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How Can I Find Happiness?  – 
Part One

Dennis L. Dossett
   (All Rights Reserved)

      Last month I examined the question of “What is Happiness?” from the perspectives of many different people. The answer was that Happiness is an attitude based on our thoughts, for which we alone are responsible. It is a state of being rather than of doing, and our experience of happiness is a conscious choice, day by day, moment by moment. In other words, my happiness is all about me just the same as every other aspect of my life, including my spiritual growth.

      But is happiness really as simple as consciously deciding to “be happy”? Well, yes and no. Yes, it really is that simple once you learn how. No, it is not necessarily easy, especially when you are not accustomed to thinking in those terms. Let's face it, for some (if not most) people, unhappiness is a habit. They usually don't even think about the subject until they are wallowing in unhappiness - which is most of the time. According to the Law of Attraction, we get what we think about, what we put our attention on. When we are thinking about how unhappy we are, we can't attract happiness - at least not until we begin to place our attention on what we want rather than on what we don't want.

•  “ It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”
     ~ Dale Carnegie (1888-1955; trainer & author of How to Win Friends and Influence People)


      So how can we create happiness in our lives? Once again, I will share some thoughts on this subject from others who have “figured it out” for themselves.


      First, Happiness is based in finding one's Purpose in Life, one's Passion:

•  “ Work without love is slavery.”
     ~ Mother Teresa (1910-1997; founder of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India)


•  “ If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life.”
     ~ Abraham Maslow (1908-1970, American psychologist)


•  “ We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life. All that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”
     ~ Albert Einstein (1879-1955, American physicist, 1921 Physics Nobel Prize)


•  “ Every soul has their talent. Find it and you can find your happiness.”
     ~ Maitreya (Channeled by Margaret McElroy, Maitreya Newsletter, March 19, 2010)


      How can you find your “purpose” in life? The keys can be found in your astrological natal chart, in a reading with a reputable intuitive such as Margaret McElroy, or through a “Life in Spirit Between Lives” session where you explore the decisions you made in consultation with Spirit before you incarnated in this life (I now offer these sessions). Whatever means you use to discover your passion, you will clearly know you have found your purpose in life when you begin to do it. When you find your passion, everything else becomes secondary.


      Second, it is important to get your mind off of your own woes and place it firmly somewhere else. People from many different walks of life firmly believe that a key component of happiness is Service to Others:

•  “ If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ”
     ~ H. H. The Dalai Lama (1935-; Tibetan Buddhist religious leader)


•  “ One thing I am convinced more and more is true and that is this: The only way to be truly happy is to make others happy. When you realize that and take advantage of the fact, everything is made perfect. ”
     ~ William Carlos Williams (1883-1963; U.S. physician & poet)


•  “ Lead the life that will make you kindly and friendly to everyone about you, and you will be surprised what a happy life you will lead. ”
     ~ Charles M. Schwab (1862-1939, industrialist & businessman)


•  “ I do not know what path in life you will take, but I do know this: If, on that path, you do not find a way to serve, you will never be happy. ”
     ~ Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965, Alsatian medical missionary, theologian & philosopher, 1952 Nobel Peace Prize)


      What better way to get your mind off of yourself than to focus on helping others? If your passion also includes helping other people, so much the better in terms of your own happiness. Serving others then becomes a true act of “spiritual selfishness” as I have written about in a previous newsletter.


      Happiness inevitably follows an “Attitude of Gratitude”:

•  “ Just think how happy you would be if you lost everything you have right now, and then got it back again. ”
     ~ Frances Rodman (1905-; contemporary American author)


•  “ You won't be happy with more until you're happy with what you've got. ”
     ~ Viki King (1929-1968; American black civil rights leader & clergyman)


•  “ If over the course of your life you fail to appreciate what you have, you will never be happy. But if you find satisfaction in your situation, whatever it may be, then happiness will be yours. ”
     ~ Christine Vitrano (Professor and co-editor of Happiness: Classic and Contemporary Readings in Philosophy)


•  “ Happiness comes only from appreciating what you have right now. You can even be happy by appreciating your troubles because they are helping to build your character. ”
     ~ Harriet Meyerson (Founder of The Confidence Center)


•  “ Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you. ”
     ~ Lao Tzu (604-527 BC, Chinese philosopher; translation by Stephen Mitchell from the Tao Te Ching)


      Gratitude for whatever life brings is not an easy habit to develop, but experience shows that working toward that goal results in the inevitable by-product of happiness. The Ancient Wisdoms are clear on this point, and they are still true today.


      Happiness Occurs in the Present Moment:

•  “ Happiness is not a brilliant climax to years of grim struggle and anxiety. It is a long succession of little decisions simply to be happy in the moment.”
     ~ J. Donald Walters (1926-2013; founder of Ananda intentional communities, author, lecturer & playwright)


•  “ A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.”
     ~ Albert Einstein (1879-1955, American physicist, 1921 Physics Nobel Prize)


•  “ Many people think that if they were only in some other place, or had some other job, they would be happy. Well, that is doubtful. So get as much happiness out of what you are doing as you can and don't put off being happy until some future date.”
     ~ Dale Carnegie (1888-1955; trainer & author of How to Win Friends and Influence People


•  “ Meanwhile, life keeps moving forward. The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? ”
     ~ Richard Carlson (1961-2006; American author, psychotherapist, & motivational speaker)


•  “ Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so. ”
     ~ Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899; U.S. Civil War veteran, lawyer, political leader, & orator)


      There are yet more ways to find happiness which we will take up next month. In the meantime, I invite you to discover your Purpose in Life, find a way to Serve Others, and work to develop at Attitude of Gratitude in the Present Moment. Who knows? You may find yourself to be happier than you thought!