Why relentless pursuit of happiness isn’t worth it

Young woman looks at the mirror and sees her happy reflection. Self-acceptance and confidence concept.

Article by Gaia Ferreira

Many of us live in a relentless pursuit of happiness, however, what if we are giving the concept of being happy too much attention?

The world we live in today can often make us feel inferior and thanks to Pinterest-worthy images of ‘happiness marketing’, we’re unknowingly being taught there’s something wrong with us if our ‘happy’ does not look like theirs. With constant check-ins on our level of happiness, it tends to return one answer: not quite happy enough. We see this in the increase in stories of seemingly happy people succumbing to suicide.

In the comparative world we live in, where scratching beneath the surface isn’t the norm, it can be difficult to handle the struggles we face. Personal development gurus condition us to

keep outdoing the status quo. They tell us that positivity is good, and anything less must be a symptom of mental illness, bad habits or a poor mindset. The human emotions we feel – fear, worry, sadness, anger, hurt, guilt, and shame are all valid. They give us information about our environment and show us where our expectations and reality are not aligned.

So, instead of the endless pursuit of happiness which can often leave us feeling disappointed, create your own fulfilment instead. It’s far more achievable and offers a real, tangible feeling. We can recognise fulfilment because of the sense of wholeness within us, feeling safe and protected, acceptance for what is, gratitude for all aspects (even the ones we wouldn’t necessarily choose), a feeling of accomplishment, love, responsibility and certainty. We can create fulfilment by the choices we actively step into – but most importantly, we can work towards being more fulfilled every day.

Here are four steps to going from the existential mode of overwhelm (questioning everything) to the exponential peace from deep fulfilment (secure, assured, guided):

(Re)Awaken your Genius

Your innate Genius has always been with you… but you learned to ignore it so the world around you could shape you as ‘they’ thought it best for you to be. To (re)awaken your Genius, you need to become aware of the unconscious patterns that hold you back from greatness. Challenge yourself to start noticing the stories, beliefs and expectations you tell yourself as you move through the day. Jot these down and look for patterns. You may be surprised to notice a tendency to expect conflict, or you don’t expect things to work out. Whatever patterns get uncovered here will serve you in the next steps.

Ignite your Total Intelligence ®

There are six core modes of intelligence by which we all operate. Let’s look at the top three, as they are the active reinforcement of the Genius we live by or ignore. Remember the old adage, ‘What got you here won’t take you there’.

Mind: All thoughts are unoriginal. They’re repetitions of something we’ve heard, seen, or learned prior to this moment; your analysis, logic, and decision-making are limited by your life’s experience, your environment, and your learning. To create new patterns of thinking, you must start by questioning your thoughts: next time you have a decision to make, map out the decision step-by-step. The formula for your decision-making will always be the same. Once you know this, you can re-write for efficiency and success.

Heart: Marketers know that all decisions are made in the heart (but we use our logic to justify them). Because no matter how satisfied you are with life; the human experience is to always want more. Your emotional map was created for you before the age of seven when you were experiencing the world through emotions. So today, your emotional experience of life is related to the unresolved emotional events of your childhood and the environment you grew up in. Don’t remember any traumas? That’s an adult logical (mind) way of processing. Your heart knows everything: if you ever cried as a kid, there’s an emotion to heal. Clear away your heart’s unresolved emotions by journaling out your feelings about your day, focusing on what the emotion refers to.

Spirit: Even if you’re not religious or spiritual, consider your spirit the essence of you. It’s what people remember about you after you’ve left the room. Your spirit is your instinct self. And there are only two possible settings for it: fear or trust. Our minds are very good at rationalising fear and making us believe it’s trust. One of the best ways to know how you’re instinctively wired is to ask yourself this question: ‘At this moment, am I allowing or controlling?’ Faith allows. Having to know, decide, organise or plan are elaborate forms of control. One of the ways to shift into more trust in your life is to consider all the times things didn’t work out as you’d planned, and yet they held a special gift, learning or improved outcome. You may be surprised to discover just how protected, loved and guided you’ve always been.

If you’d like to continue developing your Total Intelligence, consider your body’s energy and how to get more, improve habits and routines by being intentional with what you actively desire, and speak as you want things to be (not as you don’t want them to be).

The activation

Once you are living in your Genius with your Total Intelligence supporting your thoughts, feelings, and being, you get to enjoy the harmony of being driven by your vision, not your conditions. Can there be any greater fulfilment than this?

About the author

Gaia FerreiraGaia Ferreira is co-author of Success Secrets for Wellbeing, a speaker, coach on personal fulfilment and heart-focused leadership and the creator of the Total Intelligence® Method.

Gaia Ferreira helps business owners and entrepreneurs avoid breakdown. Through deep inner work, she addresses the values and belief systems that create the fear and courage from which we operate. Her work focuses on discovering your inner purpose, gaining clarity into the unconscious patterns that hold you back, and creating new ways to lead with authenticity. Gaia has shared the stage with Brian Tracy, Harrison Klein, Dr John Demartini, and spoken at a Tony Robbins event. For more information visit: www.gaiaferreira.com

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