Have you ever set a goal and quit after a few days because it was too hard or maybe you weren’t getting the results you wanted. The reason why it didn’t work is because you didn’t keep going. Life is not meant easy. So, why would our goals be any different?
Since the beginning of time, man has been fighting off some sort of nature. Technology has made our lives easier, but life is challenging. This is not to sound pessimistic. It is to be realistic. While life is challenging, it is also quite amazing too. It is like the yin and yang. There is the dark and light. When practicing happiness, some lessons might be easy, while other lessons might take effort.
In my happiness practice, I have learned three important lessons about life and happiness.
- Discipline is important. This requires that you set some intention or goal for your life. The discipline helps drive the action of this intention. Getting up everyday and committing to this intention is the key. But the power lays in the “why” of the intention. If the “why” is not strong enough, then the passion for this intention will fade. That is when people give up.
- Consistency is showing up, even when you are not seeing any results yet. When you plant a seed in a flowerpot, the flower doesn’t bloom immediately. You just know that something is happening. You have made some change by planting this seed. Sometimes you have to have faith that things will happen in their own time. While you wait, you have to keep showing up to see what happens. This could take some time, which leads to my next lesson.
- Patience is more than a virtue. It is a critical piece to the process! Technology has taken the patience out of our lives. Everything we need, we can get immediately. Happiness doesn’t work this way. You can’t download it on your computer. Once you plant the seed, if you don’t nurture the plant with water and sunlight, nothing will happen. Be patient, because amazing` things come to those who are patient.
Final thoughts: These three lessons have been crucial on my happiness journey. When I see other people struggling, it is always because one of these things is missing. While it might sound like an easy fix, it does take effort. The practice of happiness takes discipline, consistency, and patience. There are not short cuts to getting there. But I will say, that the journey is worth every moment. I would like to leave you with some words from Mihaly Csiksgentmihalyi, author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience:
“Few things are sadder than encountering a person who knows exactly what he should do, yet cannot muster enough energy to do it. “He who desires but acts not,” wrote Blake with his accustomed vigor, “Breeds pestilence.”