spiritual community in British Columbia. But my dream to one day write a best-selling book was like a beacon always shining in the back of my mind, promising a new life of greater happiness and fulfillment.
Then one day everything changed
But then one day everything changed. It changed because I changed. There's nothing wrong with having goals and dreams and aspirations, of course. It's what gets us out of bed in the morning.
But sometime over the last few years, without even realizing it to a large degree, this lifelong dream of being a famous writer gradually faded away.
It faded away because one day I finally surrendered to the truth of my existence, and realized that who I truly am is already happy, and already free. I am a masterpiece, just as you, too, are a masterpiece.
The way less traveled
It's the way "less traveled," and it waits for us all, the simple realization that we do not need to search for happiness or fulfillment or stature anymore. But simply let the timeless masterpiece that we are be revealed and expressed more clearly in each moment of existence.
We realize that it's not really a case of adding something to us that we don't already have, it's more a case of removing the coverings that to whatever degree, obscure the beauty of who we truly are.
One of the privileges of aging is surely the opportunity to realize ever more deeply and fully the beautiful happiness that already exists at the core of our being, just waiting to be shared with a world hungry for true guidance and inspiration.
Any thoughts on this article you'd like to share? I'd love to receive them. Blessings and best wishes. And lastly...
Announcing a lollapalooza of a sale
My dictionary describes a lollapalooza as “A late 19th century/early 20th century American idiomatic phrase meaning an extraordinary or unusual thing.”
I think lollapalooza describes very well a blazing humdinger of a personal development sale that starts today and that I’m happy to help publicize. As you can see, I’m throwing my English reserve to the winds here because I think this sale really does offer extraordinary value in these difficult times.
Sponsored by Karol and Baker of the Only72 Project, the sale runs for 72 hours until Thursday and offers $1087 worth of top quality personal development products for $97.
Not a bad deal, especially if these products can significantly upgrade your life – which I really think they can. I don't know all the participants but I know a number of them -- and the quality of product and spirit they bring to their world is very impressive indeed.
Here’s the complete lineup of products being offered in this sale:
Focus by Leo Babauta ($35)
- The full version of the book, including bonus chapters, in PDF, EPUB, and AZW
- An email fast guide (PDF)
- A decluttering quickstart guide (PDF)
- A guide to changing habits
- 3 Audio Interviews
- 5 videos
Momentum Kickstarter Kit by Charlie Gilkey ($47)
- Living the Good Life (PDF)
- Email Triage (PDF)
- Premium Planners Set
Reclaim Your Dreams by Jonathan Mead ($47)
- Reclaim Your Dreams – "Everything Package" (70-page PDF)
- "I'm Serious About Action" Worksheets (30-page PDF)
52 Weeks to Awesome by Pace & Kyeli ($52)
- 52 emails, each with a tidbit to learn and a mission to accomplish
- A 128-page workbook (PDF)
- Pace & Kyeli's best-kept secret to living an awesome life
5 Ingredients | 10 Minutes by Jules Clancy ($77)
- 133 totally NEW 5-ingredients recipes
- Colour photographs of every recipe (343 pages)
- 50 videos
Rebel Fitness Guide by Steve Kamb ($37)
- Rebel Fitness Guide (40-page PDF)
- Rebel Diet Guide (35-page PDF)
- Rebel Food Fighter (60-page PDF)
- 6 Separate Workout Exercise Books
Fear-Crushing Travel Guide by Farnoosh Brock ($47)
- Fear-Crushing Travel Guide (113-page PDF)
