Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

How to Sustain Happiness

Published on August 2, 2011 by   ·   No Comments



Editor’s Note: This is a contribution by Cat Li Stevenson

“If you let go a little, you will have a little happiness. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of happiness. And if you let go completely, you will be completely happy.”  ~Ajahn Chah

After accomplishing three lists of tasks from three different buckets—professional, personal, and entrepreneurial—I felt accomplished and content.

And then I felt bored. And then a little irritated. So, I decided to explore and check in with myself:

I practice gratitude throughout my day. I acknowledge the abundance in my life. I am surrounded by genuine love and relationships.

I have every reason to not wander away from happiness so easily, but I do. Why?

Perhaps you have experienced something similar: a moment of complete happiness, bliss, peace, and then it dissipates without notice.

I began by writing a series of questions in my journal to explore what was going on inside:

Is it because I can’t focus that I experience a deflation in my mood?  Do I become bored too easily?  Or maybe I have lack of patience that often leads to dissatisfaction?

Several pages later, I arrived at:

I can focus; but I am impatient, so I involve myself in multiple projects and events to even out the pace.  When one project or event ends, I fully dive into the next to prevent boredom. During this gap of engagement, my mood shifts.

Further, I found comfort in moving around, connecting, accomplishing, engaging, clinging.


This last word, clinging, reached out from the journal page and grabbed my attention.

After pages of self-inquiry and hours spent peeling back layers, I realized: my mood dip, this occasional creeping feeling of dissatisfaction did not result from anything I mentioned above.

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