The Pursuit of Happiness: Life’s Ultimate Aim
When asked what most people want in life, they will tell you it is to be happy. Typically, if they answer with some other external factor such as financial freedom, material gain, love relationship or degree of success this is most often because they believe acquiring this will lead to happiness. Even though happiness is experienced as a fundamental goal it is often just out of reach on any consistent basis. It is there one minute and gone the next. Stress, busyness, impatience, frustration and overwhelm compete for this space in your mind and body.
Perhaps you have been a seeker of happiness, applying yourself diligently with hopes of experiencing greater joy. You have read books, attended workshops, been in therapy and repeated positive affirmations. However you find your results are dismal compared to the amount of effort you have applied. We are here to tell you, it is not your fault. You and countless others have been misinformed about how to actually experience long term happiness.
What if we told you that the primary methods for achieving happiness only lead to short term results and long term dissatisfaction?
Happiness & Unhappiness
Here’s an important clue as to why this statement is true. Happiness is not the absence of unhappiness just as health is not the absence of disease. This probably sounds like common sense to you. However, most strategies designed to increase happiness focus primarily on decreasing unhappiness.
- How often have you told yourself to think differently, more positively or rationally about a situation yet seconds later the same thoughts come crashing through your mind?
- Have you realized your emotional response to a situation is disproportionate to the actual situation yet can’t seem to tell yourself to let it go and change your viewpoint?
- Have you read self-help books on the topic having gained new insights without lasting results?
- Perhaps you’ve even sat down journaling page after page on the issue still to no avail for relieving your feelings.
As much as you might wish it were different, you just can’t get there from here. These tactics are inherently flawed for several reasons. We too are familiar with these strategies as we have applied them personally and professionally. We know the time and effort this takes and the typical lack of results it brings. Read on as we reveal the missing links to creating lasting happiness.
Hilary Stokes Ph.D. and Kim Ward Ph.D. have been a team for 20 years, specializing in mind, body, spirit psychology. They are the authors of the bestselling books The Happy Map: Your roadmap to the habit of happiness and Manifesting Mindset: The 6-step formula for attracting your goals and dreams and founders of Authenticity Associates Coaching and Counseling. They are passionate about combining the best of holistic and traditional approaches to health and happiness. If you are interested in learning the answers to the most frequently asked questions on how to decrease stress and increase happiness sign up for their free video series.