Happiness can hardly be found at the end of happiness-road. It can be found at growth-road. Actually, it is that road.
People who search for happiness – just like that – frequently end up being less happy. It’s a kind of nature’s revenge, maybe, especially when one and the other end up in a vicious circle. I’m thinking, as an example, of a drug addiction.
If you really want happiness, search for growth.
What eventually makes people most happy is the feeling of growth, one way or another. That’s precisely because growth is so central to nature and we are natural beings. In aligning ourselves to this natural tenet, we are consistent with the flow that goes right through us. We are ‘in flow’ with our deepest self, with our myriads of subconceptual patterns that exist – actively and passively – inside our mind/brain [see: ‘About ‘Subconceptual’].
So, how does one practically get into this flow?
At long term:
working towards a goal of getting better in the course of time, or attaining more resources, more power to influence, more ‘legacy’ as in ‘leaving the world as a better place’. Some people scorn the latter saying. Most would in due circumstances give their life for it. It’s part of the way we are, if properly supported and not deep-down-damaged by who-knows-what.
At very short term
for instance: making something. A child makes a nice drawing. A physician makes a patient feel better. A (non-industrial) baker bakes a bread, again and again. An industrial manager ‘makes the day’ for his employees. A dancer makes nice movements at a festival. It can all have depth. It can all be oriented to growth.
‘Growth’ is not ‘control’
Although ‘controlled growth’ is of course possible and real, the real growth that happens even in such circumstance is not by itself to be controlled. The growth then happens within controlled boundaries. In the human case also, one can set boundaries but not control the growing itself.
Thus, likewise, one cannot control happiness. Every effort to try to control it, will put it further away. And do people generally not very much try to control it… Each new technology (social media etc.) comes with a promise that this will provide more happiness in a controlled way. Well, after some years this appears to not be case. Frequently, many end up further away than before.
Please don’t blame the technology for this
but the way it’s used. Of course, if you let people use the technology with no decent support – ‘teach your children well’ – then mishaps do occur. People may become very unhappy… and more and more. Say: burnout, depression, psycho-somatics, etc.
Right, but who will teach whom with ever more rapidly evolving technology?
We need to transcend technology. We need to transcend knowledge.
We need wisdom more than ever.
Wisdom comes with very broad patterns in mind, not with serially mechanical thinking. I like to call the former ‘parallel’ thinking. Now, in order to happen, this needs freedom. Thus: no control but invitation (= freedom + direction).
One can invite happiness. One can invite growth. One of the best ways to reach the latter is… back to happiness:
Happiness towards growth
Happiness – not just like that but with growth intrinsically in mind (!) – is attractive to one’s deeper self. This way, a striving for such happiness is by itself a nice ‘instrument’ that one can respectfully – not otherwise – use towards self-development. It makes things happen naturally.
And besides, it’s joyful 😊.