- 7 Fear-Crushing Travel Worksheets
- 10 Audio Interviews with experienced world travelers
- Bonus: The Master Travel Preparation Tip Sheet
Overcoming the Fear of Uncertainty by Sean Ogle ($47)
- Overcoming The Fear of Uncertainty Guide (15,000 words)
- Using Mint.com to Change Your Life (7,000 words)
- Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog
- 5 Interviews, including Chris Guillebeau and Pam Slim
- Worksheets, review sheets, questions, answers, and a remote work agreement template
The Creativity Toolbox by Ali Luke & Thursday Bram ($47)
- Mapping Your Project: The Big Picture and the Details (22-page PDF)
- Game Plan: Spark to Business (36-page PDF)
- Balancing Life and creativity (26-page PDF)
- 7 interviews
- Resource Directory
- 65 Jump-leads for your creativity
Make Sh*t Happen by Jenny Blake ($47)
- Make Sh*t Happen (80-page PDF)
- Workbook of all exercises (Google Docs)
The Language Hacking Guide by Benny Lewis ($67)
- Language Hacking Guide in PDF, ePub, Mobi, and printer-friendly
- Full translationss of the guide in 23 different languages
- Worksheets, also translated
- Almost 3 hours of audio interviews
- Lists of free resources for practicing any language
Sex, Love, Liberation by Ev'Yan Nasman ($47)
- Sex, Love, Liberation: A manifesto for the bold at heart (61-page PDF)
- Sex, Love, Liberation Workbook (29-page PDF)
Learn More, Study Less by Scott Young ($67)
- Learn More, Study Less (200+-page PDF)
- 6 bonus printable workheets
A Daring Adventure collection by Tim Brownson ($47)
- How to be Rich and Happy (215-page PDF)
- Don't Ask Stupid Questions (94-page PDF)
- Don't Panic! A Practical Guide to Dealing with Fear, Anxiety, Panic & Public Speaking (45-page pdf)
- 16 Ways to Destress Your Life (34-page pdf)
The Less Work, More Harmony Relationship Guide by Cara Stein ($47)
- 25 PDf modules (96 pages, 38,000+ words)
- Better Communication Workshop
Brilliantly Better Collection by Dragos Roua ($43)
- Natural Productivity (156-page PDF)
- 100 Ways to screw up your life (109-page PDF)
- 100 Ways to improve your life (108-page PDF)
- 30 Sentences for a millionaire mindset (96-page PDF)
How to Become an Advanced Early Riser by Steve Aitchenson ($37)
- How to Become An Advanced Early Riser (66-page PDF)
- Success Log to track your progress
- 4 MP3 audio downloads
- Quick start guides
Cheap Family Fun by Kim & Jason ($52)
- 52 weekly emails of ideas for free or very cheap fun
- 52 short, entertaining videos
The Art of Relaxed Productivity + The Power of Positivity by Henrik Edberg ($44)
- The Art of Relaxed Productivity (98-page PDF)
- The Power of Positivity (132-page PDF)
- Quick Start To Relaxed Productivity Audio Guide (MP3) + 5 more audio files
- The Ultimate Guide to Motivation
- 2 Workbooks
- Audio Transcripts
Discover Package by Barrie Davenport ($59)
- Discover Your Passion (116-page PDF)
- The Bold Living Guide (46-page PDF)
- Coaching Works (10-page PDF)
- Life 101 Master Course (9-page PDF)
Mind Control Method: How to Get What You Want by Karol Gajda ($47)
- Mind Control Method (37-page PDF)
- 5 MP3 audios
Sell Your Crap by Adam Baker ($47)
- Sell Your Crap (67-page main guide PDF)
- The Definitive Step-by-Step Guide to Selling Your Crap on eBay (171-page PDF)
- The Definitive Step-by-Step Guide to Selling Your Crap on CraigsList (49-page PDF)
- The Definitive Step-by-Step Guide to Selling Your Crap on Amazon (41-page PDF)
- 10 Video Interviews with Anti-Clutter authors and bloggers, including Leo Babauta, Chris Guillebeau, and J.D. Roth
- So there you are. This is your chance to purchase over $1000 worth of potentially life-changing books and courses for less than $100 by clicking right here. Please note I will receive a commission on any purchase you make.