How to be Happy…Ending the Incessant Focus on Yourself!

me-me-me-md1We are all on a quest to be happy, right? Happiness is the one of the most talked about topics in life and for good reason. We all want it so very badly! Yet strangely, pursuing happiness as your object of focus tends to lead away from and not to… happiness. Happiness is defined as an emotional state characterized by varying pleasant emotions. Happiness is something we experience. We can certainly choose to be happy and in so choosing greatly increase our odds of being happy. But sometimes we sort of get it wrong. We start looking for it and while we are waiting for it we realize we aren’t experiencing it. So we try a little harder to get it and experience it less and less. Hmmm what’s wrong with that picture? What’s wrong is our subject of focus!

Life is supposed to be lived full on. Full on means being fully invested in whatever is going on at the present moment. “Clear eyes, full heart!” When we become totally invested in the present moment something interesting and wonderful happens. We experience happiness! Okay, so imagine yourself in this scenario. You have a very busy day at work. Many things are clamoring for your attention and you have important things to accomplish. So you make up your mind to focus on the work at hand and give yourself fully to it. You are locked in man! Suddenly you realize, “holy smokes” it’s 5:15 p.m., I’m supposed to be off now. So you pack up shop and head home. And while you are driving home it dawns on you that you feel pretty dang good. You feel satisfied and happy! How did that happen? You weren’t even focused on happiness and there it came out of nowhere. The secret? Full hearted focus on what you were doing at the moment! Hmmm…

No what about the converse? You are sitting on your couch thinking about yourself. Why am I so unhappy? I mean what is the matter with me? I used to be happy and now I’m not. Why??? Maybe it’s my job or my wife or the weather or the economy or the neighborhood I live in or that all my friends on Facebook sure seem so happy… Maybe I should go on a diet? I am getting pretty fat, after all. I sure wish I was slim like such and such. I have no discipline. Maybe I just need to exercise more. And look at my clothes. I used to have nice clothes. I mean I have really let myself slip. What is wrong with meeeeeeee? The clue to your unhappiness is found in that one little word, “ME.” Me, me, me… That incessant focus on yourself is your problem! You have temporarily stopped living your life and sat down to examine it. And like anything that man does, it always leads to an acknowledgment of imperfection. You’ve been tricked out of living an experiencing and exchanged it for analyzing; as if that type of analysis ever led to anything good!

Happiness, remember, is something we experience. You don’t will it into existence! Give it try…I’ll wait! No, instead what you need to do, what we all need to do, is put our focus 100% into the present moment. Focused thought, wholehearted thought, is happy thought. Otherwise your thoughts become divided and divided thoughts are anxiety. Anxiety is literally trying to think two thoughts at once. Half in the moment, half in your thoughts. Anxiety! Focusing on “me, me, me” is only going to lead to feeling anxious and won’t get you to what you are really after. God tells us to put our whole heart into things. Maybe He knows a thing or two about happiness, huh?

Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men… Colossians 3:23 AMP

That, my friends is the answer to what ails you! One of the great oxymorons of life is that the more you focus on making yourself happy, the less happy you will be. But, the more you focus on others and what the moment you are in calls for, the happier you become. Try it out for yourself. Instead of trying to answer that age-old question, give yourself completely to whatever it is you are doing (or supposed to be doing) right now. Get your mind off of yourself and onto the moment you are in. Fully, completely, unequivocally!

The world we live in is constantly encouraging us to think about ourselves and to be consumed with ourselves. But, it is a trick! It won’t lead you to where you want to go. Instead it leads to antidepressants and other medication that tries to help you “feel” good. Why not decide to stop that incessant focus on yourself and experience the life you have been waiting for all along? That glorious, happy life is right there waiting for you; waiting for you to change your focus.

Life aint all about me, well, a happy life anyway!

Just some good thoughts…


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