Where Genuine Happiness Comes From

true happiness

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”– Dalai Lama

We think about happiness. We try to define it every day. We want to feel it. We want it to be a frequent guest in our life, and we want it to stay for just a little bit longer. But for some reason, when we feel content, we always expect this bubble to burst at any given moment. “Be happy while it lasts” will sound familiar to many. Why do we tend to assume the worst while we are happy, feeling joyful and, you know, at peace?

What are we clinging to that doesn’t lets us feel happy?

We are holding on to many things that stop us from fulfilling our life with happiness. Some things we did in the past we might regret. Some things we wish to change but have no power over it. And that feeling of entanglement of heavy chains of the past with every step gets overwhelming. What is it?

Some people get excited when they buy new things. They jump and laugh, and their eyes fill up with joy. But that never lasts. Things never bring happiness. Things are the objects that serve the only purpose of improving your life. Emotionally, they never make us truly happy.

happy quotes

I remember a conversation I had with my friend Tim. He is successful at what he does. He is wealthy. And when I asked him a simple question about whether he is happy or not, that’s what he said:

“You see, since the age of 8 I had this Big Dream of owning a yacht. I visualized myself facing the winds of the open ocean, watching sunsets, watching dolphins jumping happily, feeling that salty air. I swear I could have felt that moment of owning the boat with every little detail. And you know, when I finally got myself one it wasn’t what I expected. Of course, I was excited. But that feeling worn off quickly when I realized how ridiculous my “Big Dream” was. Owning a yacht never made me genuinely happy. I just loved the idea itself of owning a yacht, not the fact of owning it. There is a huge difference.

I spent so many years putting myself through university, working hard and succeeding. What for? For that soulless piece of overpriced cold metal that drifts in the ocean of solitude and represents the “cool kids” lifestyle? Many people fall for this delirious notion that MONEY can buy happiness or that wealth equals the ultimate happiness. But the truth is, life is short, and all the money we are working so hard to earn and turn into fortune will stay here when we are long gone.

What would matter the most is how many friends you had in life, how many people you helped and made happier and how many dreams you turned into reality sensing fulfillment and joy.”

Where Does True Happiness Come From?

This question knocks the wind out of me when I think about it.

I felt empty for years. Nothing I did seemed to be mindful or filled me up with a purpose or any sense at all. I was like that bird in a cage of limiting beliefs and other people’s ideas about what I can or cannot do. I’ve been hitting my head against the bars of that cage trying to find what I wanted the most and what would make me happy?

I kept asking the question of what I wanted to do with my life all the time until I come across a pencil and a notepad. I started writing. Relentlessly. I cannot believe how oblivious I was in writing. Suddenly the wave of passion hit me, and I got the taste of that notion: Live With Passion. It is a motto of my true beloved genius teacher I’m so appreciative of.

I’ve started HavingTime.com. At first, I couldn’t grasp a feeling of what exactly I wanted to share. Thoughts were running through my mind like crazy cats. I was on a quest to find my voice. And I’m still searching for it. And while I do, I am genuinely enjoying the process.

All the emails from the readers of HavingTime, all the advice, thank you notes and warm, kind words – I am grateful for all. That all brings me that sense of purpose. And the thought that somebody is reading the lines I’m writing right now, well…. I couldn’t be more content realizing it. It is liberating to know that somebody has similar challenges, similar thoughts and even the same “Aha” moments. We are all trying to make sense of our daily lives we run. And this special sense of never being alone in this endeavor is the most powerful gift that HavingTime readers gave me. Thank you all!

I feel grateful for the people in my life and great teachers I learn from. I feel grateful. To all. They teach me not to depend on anybody else to bring me my happiness. They taught me to rely on myself. But most importantly they taught me to realize that genuine happiness comes from within.

morning person quotes

Some people experience joy and happiness by being with people they love, by seeing their kids grow and evolve. Some people find happiness in traveling around the world searching for new meanings and getting points of life from various kinds of perspectives. Some people work hard finding their joy, peace, and happiness in their fulfillment. They never settle for less. And that is fantastic!
Photo by HavingTime


Lesya Li

Lesya Li

Founder, Head of Content at HavingTime
Lesya Li is a founder of HavingTime – a digitally native story magazine for people that need to share inspiration and be inspired.
Lesya Li
Lesya Li
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