The internet is abuzz with online learning courses. I get daily emails, which promise that if you chug down this, that or the other gluten free concoction for 30 days, your life will be turned around. You will wake up one morning and besides having a perfectly radiant skin, closely cropped hair and perfect teeth, you will also kiss the elusive stone of wisdom that will turn you into an overnight millionaire in… wait for it… 14 days.
Yup! It’s there in black and white…
The online learning industry is projected to surpass the 165 billion Dollar mark in 2016. The thing that I find interesting and disturbing at the same time though, is that most of the courses on offer, are promising a fix to a problem you have.
I have been looking into these various promises people make, because I am intrigued by how we operate from the inside, what makes us tick… — One thing I can say though, is that signing up for a course that is going to give you defined abs, is akin to taking a 1000 piece puzzle, emptying all the pieces onto the floor and picking a random piece, and deciding that this is the piece that will fix my problems and ultimately make me happy.
Now don’t get me wrong, I recently embarked on an exercise program, and after a month, celebrated the arrival of my very first abdominal muscle (LOL)
— Through a consistent diet of eating raw cork bark, and peeing blood twice a day, (just mildly exaggerating here) I was able to mould a resectable looking bod. It’s a work in progress, but I have to say that it actually did little to to catapult me into a perpetual state of happiness — and herein lies my point.
We do things, because of the feeling that we think we will get when we “get there”.
The feeling of Happiness is probably subjective and if you filled a room with a thousand people, asking them what their definition of happiness was, you would probably receive a differing answer from each one. (Ask them about what failure is though and I would wager that failure can universally be described as the individual’s inability to achieve his or her goals, whatever these may be.)
Would it then not be better, and I am thinking out loud here, to look more for the underlying state. Why do I want to loose the weight around my belly? — well, probably because I will be happier when I feel more attractive. — When I have gotten a grip on this insecurity, then I will be… (you guessed it)…- Happier!
Why not cut to the chase here? If I can read up about peeling the perfect pineapple in the morning and that will actually up my GH production, which will make me leaner, and ultimately contribute to my happiness, ‘cos its a sought after look, then why can’t I short circuit the process by looking to build on my happiness in the first place?
Are there life hacks to happiness?
(This is that moment when daffy duck sticks his head out of the bucket, narrows his eyes and smacks a fist into an open hand and exclaims:)
Now, my dear Mamma might disagree with Daffy, stating that happiness is not something you can pursue.
“Life is tough and it should be pursued in the same way that a sailor hopes that his voyage to sea is uneventful and a little boring. “ — says mom
If everyone’s interpretation of happiness is skewed by their own unique vantage point in life, then perhaps its not a bad idea to dig a little deeper still…
Where and when do we determine that we are residing in that state, which according to our own standards, can be described as happiness? I would guess that it’s the garden of our minds that yields such realisations.
Now, for the first time, we have something tangible to work with. We are a product of our thoughts! (Eureka!)
I rolled out of bed this morning, and while I was not looking for a chandelier to swing from, I was content and “happy” to start the week. What if I had literally bounced out of bed, found my chandelier and spent the first 10 minutes of my day, swinging so hard, that I unleashed the bolts which fastened it to the ceiling.
— Same morning, same conditions, just a different execution, based on the thoughts that I was ushering through my conscious mind.
James Allen put it beautifully when he said:
“Of all the beautiful truths pertaining to the soul which have been restored and brought to light in this age, none is more gladdening or fruitful of divine promise and confidence than this — that man is the master of thought, the moulder of character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment and destiny”
I love this, because it shows me a light at the end of the tunnel. How I feel, is my choice, and if I choose to feel happy, then I can, with the correct application of my (sometimes limited) faculties, find happiness. As beings of Power, Intelligence and Love, we are the captains of our own thoughts, hold the key to every situation and we can make whatever of ourselves that we want.
Think good thoughts and you are a wise master of your emotional household. Think crappy and self defeating thoughts, and you are like Zuma within your own household. — not a wise ruler and internal conflict is not far away.
Wise governance of your emotional home, doesn’t just happen. You need to seek to rule wisely. Some of it happens through trial and error.
Imagine yourself waking up and being presented with a red thread and a blue thread. You decide to pick up the red thread, which includes a little complaint that you have. Your red thread thought leads to another thought and then another, and gets thicker as these thoughts compound. Before long, your thread becomes a rope and you have hauled an ocean liner towards yourself, and it is filled with all manner of crap that you are ruminating about. Pick the blue thread, the one that has no issues, is filled with gratitude for your day, and start pulling on that. Your ocean liner arrives and it is filled with happy connections. People are waving and throwing streamers at you, while a band is playing “When the saints go marching by…”
So when your day dawns, and you have the choice, (which you always do) — be aware of your thoughts. If you’ve had enough coffee and are able to choose your thoughts consciously, why not pull the blue thread towards you, knowing that one thought leads to another and you have chosen consciously.
Here’s a final thought on thread selection… If your choice of threads seems slim, take 5 minutes to write down 5 little things that you are grateful for. These are good and positive threads, and when picked up and hauled closer, are sure to bring you a cheerful daisy painted ocean liner, as opposed to an ominous grey battle-ship, named after your mother in-law.
I choose the ship with the streamers and marching band, ‘cos you know what… — It’s my movie.
How is your movie unfolding?