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Wellness

Why We Seek Happiness And Why It’s Important

We all want the best in ourselves and in the world. Our motivation to live is strong, but often it is misdirected. We are driven by a desire to have self-love, self-acceptance and self-respect. We all want to give thanks to our ancestors for giving us life, and to be fulfilled in some way. But our motivation often can be misguided, as it’s based on a false sense of self and is disconnected with our true, intrinsic purpose. We then seek to please those outside of ourselves. It’s a common, negative habit we’re all prone to.

Humans have the capacity to be more than human. We can be more than the sum of our physical and mental capabilities, and we can learn to be more than what we are. But the trick is to find ways to align those parts of ourselves that we’ve learned to respect and cherish — the parts that keep us human — with those parts of ourselves we seek to please.

The following three ideas, when combined, can help us better connect all of our parts, and make a stronger, richer and more fulfilling life.

1. Self-Compassion: Recognize that those parts of us that are motivated by self-love are the parts of us that have a tendency to be destructive if focused on anything other than ourselves.

2. Purpose: Remember that the part that wants to please itself is often the same part, if it’s not in its right place in the world, that is not in its right place within us. The part that seeks satisfaction through self-compassion is motivated by our desire to be with, and to appreciate and appreciate something more than ourselves.

3. Gratitude: Remember that your true purpose is not “me for me”, but rather, “My life for My life”. The part that wants self-esteem and self-respect is the same part that has its roots in our longings to be appreciated and appreciated in more than ourselves. Recognize that those parts of ourselves that are motivated by a sense of purpose are the parts that drive us to make the sacrifices to serve those we love. Recognize that your true purpose is “all for my children”. The parts of yourselves that are motivated by a sense of gratitude are the parts that have become true self-esteem and self-respect for you. Recognize that you are making the sacrifices to serve your children because you have no one else to do it for you anymore.

Do all three of these things, and begin to change your motivations, and you begin to change your life. You begin to build a greater capacity to give what you are to those you love, in ways that will help them live long and happily.

If you are a member of the Buddhist contemplative tradition, the third and fourth of these ideas may not be as relevant to you, because there are differences between the two traditions about the nature and importance of these three qualities. In some traditions, giving more of yourself is the same as being self-compassionate and self-accepting, and being mindful of our desires is the same as making your own mind a better instrument of good for oneself and others — just as in the Buddhist tradition. In other traditions, these qualities are very different, and it may be that in order to really be mindful of yourself, and to make a living of your practice, you’ll need to find ways to cultivate a more sophisticated sort of self-compassion; for example, in the Vipassana tradition, self-compassion is often part of a greater practice called “observe self,” which is a discipline in the Buddhist tradition that seeks to bring mindfulness to our entire being so that we can be more mindful of all that we are and do at any moment.

But the idea of seeking your inner purpose as part of a greater practice — and of being grateful for being part of the larger human community — is the core part of being human, and the core of what drives that practice.