How To Be Happy In Life; Three Fundamental Rules
Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to feel good. It’s the driving force behind everything anyone ever does in the world, period.
You could drink copious amounts of beer and wine, take drugs, grab some cheap sex, drive fast, get your thrills whatever way you can. The problem is that these solutions are like a quick sugar rush.
Thrills are great but they don’t last. After they are over you’re left alone with yourself right back where you started. Cheap thrills don’t fill the space and they can cause great personal harm.
No one ever did anything that they thought would be ultimately detrimental to themselves, regardless of how the results look to the rest of us on the outside.
Even the most abhorrent atrocities you can imagine are always carried out in the (mis)belief on the part of those committing them, that their actions are for the betterment of their society or themselves.
Everyone always makes a decision based in the belief, that what they do will make them feel better, not worse, than they currently do. I think most everyone will agree with that.
There are of course circumstances where it might be obvious to us on the outside that a person’s behavior is damaging to them and others, but psychologically their actions make perfect sense to them.
If everyone wants to figure out how to be happy, and all anyone will ever do is in the the pursuit of happiness, then how does it all go so wrong at a personal level and on a world scale?
In my search for answers to this and other heavy questions, and after numerous fuck-ups and my own particular rollercoaster ride, I’ve come up with three fundamental rules for happiness, and these are central to my personal philosophy.
How To Be Happy In Life; The Three Fundamental Rules
- Break The Rules
- Don’t Get Caught
- Respect All Things (Both animate and inanimate)
I realise that on the face of things, these rules will bring up all sorts of screwy ideas and without proper explanation they can bring further distress if executed before fully understanding their core premise.
So let’s get into them now.
#1 Break The Rules!
Breaking the rules is vital to growth on both a personal level and on a universal level.
You were born into this world a blank canvas. You are awareness housed in a bag of skin and bone, and from day one the rules that others created began to take effect and shape you.
The rules came from those who loved and cared for you the most, and from the caretakers of The Social System that we have built and maintain.
The Social System; A social ideology, belief or group of beliefs held by an individual or group of individuals which dictates the thoughts and actions of a wider society.
They gave you a name and a number. They told you how to speak, how to think, what to wear, how to behave, how to live, how much money you could make. They gave you boundaries and limitations.
All of these definitions and limitations were enforced by your society and the systems built within them. Societies vary from one part of the world to the next but by and large they teach the same thing.
The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones. — John Maynard Keynes
Changing Old Ideas
You didn’t get a choice in whether to accept the preconditions given you, at least from your physical perspective. You didn’t understand that there were alternatives, an infinity of alternatives for that matter.
So you rolled in and did what you were told, you did your very best according to the rules you were given, despite some things going against your better judgement.
All of us grew up with these constraints to our development. Rules and regulations abound and the teachers of the rules believe in them so entirely that if you break them woe be unto you.
Those who made the rules had their own best interests at heart, although they might have presented them for the benefit of the greater good.
These guys are long gone but many of their ideologies remain and they can be slow to change. That’s because most humans can only cope with a little change at a time.
Slow change can be a good thing but it means that unsavory circumstances tend to stick around longer than we otherwise would like.
Big Change Big Pain
Big changes come about like a sudden pop or bang and cause a lot of distress to people. Sudden change can be tough to take, but often it comes about because there is a powerful desire and push on behalf of consciousness towards that change.
Nothing ever changes unless the rules are broken. No positive development in consciousness and in the lives of the people on this planet ever occur unless someone somewhere says;
HOLD IT! I’m not having that!
It can occur at any level of society. At a personal, family, community, country or international level and it often it tends to stir things up.
Most people around you are living a life of mediocrity, playing by the rules, which is born from both fear and a lack of belief in their own capacity to do greater things.
You could be the gay son of parents with old world traditional religious values. Or a government official with new ideas in an old school political party, the principle is the same.
Even our ideas of right and wrong have changed over the years, and continue to change for the better. There was a time in most societies where an eye for an eye was right, just and proper. It still does in some societies.
Corporal punishment and sentencing to death are considered right from a very narrow perspective. Some societies will continue to do this until they advance to the point of broader understanding.
If you really want to be free and happy in your work and life, you’ve got to be prepared to break the rules.
Breaking the rules is not only your responsibility, but your obligation. Stir it up ruffle some feathers, break the pattern, challenge preconceptions. Life is too short to play by someone else’s rules.
#2 Don’t Get Caught
The ones who enforce the system at both a macro and micro level, believe in the system and often believe there is no alternative. Even to entertain an alternative is beyond comprehension to most of them.
These people operate completely on autopilot. They live and work by the rules, and that’s fine, but you don’t need to. You can exist in the system but you need to take a particular understanding with you.
It is possible to exist in the system and stand aside from it psychologically, and it’s vital in fact for you to do so if you are to live a life by your own design.
