One day I jumped off (or more likely fell off) the Happiness Train and realized what a man had told me when I was twenty years old.
In the model below, you might see a number of areas where you have specific or vague goals. Perhaps you want a healthy body that will carry you well into your nineties and beyond. Or maybe there’s an old emotional trauma that you want to heal, an amount of money you wish to possess, a spiritual experience you read about and want to have for yourself, et cetera. But have you looked at what you will experience when that goal is reached?
Typically we want to reach those goals so that we can experience something that is beyond our fears, anxieties and pains – something that you might call happiness. You are striving to reach
what you consider to be important goals in your life, but surely you recognize that the goals themselves are not the purpose of your efforts. You want the experience that you believe will come with the attainments or achievements represented by the goals. If you look again at the model below, imagine that each of those boxes were a train car, and that the train was designed to take you to that one destination called Happiness. While that may have been the original idea for this Happiness Train, you might also notice the train is on a circular track, surrounding its supposed destination, but never actually getting there.
I was on that train ride to happiness for most of my life. All my material pursuits, spiritual practices, psychological explorations, and philosophical studies emerged from the hopeful fantasy that perhaps if I was spiritual enough and I served humankind and I practiced being a truly decent human being and I drank good whiskey and had as much sex as possible and had lots of money and my children were happy and successful and my wife and I loved each other forever and, let’s see… oh! and I healed all my old subconscious wounds and was a successful workshop leader and… whew! I’m getting tired just listing all of them! But anyway, I believed that if I fulfilled all those goals, the train would bring me to its destination and I could finally be permanently happy. And I had to reach all of the goals, otherwise I could not be happy at all.
But one day I jumped off (or more likely fell off) the Happiness Train and realized what a man had told me when I was twenty years old:
“Everybody thinks that they need some thing to make them happy. The truth is that only happiness makes you happy!”
Yes, it took me over thirty years to understand what the hell he meant.
Whether my goals were purely fantasies of the if-only persuasion, solid attainable prizes, or imminently achievable events, the desire to reach those goals is always oriented toward the future. But happiness can only be experienced in the moment. It is always available, free of charge or conditions, and that’s a good thing too, since the future never comes and it’s always NOW.
About the Author Chris G. Moon :
Like his workshops and personal life-coaching sessions, what stands out about Chris Moon’s books is the light touch, wit and humour with which he offers the lessons and insights that are rich with wisdom and compassion. He employs an almost scientific approach to understanding relationship dynamics and how to respond to the discomforts, irritations and anxieties that inevitably arise in the key emotional relationships in an individual’s life. All the information in his newest book, The Untethered Relationship has come from Chris’ practical knowledge, derived from thousand’s of hours of personal research in his marriage and family life. He also drew from his thirty years of counselling, teaching, and public speaking in North America and Asia, which allowed him to clearly see the universal principles of human relationship and the perfect design that determines those principles.
His earlier book, Relationship — Bridge to the Soul is an international best-seller with over 150,000 copies sold.
Photo: Brodie Vissers