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The Illusion of Achievements and True Happiness

Material success may result in the accumulation of possessions: but only spiritual success will enable you to enjoy them.

~Nido R Qubein

Studies have shown that feeling a sense of accomplishment is an important element in developing confidence and positive wellbeing over time. Ultimately to become fulfilled, happy.

Though how much do we need to achieve in order to feel content? Is that even possible?

We were brought up in a society that imposes on us that definition of success as something measurable - Honor roll, degree from a prestigious college, career at the “big name” company, expensive possessions, millions of followers on social media, etc. Many of us receive a deep sense of joy and pride in attaining the goals that are bigger that of others. This creates a satisfying sense that some people have done better or are actually better than others. To the question “Are you successful?” The most common immediate reaction is to assess this in terms of a person’s material wealth, social and family status, intimate relationship, career achievements, or the level of a person’s influence, popularity or power.

As long as you believe that happiness depends on certain achievements, on reaching certain goals, you will constantly feel that something is missing in your life. .. Happiness precedes success, not the other way around. Being grateful for what you have will bring you more things to be grateful for.

There is nothing wrong with having goals and dreams. But believing that something outside of yourself gives you eternal happiness is a recipe of deep disappointment.

On the other hand, there’s a profound peace and freedom that comes from not depending on external solutions to solve internal problems.

From a young age, we are taught to “keep our eyes on the prize”, to hang on to outcomes. If we just achieve that one thing, we will be happy. And this alone portraits the sadness of this concept - disregard the process, because it might be lengthy, unpleasant, even painful. It is like a map with checkpoints and something in between. We do not know how to live in between… Somehow we can hardly tolerate the suspension in the process, though that process is a LIFE itself.

The secret to happiness is gratitude and unconditional service.

Being grateful is daily practice. There is no need to compare yourself with others who are less fortunate than you are, it is a game of ego. Gratitude is not an attitude in life, it’s a light that shines through you. The entire universe is in collaboration to keep you alive and well every moment - your breath, the food that you eat, to the sun rising and setting. Just imagine the chain of events for one small thing to happen, all people and events that are involved in it. If you are able to appreciate the seamless beauty of the perfect flow of life, your heart will get filled with gratitude. In the practice of yoga we learn how to be more receptive to the experience of life. The basic act of living is a perpetual act of receiving. You can't give anything because you don't have anything to give. All there is to it is to accept graciously and to share.

The purest service to others is when we give freely, without wanting anything in return.

Just as God does not want anything in return for all its wondrous gifts of creation bestowed on all forms of life, so do we shall give and serve from the heart, with love and compassion. We never lose when we give, it is not even ours to give to begin with. We are conductors of divine energy of the Universe. Everything is given to us, all we can do is just allow life to flow through us. While we might think we serve others, in reality it is THE WAY to connect to your true self, to God within you.

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