But it’s tricky. It requires you to allow the fools to be fools without trying to make them kings. Know what I mean? Pick your moments. Allow people to be where they are.
Whatever your aspiration or dream, you’ve got to stay below the radar while you prepare. New ideas can be liberating when they come to you but you will need to stay in control of your energy.
To launch your new ideas into the world before it has had time to form structure in your mind, can bring a wave of unwanted opposition that you’d be better off without.
Keep Your Cards Close To Your Chest
In the early stages of a new idea, you’ll likely lack the detail you feel is necessary to make it real and therefore at first find it hard to believe you have the inner capacity.
The trick is to trust the impulse and take a step forward. It’s important at this time to keep your ideas close to you and only share with others who are on your wavelength.
To share with everyone you meet will likely bring you a wave of crap and opposition you could likely do without. Until you have formulated the ideas strongly enough in your mind, keep your cards close to your chest.
At the early stages of a new business idea or some other audacious goal, those people around you may not support you and you must make this ok.
You’ve got to understand that those around you gathered in line with a previous idea of you that you held. Now you are changing so those people are unlikely to understand.
Surround Yourself With Supporters
New people that resonate with your idea will begin to surround you. You’ll be prompted to find groups where your idea will be supported. Seek these people out.
New ideas often challenge long held beliefs and so it’s vital that your progress is not damaged by coming on too strong too fast, it’s just not worth it.
I’ve learned this principle the hard way. In the past I have made gaining the support of people close to me, who can’t see the vision, way too important and as such failed to reach my goals.
The danger of making support of certain people important is that it can become vital to your success. Now your success is conditional on that support and when it doesn’t come you meet failure head on.
My advice to you is don’t share until you’re ready, and even when you are, those close to you may never be ready to receive so best not to make their support a high priority.
If their support does come then that’s a bonus.
This is what I mean by don’t get caught. Don’t get caught in the system. Don’t get caught by those who would oppose you. Don’t get caught trying to prove your rightness.
#4 Respect All Things (Both animate and inanimate)
Life permeates all things both animate and inanimate. Life is inherent in everything regardless of its physical state. All things are consciousness objectified.
I believe life is consciousness and consciousness is life. I understand all things, no matter how basic they seem to be, to have inherent consciousness.
This can be difficult to grasp because most of us have been schooled by the long held scientific idea that if something isn’t moving around or in a state of perceivable growth that we can observe then it’s not alive.
Our definition of life needs to be revised.
All things are alive, even the ground under our feet. Especially the ground under our feet infact. The air we breath, rocks, soil, plants, insects, animals, humans, there is no difference. Life is life.
Life is in all things, it’s that which animates and which holds apparent inanimate things together. If we can’t have respect for the ground under our feet how can we possibly fully respect another human being?
We are born, then we die. That which animates us leaves, our perspective broadens and our shell is left behind. Our shell is delivered to the ground and it begins to decompose.
We are cast back into the soil and we become worm feed. Our physical body breaks down and becomes fuel for insects and plants.
Our bodies quite literally become the insects, animals, plants and trees. We become rocks and we become mountains.
More people are born, they consume the animals and the plants and they grow and they die, round and round it goes ad infinitum.
When we realise that the entire physical world comes out of consciousness, including our physical selves, then we can’t not have respect and reverence for everything.
If we disrespect our environment we disrespect ourselves and our children, and all that come after us. Truly being happy comes about by virtue of this fundamental truth.
Are We Supposed To Be Unhappy?
It’s our divine right to be live a happy life but most of us spend our entire existence looking for it only for us to accept some watered down version.
We give up. We believe that life and happiness is a lottery and that we must accept the hand that we are dealt. It’s such a defeatist bullshit attitude.
We invest our energy in pleasing others in the misled belief that this will bring us the love and peace we deserve, only to realise that we are sacrificing what’s in our heart.
We are trained by people who have come before us, worked the system, see it doesn’t work and yet sell in wholesale to us. Generation after generation give up their power to a system that fails to deliver.
We get on the ladder. We go to school and learn what we are told. We get the job and live the dream only for it to turn into a nightmare later in life.
We put off our happiness until some point later in life, for the sake of money and bills and responsibilities. We shout at our kids, we scream at the traffic lights, we pretend that all is well.
This is not how it was supposed to be, this is not what they told me, I’ve got all the things I was told to get so why is it that I’m not happy?
Bottom line is happiness is up to us. We get to decide to play the game by our own rules or someone else’s.
Want to know how to be happy? Decide to be, then start doing the things that make you happy. It certainly requires faith and balls and willingness to follow your intuition and inner guidance.
Originally published at hardcorejunkie.co on November 8, 2015.
Howdy, I’m Larry, Writer & Artist. Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. I write short stories about the ordinary lives of people and the challenges they face. My stuff can be edgy, hard hitting, and sometimes controversial, but never contrived. If that’s your bag you can Sign-up To Sunday Letters Here.