As long as I can remember, the most important thing to me has always been to constantly become better. Constantly working to get to the next level, get better at things, discover better ways to think, learn and act. Most of all, I've sought to find ways to interact with the world that will make my life more joyous, more meaningful and more peaceful. In a word -- happier.
The most important thing I've had to figure out (and will always continue to work on) is how to interact with the world around me in a way that allows me to remain at peace -- regardless of the circumstances I'm faced with.
I don't know how to stop wars, mean people, traffic or other things I don't like. That means only way to truly remain peaceful and happy is to figure out how to interact with the world in a way that doesn't require the world to be any certain way.
That's the key -- not placing a requirement on your happiness that the world be any certain way. Let's talk more about that.
Most unhappiness comes from things not being how we want them or how we believe they should be. We believe our happiness is tied to things being some certain way. That is, we believe we need to have certain relationships, amounts of money, jobs, social status, and so on to be happy.
When the world -- all that stuff that's beyond your control -- takes those things away, changes them or prevents you from having them, your happiness is affected negatively.
The world simply doesn't adapt to what you need in order to be happy. So, here's some things you can do to remain happy and at peace without relying on specific external circumstances.
1. Be OK with uncertainty
Just accept that there are going to be all kinds of things going on in the world that you won't like. Those things will affect your ability to have circumstances exactly the way you want them. That's OK. We're talking about a different way to approach things here that will vastly increase your likelihood of becoming and remaining happy.
2. Give up the idea of good and bad
Good? Bad? What do they even mean? Good and bad are labels we place on things that either are or are not the way we want them to be. Since we can't control most of what happens, calling them either good or bad only frustrates us.
3. Learn from everything
No matter what it is, view it as "interesting" and see what you can take away from it to become better. Every event has some sort of learning or opportunity that you can take from it. Remember, in #2, we stopped viewing anything as good or bad, so everything is just an event. So, since it's not good or bad, it's all just experiences.
This doesn't mean you don't get to have goals. It doesn't mean you can't strive for things. It just means you have to operate in a world where you only control a small sliver of the bigger picture. That means you have to be really flexible in how you make your big goals happen.
Follow these guidelines to achieve what you want in life and be peaceful while you do it.
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