Look inwards for happiness!

The biggest mistake in our search for happiness is to look to the world to fulfill our needs. Happiness does not come from without, it comes from within. Everyone has heard this before, and yet we continue to ignore it. It is sad, because the more we look outside for the causes of happiness, the less we recognize the true causes within.

Hence, the first and most obvious problem with looking outwards for happiness is that happiness is not found there. If we continue to look outwards, we will focus on pursuing riches, obsessing over our health or looks, indulging in excess food or drugs, or seeking whatever else we think is the answer. Most people spend their whole lives in the endless pursuit of pleasures that will do nothing to raise their level of happiness. If they ever reach their goals, they only end up disappointed. At this point, they will usually come up with new things that they think will bring happiness – perhaps more money, or a better partner. Alternatively, if they are lucky, they may finally realize that they must look inwards instead, and thus the journey to happiness can begin.

The second problem with looking outward is that we can begin to cast blame. This is particularly common for people in intimate relationships. If we think that happiness can come from someone else, such as our partner, then we begin to blame them when we are unhappy. This could also occur with our boss, our friends, or our family. It is unfair on these people to blame them. It is also pointless, because they cannot make us happy. Casting such blame only increases suffering both for us and for them.

Therefore, we must stop ourselves from looking outwards for happiness. We must stop blaming anyone or anything for our own suffering. Fulfillment comes from realizing that we are responsible for our own happiness, and that its causes lie within. This should be good news, because the inside is the one thing we can reliably change.

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  1. Life Insurance Lowdown » Blog Archive » Carnival of Life, Happiness and Meaning #27 said,

    December 10, 2007 @ 6:05 pm

    […] CJ presents Look inwards for happiness! posted at SpiritualInquiry.com. Argues that happiness lies within our own minds, and that by focusing on improving external conditions, we ignore the true causes of happiness. […]

  2. CG Walters said,

    December 17, 2007 @ 9:19 pm

    I very much agree, CJ.
    To seek a thing, by the nature of the action of seeking, is to put it beyond our grasp–or how will we seek it?

    Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
    –Nathaniel Hawthorne

    Peace and wonder,

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