[By: Martin Grunburg]
Now that we have a better sense of the rules or “laws” that help to cultivate our happiness levels, you might begin to think that happiness IS — or should be — our ultimate goal!
Upon further review, however, we find something far more powerful and deep, much more satisfying and valuable than mere happiness.
Any idea what it is?
The word DEEP is your first clue.
Take a look at the image below.
The photo is titled “ANGRY LAKE.”
Seems like the question worth pondering is, “Why is it so angry?” What’s going on in this photo?
Well, you might say, the surface is agitated — rough and perhaps even dangerous. The winds are blowing fiercely!
Here’s another question: Where are you looking when you make that assessment?
Now, take a look at this picture:
This photo literally is called “Tranquility Lake.”
In contrast to the first picture, you see beautiful skies, almost no wind, perfect reflection. All seems wonderful, safe and peaceful.
So wouldn’t it be wonderful if Tranquility Lake NEVER looked like Angry Lake?
Do you think Angry Lake could ever look like Tranquility Lake?
Are We Looking in the Wrong Place?
What do both lakes have in common?
If, at the surface, one lake is “Angry” and the other is “Tranquil,” what’s going on?
In actuality, the answer reveals something far deeper than happiness.
Seems like we get caught up (literally) looking at the facade: We’re fixated upon the surface, which might shift as quickly as the weather might change.
However, what is happening in the deepest parts of both lakes?
Do you think the daily “winds of change” have much, if any, influence upon the deepest parts?
Toward the bottom of the lake — the core — the lake is mostly unfettered, unperturbed. You might even call it content.
The daily winds of change have little influence upon the core, base entity deep near a lake’s bottom.
The depths have little regard for the daily drama — the ups and downs, the mood swings inherent with the events that arise from one day to the next.
Our real target? CONTENTMENT!
When we are content we are much like the core of a lake — calm, stable, peaceful — unaffected by the winds of change.
Gaining Contentment Over Happiness
Before we go any further, it’s important to understand the word “contentment” and what it means:
Many people confuse contentment with comfort and complacency. Contentment is neither. You might consider contentment as the up-leveling, or perhaps (in the lake analogy) the down-leveling of happiness. (Read the definition above: “A state of happiness and satisfaction.”)
The natural question, then, is what creates or constitutes contentment? And, how can we BEcome more content?
Recall, to BEcome anything involves the development of our CHARACTER. And, as we know, character is simply a long-standing habit. (That’s Plato, not me; )
Therefore, you’d be correct to presume that the habituation of the 6 Laws of happiness would greatly help to ingrain contentment into one’s character.
Hence, the development of contentment is a result— the biproduct of one’s ability to develop the 6 “Laws” of Happiness into habits.
Thus, these habits ARE MUSTS:
Cultivating strong relationships is a must.
Taking responsibility for one’s life is a must.
Choosing happiness often is a must.
Setting goals and developing oneself (personal development) is a must.
Being of service and purpose is a must.
Acceptance and understanding is a must.
Integrity and being aligned with one’s values is a must.
Developing the habits that constitute happiness leads you to the path of true contentment.
Looking for More?
Finally, I received an email from an old friend who’s going through a lot of CHANGE (recall the winds of change). I was pleased and surprised she’d watched the FREE Happiness Webinar.
Change is ironically one of life’s great constants. As we face the inevitable winds of change, we can rest assured knowing that our habits of happiness, those that have cultivated a deep-seeded contentment are able to weather any storm that might come our way.
Until next time,