The Pursuit of Happiness

Happiness and freedom come from a clear understanding of one thing: Some things in life are within our control and some things are not.

It is only after you have faced this fundamental rule and learned what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer harmony are possible. Opinions, values, beliefs, desires, and dislikes, are rightly our concerns because they directly concern us. We always have a choice about the content and character of our inner lives.

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Identifying and accepting the things that are outside our control is just as important unless you want to spend untold amounts of energy and time worrying over things you have no influence over.  What kind of body you have, whether you were born wealthy or poor, what others think of you, and the status you have in society.  None of these things are directly in your control and should be identified as such before being let go slowly as your understanding of worrying about them has on your overall health.  Trying to control or change what we have no power to change only results in torment.

Next, keep your attention focused entirely on what is your own concern and be CLEAR that what belongs to others is their business and none of yours.  In knowing and focusing only on what actually concerns you, you cannot be made to do anything against your will, such as becoming unhappy.

Circumstances do not rise to meet our expectations or dreams.  They happen exactly as they do.  People behave as they are.  Embrace what you actually get and spare yourself the frustration of arguing with reality.  Remember that nothing can be gained from a long and protracted fight against reality.  Embrace what you actually get.  Open your eyes and see the joy and wonder in life as it unfolds on its own terms.  See things for what they really are and spare yourself the suffering of false attachments to a reality that isn’t real.

When something happens, the goal we need to work towards is a complete understanding that the only thing that is within your power is your attitude towards it; you can either accept it or resent it, either way it still happened.  Your reaction to it will change the course of history or events.  What frightens or disturbs us is not the event itself, but the way we think about it.

Things and people are not what we wish they would be nor are they what they appear to be.

They Are What They Are.

Don’t try to make your own rules.  Conduct yourself in all matters, both great and small, in accordance with the laws of nature.  Harmonizing your will with nature should be your utmost ideal.

Things in and of themselves do not hurt or hinder us.  Likewise, nor do other people.  How we view these things is a different matter though.  Our perceptions, attitude, and reactions to things, events, and people can hurt us though.

It is a difficult fact to accept, but for the most part we cannot chose or control our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we react to them.

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