After reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, I’ve been reflecting on the notion of happiness. That feeling of fulfillment, contentment and energy. How can it be defined? How can we find it? How can we keep it?
Without offering a total answer, I believe a good starting point is the link between happiness and figuring out exactly what YOU want. What I’m talking about here is the definite knowledge of what YOU want and a burning desire to possess/achieve it. Interestingly, the prime difficulty may be the clear and precise definition of what it is one wants rather than the faith, organized planning, action and persistence needed to attain it. Ask most people what they want most in life and many will be unsure or will offer vague suggestions such as "to be happy" or "to be rich" etc. When was the last time you knew what you wanted so clearly that you could write it down or tell it to someone in great detail?
Stop and think about that for a moment.
To attain this clarity, and perhaps to maintain it, consider the concept of “an empty mind”. In our “noisy” culture the ability to empty one's mind has immense value. Imagine moments of calm unbound from schedules, emails, messages, meetings, the news and frivolous demands from friends, colleagues and acquaintances pulling your mind in multiple directions.
When our minds are brimming with external stimulus we often lose track of who we really are and what we truly cherish as we drift away from the meaningful and tether to the meaningless. Thoughts become clouded, incomplete and ephemeral as each is quickly superseded by the next. Judgment becomes heavily influenced by external stimulus and most importantly independence and knowledge of self is compromised. Consider the concept of an empty mind in order to connect with what YOU desire most. Cleanse, disconnect, simplify, streamline and reduce. You are your thoughts. All people become who they are because of their dominating thoughts and desires.
“Without a doubt, the most common weakness of all human beings is the habit of leaving their minds open to the negative influence of other people.” –Napoleon Hill
The good news is that you have absolute control over one thing in this world….and that is your thoughts. Reclaim them…as perhaps happiness isn’t a goal but simply an indication that you are living your life in accordance with what YOU as an individual desire most.