There are many things in the world that can bring happiness. A flower, a rainbow, an unexpected call from a friend. All of these things can bring happiness for a time. The hard thing to remember about happiness that comes from external sources is that it is not permanent.
True happiness comes from within. People who are truly happy just are. They don’t have to tell you. You can see it and you can feel it.
For a really long time, I was caught up in materialism and wanting more. Due to my situation I have had to learn to live with less stuff and still be happy. It was not easy to part with things I thought I needed, but as I began to travel lighter, I realized something.
I was busy dragging around stuff I no longer needed or wanted.
What a revelation that was to me. Life became easier instead of harder. Less stuff means in many cases less worries. I was astonished at the pure and utter garbage I was hanging on to. Why was I doing that? Was there a purpose behind having so much stuff?
Not really. I had a lot of things just so I could say I had them. I was “keeping up with the Joneses” and it was killing me on the inside.
That does not mean I want to have nothing.
The interesting thing I have learned time and time again is that it really is not the quantity of things we have, but rather the quality. This goes for friends as well as things we posses. I came to see I can live with a lot less and still be happy. A few years ago I would have thought this line of thinking not only stupid, but totally insane.
How has having less stuff and living a simpler life impacted me?
Living a life where I get paid for what I do, or earn my keep has kept me grounded. I talk now with people who are content in their lives. They do not have fancy homes or flashy cars. What they do have is inner peace. What they also have is knowledge of who and what they are. They live the lives they want to live, and that makes them happy.
I am more content now than I have been in months. The lesson I have been learning again and again is that “when one door closes another door opens.” The people I have met are talking about ideas and concepts I have never thought about before. New seeds are being planted. New possibilities are right around the corner.
The biggest lesson of the past few months has been that I don’t need a lot of things to be happy. What I need is to be myself.
Are you happy?