Sunday, February 19, 2012

Achieving A Satisfactory Happiness

There is more to happiness than trying to be happy.

There are secrets-of-self we must attend to.

Freedom to be ourselves is happiness.

Goals for personal durability—for getting through life the best way we can—range through the duration of our lives, and they vary from person to person. Everyone wants to find the capacity for a satisfactory level of happiness. Such contentment is a central ideal woven into our beings.

Underpinning all that we’re about is the sense of self-satisfaction; that we might prove worthy of ourselves. But, of course, we struggle to achieve this, despite every effort that’s made to procure such outcomes.

In spite of our best attempts, we find arranged for us inborn and common maladies; shards of anxiety and periods of depression, for instance.

We wonder why we’re not more resilient. We get overwhelmed in our incapacity. Could it be that what is working against us is deeper than our conscious ability; despite remaining too strong for too long, even?

Happiness may just be more than doing ‘happy’ things within our conscious reach.

Secrets Sown Deeply

There is a plethora of research suggesting the human capacity for a satisfactory happiness is not just dependent on a stoic approach to life. Take this for example:

“Underlying a propensity to depression are not merely encounters with adversity but assumptions about the experience and beliefs about oneself that are in fact distortions of reality.”

~Hara Estroff Marano, 6 Clues to Character (2011)

Handling happiness from the opposite direction, the above quote underscores the importance of experience and beliefs about ourselves, many of which are not validated by a fair reality.

What this means is our happiness depends as much on the workings of our inner world as it does on the things that happen to us. We tend to downplay this, though, because analysing our inner world requires rare insight, raw honesty, and the courageous ability to stare embarrassment and fear for our true selves in the face.

Unless we tackle the ‘secrets’ sown deeply, which is the impact of those experiences and beliefs on our inner psyches, we’ll attend to only one half of the story regarding our happiness. Try as hard as we might true happiness will prove never more elusive.

These secrets sown so deeply command our attention if we’re serious about enjoying life. They invite us to enjoy a mystique about ourselves that can never be fully known; one we must just accept.


There is a mystique about each of us as persons that no one, but God, can truly know about. This is constructed from the constraints of our personalities and our attributions of experience (nature and nurture), a combination of which form our beliefs-of-self.

The deep mystery within the inner world of each of us has much to say about our happiness. If we pay due respect to our assumptions about ourselves, committing to learn more and more about our beliefs-of-self through reflection, we will become happier. Such reflections are fun; to learn and grow within the acceptance of ourselves.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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