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Looking back over the 80 – or more (!) – posts we’ve made in the last couple of years, one subject has come up more than any other. And this reflects how popular a topic it is with clients. 
 
It concerns an emotion – or state of mind, if you prefer – and comes up in many different guises. It also remains one of the most elusive. And well as being priceless. 
 
So what are we talking about? 
 
Happiness. 
 
 
(Or, as David puts it, like a dog with a bone!). 
 
It’s one of those modern paradoxes. On one hand there is so much to be happy – or grateful for – in this modern world of ours. Ever increasing standards of living, communication, entertainment and exotic holidays. Etc. Etc. 
 
Except this doesn’t seem to be translating into increasing levels of happiness in practice. Instead there seem to be ever increasing levels of stress, depression and general unhappiness. In other words our ever improving lifestyle is having exactly the opposite effect to that we’ve been led to expect. 
 
By contrast those who seem to have so little – living in what we in the West would consider primitive conditions – consistently report higher levels of happiness. 
 
What’s going on here? What are we missing out on? 
 
As usual the answer is quite simple. We’ve been looking for happiness in the wrong place. Contrary to everything we’ve been told, HAPPINESS CAN ONLY EVER COME FROM WITHIN. From how satisfied and content we feel within ourselves about our life as it is at this very moment. 
 
There are many imposters. 
 
All “the stuff” advertisers would have us believe create lasting happiness. True, the latest gizmo may bring a brief surge of happiness to begin with, but it never lasts. Before long you’re looking for the next thing. And before you know it you’re on the modern hamster wheel of consumerism. 
 
The tales the entertainment industry spins of what true happiness is. 
 
The must have “magic pill” from the pharmaceutical industry. 
 
Or, perhaps, the latest government initiative. And contrary to what many believe, the government isn’t responsible for providing happiness either. 
 
While it may sound counter intuitive – and far too simple – being happy is all about how you see your life as it is. Your mental attitude to life. 
 
It may go against every consumerist message you’ve ever heard but TRUE HAPPINESS CAN ONLY EVER COME FROM INSIDE. It has nothing to do with what you may – or many not – have in your life. 
 
That’s all very well you may say, but my life is far from perfect. Are you saying that I’ve got to accept – and be happy – with it as it is and not expect it to get any better? 
 
Of course not. Regardless of how good – or not – your life is at the moment; YOU CAN BE HAPPY RIGHT NOW BY SIMPLY APPRECIATING THE THINGS YOU’VE ALREADY GOT, WHETHER THEY’RE EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT OR NOT. 
 
While it may not be immediately apparent, there are ALWAYS things to appreciate about your life now, IF you take the time to look for them. 
 
You may not have the house of your dreams, but your current home does keep you dry and warm. 
 
You may not have your dream job, but it does give you an income and work experience – and your colleagues are great too. 
Your partner may drive you up the wall at times (!) but they are kind, doing their best and care for you. 
 
Got the idea? 
 
Suddenly you can see why those who seem to have so little can be so happy. 
 
And that’s when the magic starts. As soon as you start to find things to appreciate in your life right now, you’ll automatically feel happier. 
 
And as you start to feel happier, you’ll find more things to appreciate and feel grateful for. Life suddenly feels much better REGARDLESS OF HOW IT MAY LOOK EXTERNALLY. 
 
And, even better, once you start to appreciate what you’ve already got it puts you in just the right frame of mind to start thinking about all the other things you would like. 
 
No longer do you think about them from an “it’s not fair and I want them now” point of view. Instead you come from a much more positive “I appreciate what I’ve got now and would really like ……… (fill in the blanks) in the future”. 
 
You’ve gone from being like a spoilt child – “I want it now” – to an appreciative one. And we all know which child is more likely to get what they want and which isn’t (!). 
 
Looking for things to be happy about now – to appreciate and be grateful for – WHATEVER is happening in your life may feel strange to start with, but is a much easier way to live. Instead of fighting against what’s happening in your life, you start to go with the flow. And it’s amazing where that can take you, if you let it. 
 
As always, the choice is yours. 
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