Throughout my life, I’ve always been searching. Searching for the next best thing. Searching for that special something, whatever that may be. Always seeking happiness, enlightenment or pleasure in my next challenge or endeavour. Never truly being happy with what I have, when I have it. Deflated almost because the goal had been achieved. What now?
Freedom is the key to happiness
My search, for the best part, has been in vain. I’ve been blinded by the perception that happiness comes from the outer world; when, after 40 years of searching, the stark reality is, true happiness comes from within. It’s a form of happiness that cannot be brought or traded.
Happiness, I’ve come to realise, is actually a minimalist conception that doesn’t come in the form of an obtained object or as a result of an experience. It’s an internal perception and outlook on life within the universe we reside. A consistent feeling brought about by a balance in one's inner world.
For me happiness is freedom
However, freedom itself comes in many different guises. Freedom to one person may be despair and insecurity to another. For freedom can’t be defined as any one singular thing. The stark reality is that freedom is a faceless perception of one's personal outlook of life.
The famous saying goes “ones man’s dream is another man’s nightmare” and the same can be said for happiness.
What brings happiness to one person's life could bring despair to another’s.
I’ve searched high and low for happiness. Thinking that another property, car or material object will provide me with the feeling I so desperately crave. Happiness isn't elation or a +10 on the supposed happiness chart. Such a feeling is temporary and with it comes the inevitable reality of life.
Short lived serotonin rushes we experience when we purchase new “things”, or receive a record amount of likes on a social media post, are often swiftly followed by a reduction of that feel good chemical, often taking us right back down to our current state. For many people that can be a minus on the feel good chart.
The secret to happiness is to maintain a healthy balance that equates to your own base level. Neither a plus or minus. Ground zero if you like. To run the course of life at this consistent level means you are living in the here and now. Being present. Not stressing about the future nor dwelling on your past.
Highs and lows are not without benefits don’t get me wrong. They can be hugely beneficial and enjoyable, inspire you to create something worthwhile or ensure you don’t make the same mistake twice. At least for some people anyhow. But, base level happiness is the goal we should all be looking to achieve.
Consistency in life
Another commonly used phrase is that “money can’t buy happiness” which is true for the best part. But, it sure as hell eradicates the problem not having any presents. But, once again, it pays to remember that it’s base level happiness we’re looking for.
Consistency is key.
How do we achieve freedom in our lives?
Personal freedom is a faceless commodity that’s untradeable, it can’t be passed on.
Freedom is an outlook and perception of life. For one person, this could be the flexibility of running your own business or working freelance enabling you to travel the world and work from a laptop. For others, it’s being single and not having the ties of a partner or children.
Yet, the very same scenario to someone else could evoke feelings of emptiness and insecurities
When it comes to your own freedom, there is no wrong or right, better or worse. But, what is wrong, is being forced or coerced into believing someone else’s freedom or happiness is right for you. Only you can decide what freedom looks like, feels like and makes you happy.
For me, freedom comes in the form of my internal emotions (inner world) and my outlook on life (outer world). Unfortunately, there have been times when I’ve searched for the wrong thing, often in the form of material objects, or when I was searching for societal acceptance. Much like the endless stream of people that strive for the Instagram lifestyle. The reality is, that it will simply lead you on a journey that will direct you in the complete opposite direction.
Freedom to me, is the ability to be in control and responsible for your own actions and habits.
When you’re in complete control of your actions you're able to control the narrative of your life and be in complete control of your destiny. And that my friends, is the most empowering feeling anyone could ever possess. Yet, for most people such freedom is merely a pipe dream because they choose instead to let their outer world create invisible barriers and resistance stopping them from taking action for the fear of...
What others will say
Our thoughts become us
Being in complete control of the trajectory and outcome of our life is freedom. Yet the majority of us seldom are in control. If your actions align with your vision and goals then you control the narrative of your own life. And, that equals freedom in the greatest form. If you are able to reach that point in life, then freedom becomes an entirely personal objective.
How many of us do things thing we know not to be productive or beneficial to our lives
Drinking for the wrong reasons
Failing to go to the gym
Remain in a bad relationship
Work in a job we hate
Fail to purse our goals and aspirations
Let fear stop us from taking action
What caused me pain over the years, and I’m sure for many of you as well, is knowing what I had to do in order to take control of my life and pursue the lifestyle I so desperately craved, yet failing to adhere to the habits and routines that were imperative to me achieving those goals.
The very habits and actions that were going to move me closer to happiness and freedom.
I chose to take action at a time in my life when the future scared me. I received a much needed wake up call. I had turned forty and realised I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life. I choose to blame others for my downfall, when really the only person to blame was me. You attract what you seek and are responsible for your own outcome in life.
The sooner you grasp that, the quicker your internal compass leads you to a more fulfilling and happy life.
I chose to create my own adventure and design my ideal lifestyle. A lifestyle that provides me with the freedom to do what I want, when I want, with whom I want, as many times as I want.
That my friends, is freedom and happiness.