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Life is hard. Even an easy life is hard.
I don’t know why this is. I don’t know who is responsible, though I guess it must be God. In any case, no one on this earth—or very few people—feel happy continuously. Some gurus claim that they do (if that’s what they mean by “enlightenment,” anyway), but I have my doubts.
I have my serious doubts.
Still, that doesn’t mean I’m not happy. So far in my life, I have felt happiness quite often. For the past few years at least, I’ve probably felt it every day. But I’ve felt a lot of sadness, too, sometimes at the same time as the happiness. And that is why to me, happiness is not a feeling. It’s not a state of mind. Instead, it is a state of being. It is living a good life, and being basically pretty satisfied with what you have and where you’re going.
And it means feeling pretty good a lot of the time, too.
That said, here’s my recipe for happiness. First, you get a lot of the stuff you want out of life: purpose (sometimes called religion). A job and some money. Things you enjoy doing. Love and friendship. Then you appreciate the heck out of them.
Second, you let go of many of the things you don’t want. Negative thoughts, for example. Bad relationships. Addictions.
You get the things that help you feel good, and get rid of the things that seem to be more trouble than they’re worth.
That, to me, is happiness.
And in case you think that getting it is way out of your reach, let me assure you: that’s probably not the case. Because there is a secret to getting happiness that I’ve learned over a long period of time: happiness—true happiness—is everywhere, always, all around you.
You just have to look.
The secret to getting happy is, simply, to try.
I found it all on my own. No one helped me, except when I asked for help, which was rare and took some time, because first I had to figure out what, exactly, I needed help with, and then I had to figure out how to ask.
It took a long time, definitely, but then, I started at a very young age. You are probably much closer than I was right now. Probably much closer. Just please, don’t give up.
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