Mind Alchemy Day 17 – The Myth of Happiness

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Stephen – New Life Starts Here

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Mind Alchemy Day 17

Chasing Happiness

Is it possible for someone to feel happy all of the time, or even most of the time? Well, you probably guessed that I am going to say that long term happiness is a myth, it physically cannot be achieved.

The feeling of being happy happens all the time to us at some stage in our lives, and it's a wonderful feeling to be happy.   But, it is a short term feeling.   Being happy is an emotion and just like all emotions we feel it is temporary.   If we were to feel happy all day every day we would practically implode, I suppose at least we would die with a smile on our face 🙂

This might sound a little negative and a little counter intuitive to the message I am trying to give to everyone at this blog, but bear with me.

The physiology of being happy

When we get that feeling of being happy, there's a million different things going on in our body that we are unaware of.   There's hormones being released right left and center, heart begins pumping a little faster, veins dilate in order to pump more blood around the body, pupils dilate, and natural drugs are secreted to make us feel happier.   I won't bore you with everything that goes on, but sufficed to say the emotion of happiness gets the body working a little harder and it can only last for a short time.   Just like the emotion of fear, our bodies can only take that emotion for so long before we either pass out, or take flight and run before taking time to calm down.

Chasing happiness

If you look at a lot of outcomes we have in our lives, the superficial ones, like a new sports car, a bigger house, lots of money.   If we really break it down and ask someone why they want lots of money, they might say to buy nice things – why do you want to buy nice things? – so I feel wealthy – Why do you want to feel wealthy – Well i can give up work and help my family – why do you want to do that? – to feel happy.

That's a bit simplistic, but most of the superficial things we are working toward, like buying a fancy car, a huge house, having lots of money is to make us feel happy, or to capture that emotion of happiness.   But, we've just shown that physically we cannot sustain that feeling of happiness.   This is why, when we eventually get that big house, we feel happy for a short period of time, but the feeling soon disappears and we are chasing something else to make us feel happy.

I've got great news and that is we can have something much better than the short term feeling of happiness.

What do we feel after the buzz of feeling happy? What we get immediately after the buzz of happiness is a warm glow of contentedness.

We have all been chasing happiness for most of our lives when we should have been chasing contentment.

Contentment is a much more controlled and mellow emotion and can be sustained for long periods of time.

Shifting our focus

If we shift our focus ever so slightly we can make a huge difference in our lives.

Think of the question:

What would make you feel really happy?

A lot of us might say: more money, a perfect partner, children, no children 🙂 , a bigger car, better work conditions, less hours at work.

Whereas if we ask the question:

What would make you feel really content?

We might then say: Knowing my family is safe, more time with my kids, doing the things I love, having a job I'm passionate about, spending time on my hobby, having a loving relationship.

You see the difference here.

The very phrase 'being content' almost conjures up a mellow, laid back feeling, knowing that all is right with the world.   Being content brings us closer to the things that really matter in our lives, like our loved ones, being passionate about a job, doing something for love and not money.   If we can have the feeling of contentment we can change our thinking at the same time, we can change our emotions, and we can change our beliefs and perceptions of the world.   If we can change all that, hell we can change the whole wide world if we want to.   However we are looking at changing you and not the whole world 🙂

The path to contentment does not go through happiness and it does not pass the town of superficiality, meaning contentment is a feeling of peace and calmness, and the temporary emotion of happiness, and the superficial things in life such as cars, and lots of money will not bring contentment.

If we look for contentment in our lives rather than happiness, we can make a big shift in the way we see the world.

Today's exercise

Download todays exercise here

In this exercise we are going to be looking at the things that would make us feel content in life.   Once we've done that we will look at what we can do today to start working toward the outcome of contentment.


Tomorrow we will looking at your reality.  Until tomorrow my fellow Mind Alchemists"¦"¦..

Action follows a thought"¦

This course is about taking action, and to become pro active in changing your life.   Take time to do this exercise and really think about it throughout the day.   You don't need to wait until tomorrow to take steps to improve your "˜Wheel of Life', but with the support and encouragement from all the members we can help each other and support each other, but ultimately "˜you have to bring something to the table!'

Your thoughts

As always it's good to talk about your experiences and share it with the rest of the members of the course, so let us know how this exercise went for you and if you gained any insights or had any revelations about yourself or your life.

You can share your thoughts at Mind Alchemy Facebook Group

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Or of course you can leave a comment below



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About the author

Steven Aitchison

Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business.  He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.