In my eleven years of working as a professional counsellor with children and adults in various settings, I have come to some conclusions, I don’t for one moment want to put across that this is a scientific or researched article, it is simply the observations of someone who loves getting to know people, I mean really getting to know in depth, and is fascinated by all aspects of human behaviour. One question more than any other has plagued my clients, what does being happy really mean.
I have been given the privilege of sharing thousands of people’s darkest times and have been invited to walk with them through those times, in most cases my clients and myself have come out the other side wiser and for the better.
That a positive came out of what in many cases was despair is in no way down to me, but in the undoubted strength and capacity we all have within us, something called Actualizing Tendency, the blue print for us all to reach our full potential and to at least try to be happy.
So why don’t we all meet our full potential as a matter of course and without a struggle? Why do so many people chase happiness?
The reasons are many and complex, but for the most part I would suggest that it comes down to whether our basic needs were met in our early years. This argument however is flawed, Many people who did not have a great start to life have become extraordinary individuals. As for wanting to be happy, well when we feel happy we feel better.
So what is the key to Happiness?
I feel there are a couple of keywords which lend themselves well to the actual state of being happy and a sense of happiness.
Expectations is one of the words in life which can ruin even the most positive of happy experiences. We all have expectations however, I try very hard to not have them, I try to teach my clients that the absence of expectation will make our pursuit of happiness much more likely to occur.
You see, having a perceived measure of some future outcome is fraught with negatives, like looking at the wondrous rainbow, but asking why no pot of gold. It could be argued that expectation is a way of life and to many it is, but I would also add that most of the happy people I know, try to leave expectations out of the mix.
Contentment from my point of view, is the other happy factor facilitator. Taking the rainbow again as an example, leave out any thought of the mythical pot of gold and all of a sudden the rainbow is a gift and wondrous, it’s free and amazing. With no negativity attached to the experience, one can truly feel an overwhelming glow of happiness.
Get in touch with that feeling and experience and I would suggest that, in that moment with focus on what is happening, then most people will experience positivity and happiness.
So how do we go about becoming Happy?
Drop the expectations and live in the moment, savour everything as it happens, thinking and living for the moment will help to rule out the associated negatives which often sour the everyday precious events which we can all experience, if we let ourselves.
Without expectation, contentment will flow, as contentment washes over us, happiness will follow.
The pursuit of happiness is replacing the pursuit of wealth, it is becoming more widely believed and accepted that a content individual will always be happier than a wealthy individual, so if you want to be rich – get happy!
Paul Parkin – Online Counsellor, Therapist & Life Coach.
‘A journey of a thousand Miles begins with a single step’
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Paul Parkin Dip. Coun. I am a counsellor, therapist and life coach. I am passionate about helping people who are hurting or in crisis. My goal is to help people reach their full potential by providing affordable counselling online to people everywhere via my counselling website – Counsellors Online. I have worked as a counsellor for the past 11 years, I have worked in several counselling settings, including – The National Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) the NHS. North East Council on Addictions (NECA) and Several telephone helplines including The Samaritans. See other posts by Paul Parkin or subscribe to his posts.
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