Don’t try to think your way out of unhappiness; try these tips instead…

Don’t try to think your way out of unhappiness; try these tips instead…

via by Matthew Jones

Even the smartest and most successful people are unhappy. Take one of my clients, I’ll call him George, for example.

George is a key player in a large tech firm. He’s not only a driven team leader always aiming to improve performance, he’s also intelligent, wealthy, and–you guessed it–unhappy.

He’s the type of guy who, no matter what problem you throw at him, will find a solution and excel–he’s just that determined. Unfortunately, his masterful ability maintain a laser-like focus on evolving goals–the thing that makes him successful–also is the mechanism that prevents his happiness.

Happiness is widely misunderstood.

In the context of our Western culture, Americans are taught that happiness is an external object–a commodity that can be purchased. We think that we’ll be happy once we “earn enough money,” or get the respect and recognition we deserve, but none of these things have anything to do with real happiness.

Genuine happiness emerges when you stop creating your own unhappiness.

Unhappiness is thinking. The mind is the most brilliant tool we have as humans. When applied strategically, it can improve people’s lives and lead to positive social change. But when you live in a world created by the mind–constantly comparing yourselves to others, thinking about the future, ruminating over the past–then there’s no escaping it.

You are bound to your thoughts.

Caged like an animal, you have no idea that you shackled yourself. You built the trap and then walked into it. By the time you started avoiding uncomfortable emotions by trying to think your way out of them, the plan was already set in motion.

The truth is that happiness is the unconditioned presence in which we all exist.

To discover happiness, then, means that you need to get out of your own way. You need to find the volume dial of your mind, and turn it down. You need to recognize that your thinking–your search for a solution to your pain, your seeking of external happiness, and your contemplation of all things outside of the present moment–creates unhappiness.

If real happiness is the sun, you are the clouds.

These clouds fill with rain the more that you think through your emotional discomfort, the more that you remove yourself from the here-and-now, the more that you dilute your experience of now with thoughts of then. The darker and denser these clouds become, the less light you see, the less warmth you feel, and the faster you forget that the sun is always shining.

Stop preventing the rain.

Allow your thoughts to flow like leaves on a river. There’s no need to get hyper-focused on each one. There’s no need to give them more power than they deserve. Even if thinking is what makes you successful, like George, you still need to practice turning down the volume so that your emotions can be fully embraced, experienced, honored–and then, understood.

When you turn down the volume of your thoughts, you become more intelligent. You become more attuned to the feeling-of-being, the presence in which we all exist. And when you feel that sacred rhythm, like waves in the ocean, you realize that happiness is always present–the sun is always shining.

Real happiness is being–not doing.

A famous guru named Krishnamurti once said, “The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” And he’s correct–the most intelligent people are the ones who recognize the limitations and shortcomings of their mind.

In my work with George, five simple steps aided our ability to deepen his experience of happiness…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE