The Balance of Happiness, article by Randy Mitchell
We all seek happiness: that wonderful, peaceful feeling when we believe our personal universal stars are meticulously aligned, giving us that oozing and satisfying feeling. It can be found everywhere, and can hit you when least expected, sending you soaring to new heights along your life’s super highway. Many of us think we know what will make us truly happy: that winning lottery ticket, a romantic relationship filled with never-ending butterflies, or perhaps becoming eye candy for paparazzi-infused photographers hanging on your every thought or gesture. Once again, we all think we know what triggers those warm feelings, but happiness is not all that hard to find, it’s simply a balancing act.
I recently saw an article by international bestselling author and humanitarian, Matthieu Ricard in which he gave ten items to avoid while seeking happiness and having a fulfilled life:
1) Becoming rich, powerful and famous. 2) Treating the universe as if it were a mail order catalog by expecting it to gratify our every desire. 3) Yearning for the “freedom” to achieve every last wish. This is not freedom, but being the slave of your own thoughts. 4) Seeking too much pleasure. Pleasurable sensations soon become dull, and often become unpleasant. 5) Maliciously taking revenge on someone who has hurt you. By doing so, you become like them and poison your own mind. 6) Assuming that any one thing will make you happy. Such predictions usually don’t turn out to be true. 7) Expecting all praise and no criticism. Without criticism, you won’t progress. 8) To vanquish all your enemies. Animosity never brings happiness. 9) To never face adversity. Refraining from doing so will make you weak and vulnerable. 10) Expending all your effort on taking care of yourself alone. Altruism and compassion are the roots of genuine happiness.
Any of these look familiar? Look back at number one… I wonder why it’s at the top of the list?
Now, don’t misinterpret me here, I like money and all which comes with it. There’s not a thing wrong with wanting to become successful and thought of highly among your peers. Realistically, most would agree. But, if you had this one item, probably sitting at the top of everyone’s personal list of what would make them happy, would it really? Or would it only give you happiness for a while, making you continue to search and strive for other things to experience fulfillment?
Whitney Houston’s recent death, along with so many other mega-sized celebrities leaving this earth at such a young age, has always made me pause to wonder, why? After all, looking from the outside, she had everything: A huge fortune, unbelievable fame, beauty, incredible talent, a family who loved her. Yet, her personal life was consumed with alcohol and substance abuse–a need she depended on deeply and couldn’t shake till it stole her final breath. Most would argue looking at her life: Boy, if only I could step into her shoes for a day I’d have everything I ever wanted! Would you really? Apparently and sadly, like so many others, it wasn’t enough for Whitney Houston. And it’s a lesson learned that what most would hold atop a pedestal as being the picture of blissful fulfillment, well… But, I’m using her as an example to understand why someone who literally had it all; obviously didn’t.
Happiness, like so many other things in life is best achieved using a simple term: Balance. If you have money and fame, great, but could you be happy without it? If you were granted one wish from a Jeanie-In-A-Bottle and it was granted, would that wish define your happiness? Hmm, that reminds me of the old saying, “Careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”
Most of the happiest people I know are that way because it’s just who they are. They choose to be happy. They experience it from within regardless of how much money they have or success they achieve. They don’t allow outside influences to steal it and have learned to block out those things and people who try. They aren’t ones who write or speak negatively. They say “no” to destructive personalities and forces that come like a thief-in-the-night. They’ve learned to walk the balancing line between what truly makes them happy and what the world and others think will make them happy.
Of course, we’re all guilty of believing what we see–that what the world has to offer will paint a permanent smile on our faces. But, the only smile I really trust is the reflection in the mirror every morning. It’s the one that always tells the tale.
May your smile be completely, balanced.
Mr. Mitchell lives in Dallas, Texas and has spent most of his career as a commercial airline pilot. He’s an avid blogger, movie fan, martial artist, and lover of all things Dallas Cowboys. His first romance novel, Sons in the Clouds, is currently available wherever e-books are sold.
See Randy’s website, The Inspirational Writer.
Connect with Sons in the Clouds on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. See the inspirational Sons in the Clouds book trailer.
Books available online at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader Store, Apple I-Bookstore, and KoBo.
Randy will be back on the blog on May 17 with another fabulous article.
11 responses to “The Balance of Happiness, by Randy Mitchell”
Oh this is wonderful. So eloquently said and so, so true. Thank you Karen for hosting Randy on your blog….now, I’m off to check out his!
Love this – and I am guilty of the “why aren’t I a kindle millionaire!” and “why hasn’t New York Times paid any attention to meeeeeee (said all whiny” — but then there are the moments of clarity where I think “I did this thing – I wrote these books and there they are on my shelves – I accomplished something . . .” or I’ll receive a nice note from a reader -those are the moments that really count. I’d rather count those moments than cash – though it’s nice to have some cash sometimes *laughing!* 😀
This is all so true. I think learning to let go is condusive to happiness. Once I chose to forgive others, I realized how the pain and bitterness-which I denied I even had-colored my life. The hard part is forgiving onesself, but I’m working on that. Randy is write- happy is not an elusive feeling, but a matter of choice.
Many thanks to both Karen and Randy for sharing this article today. 🙂
And Kat–$ is always nice 😀
The money thing – I’ve been fortunate to have lots of it, have been unfortunate to live pay-to-pay. It all comes down to family, how you do what you do, true-blue friends, and what you hold dear.
What an important reminder, Randy. I recently heard a TED talk that confirms your premise — money does NOT bring happiness itself. Now the joy of how you can help others if you had more money is another thing :-).
But at the end of the day, it’s all inside, and you made that point beautifully.
Thanks to you all for your wonderful comments. They are most appreciated and I look forward to sharing another article with you soon!
I hope everybody looked at your video/book trailer, Randy. It’s very well done. Very inspirational! You are a pleasure to work with.
Thank you, Karen. It’s been a pleasure working with you as well. My book trailer was something I believe covered the main aspects of the novel and I hope all who watch it see it as an important story covering survival, a dedication to love and friendship, and true belief in God when needed the most.
Absolutely right on. Thank you.
@ Randy – Excellent article on a very important topic. Happiness is a mindset created by the conscious endeavor of positive thinking and taking the time to get the most out of life. A successful career in which pride is taken in work, a meaningful relationship, and simple, fulfilling life are the aspects that can bring happiness.
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