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  • Don G


happy |ˈhapē|

adjective (happier, happiest)

feeling or showing pleasure or contentment

happiness |ˈhapēnəs|


the state of being happy

Are you one of those people who sit with a delicious doughnut and still feel hungry and deprived because of the hole in the doughnut? Do you stand by a pool of water and die of thirst because the water is not chilled and served in a crystal goblet? Are you sad and lonely in the midst of friends and family because one or two people forgot your birthday? Do you look in the mirror and hate your face because you have a pimple or a wrinkle or greying hair? Are you still disappointed about the one thing you could not find at the store or could not afford to buy, when your house is already full of more material thing then you need or can consume?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you are experiencing a state of mind that can severely limit or suppress your capacity for happiness. Quite often in life, we feel unhappy, not because we lack the ingredients for happiness, but because we don't see them. We don't see them because we have thinking patterns and habits that bend our focus and obscure our vision of the good things we have in life. If we can't sense the good things, it is as though they are not there.

I have seen amazing contrasts in the human ability to look at life circumstances and extract enough positive perspectives to produce happiness. Many people live lives of abject poverty and need, some must work very hard each day just to get the bare necessities for survival, some have overwhelming physical handicaps, health issues, loss of loved ones, social stigmatization, endless conflicts and war, abuse, and lack of opportunity. Yet, somehow they can find enough happiness in their circumstances to be able to keep living, and going, and surviving, and even smiling, and hoping for better days. Then there are others who's seem to have so much in life, yet they cannot seem to get enough wires connected in their heads to produce even a few sparks of happiness.

In some cases, this is clearly due to biological malfunctions that seem to disable or suppress the brains normal ability to register and be excited by things and experiences that normally bring joy. In many other cases, however, it is really a matter of focus, and perspective. When we focus on good things, that is what will fill our field of vision, dominate our consciousness, and trigger the brain reactions we know as happiness. When we habitually focus on good things, this will be the defining mindscape we create for our emotional selves. In this kind of mindscape, it is much easier to feel happy.

There will be experiences and events in life that makes it difficult or even impossible to focus on good things and feel happy all the time. This is the real world and many bad things happen everyday. If our normal mental bent is toward positive mindscapes, it is usually easier to return to more positive perspectives despite the negatives. But if we default to problems, fears, and negative possibilities and events in our thinking, we can inadvertently get stuck in depressive states of mind without even realizing why.

So what are some of the types of thinking that suppress happiness? How can we catch ourselves thinking in those ways and fix them? How can we train ourselves to think positively and so enhance our chances for happy feelings? EgoPilot can help. We can learn how to monitor our thoughts and to examine our thought patterns and thinking habits. We can learn how to evaluate our perspectives and shift our focus to the things that will yield more happy feelings for us, while not ignoring problematic realities or burying our heads in the sand.

At the end of the day, life is about living and having as many happy feelings as possible. Happiness is natures way of getting us to want to live, to stay alive, and to seek for good things. Our psyches are programmed to seek happiness since happy experiences are what motivate us to live, breathe, eat, stay healthy, be empowered, and to procreate. The happier we are, the more we want to live life fully and continue living for as long so possible.

Have you ever heard of a happy person not being motivated to get out of bed to start the day, or not wanting to eat, or not wanting to do anything, or not trying to have fun, or trying to end his or her life? In very literal terms, happiness is why we live and what keeps us alive. That is how the universe has wired us to ensures our survival and continuing existence. Note that normal people feel the happiest doing and experiencing the basic things that are most important for life and survival: breathing clean fresh air on a bright day, eating delicious healthy foods when hungry, drinking when thirsty, being able to rest when weary and sleep when exhausted, being accepted, valued, loved and well treated by those around us, making love, and making and raising children, working with others to build bigger and better things for the greater good.

Of course there are those whose minds are mis-wired or mis-programmed to derive some twisted gratification or sense of purpose from the hurt or misfortune of others. They can ignore the humanity and feelings of others and just use them as objects for their own pleasure, gain, anger, hatred, revenge, or just for transitory immediate relief or gratification. Thankfully, though, this kind of mindscape exists, it is not normal and known to be sociopathic. Be careful though. It is possible for otherwise normal people to develop some sociopathic tendencies and behaviors if those are not guarded against. Sociopaths seem unable to register or care about the feelings of others. If we reduce others to the status of objects or mere means to our own pleasures, we are showing these tendencies. If we habitually seek our own happiness at the expense of others, we are showing sociopathic traits. These are toxic states of mind and lead to very destructive and tragic outcomes for many. Those who seek to have constant power and control over others show these tendencies. Those who cannot appreciate any happiness or joy that is not their own, are also candidates for this dangerous mind set.

What are the conditions for your happiness? What are your pathways to happiness? Are those paths clear, or are they frequently blocked by unrealistic expectations, unattainable goals, greed, discontent, focusing on hole instead of the donut, or are they twisted and choked by depressive or sociopathic mind states?

Unfortunately, happiness is not guaranteed to anyone. There is no magic formula or drug that can bring perpetual happiness. In fact, it is not even biologically possible to feel good all the time. When our brains get saturated with the neurochemicals associated with good feelings, they naturally become less sensitized to them, thus automatically reducing the effectiveness of further stimulation and the corresponding good feelings. It is like an automatic shut off valve that prevents us from spiraling to a manic state of mind. Even when control mechanism of our brain malfunctions and we do become manic, that state of mind inevitably leads to depression as a natural consequence. It is like blowing an electrical fuse. Too much mania, and our happiness fuse blows, leaving us without any energy for more happiness, at least until the brain can repair its neurological fuses.

I don't think people want to be manic depressives with the constant roller coaster of catastrophic highs and lows such a mind experiences. But we all want as much good feelings and happiness as our minds can stand. How do we find those limits or better yet, our optimal levels of happiness? What are the pathways to our individual happiness, and where is the plateaux of our contentment? These are super important questions. Perhaps EgoPilot can help us find some answers.

EgoPilot is an approach to life and living based on self understanding. The more we learn about ourselves and how we work at the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual levels, the more likely we are to find our pathways to happiness. The more we understand ourselves and develop strategies and behaviors to manage our choices and actions in life, the more likely we are to identify and achieve our goals for happiness. This seems too simple and too logical, and indeed it is. The idea may be simple, but getting it done is far more challenging.

EgoPilot can provide tools and guidance to self understanding and intelligent life management that lead to increased rewards and happiness. However, individual happiness can only be achieved by those who have not only the understanding, but the skills and discipline to manage their lives effectively. Ultimately, each person must determine the requirements for his or her own happiness and find and accept contentment when their goals are achieved. EgoPilot can only help with the journey to happiness. It's up to each individual to figure out when they have arrived and how to enjoy the destination.

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