Be the Exception: Live Happiness

DenaJanuary 14, 2011

Why is man unhappy? No animal is so unhappy, no bird is so unhappy, no fish is so unhappy as man. Why is man so unhappy? Because man desires happiness, and the birds are happy right now; the trees are happy right now. Man desires happiness; he is never happy here and now. He always desires happiness and goes on missing it. Happiness is here. It is happening all around you.  —Osho

Part 1.
Happiness is a choice.  Every minute of every hour of every day, you are faced with two choices.  These choices are happiness and unhappiness.  You can not choose both.  You can only choose one.  Bad things will happen.  Your cat will get hit by a car.  Your relationship will fall apart.  Your grandmother will get diagnosed with cancer and the doctors will tell you that she has between two weeks and two months to live.

You will grieve.  You will feel a heavy weight on your chest like suffocation.  But then, suddenly, you will remember your choices.  And if you are smart, if you desire peace and love, you will choose happiness.  You will understand that sometimes it takes a storm to blow open your doors.

Because even when life throws everything its got at you—you still have a choice.  There is another cat in a shelter nearby who needs your love.  Relationships live and die like trees and when one falls, it makes room for new life to grow.  When your grandmother passes on, you gain a guardian angel.

Part 2.
What separates us from the animals is also what destroys us—but only if we allow it to.  The knowledge that happiness exists is a blessing and a curse.  Because you know it exists, you desire it.  You search for it and it eludes you.  The only way to acquire happiness is to stop looking for it and to begin acknowledging that it exists within you.  It is your choice to see it and embrace it or to go out looking for it and search without end.  Happiness exists inside of you, along with peace and love.  Do not search outside of yourself for these things, you will certainly come up empty-handed.

Happiness is within you and all around you.  Happiness is in the sweet oxygen that your lungs have just inhaled.  Happiness is the snow falling outside of your window.  Happiness is a smile from a stranger.  When you recognize that happiness is within you, you will also recognize that it is everywhere around you.

Part 3.
Presence is the key to unlocking the choice of happiness and to ending the quest for happiness.  Happiness in its simplest form is letting go of worry.  Do not worry about the past.  Do not worry about the future.  Do not cling to the present.  Rather, simply be here now.  Embrace each moment as it comes into existence.  Breathe.  Search within your own soul.  Find your place of peace.

When mortals are alive,
they worry about death. 

When they’re full,
they worry about hunger. 

Theirs is the Great Uncertainty.
But sages don’t consider the past. 

And they don’t worry about the future. 

Nor do they cling to the present. 

And from moment to moment they follow the Way.


Part 4.
Grieve when grief is appropriate, then choose happiness.  Recognize that happiness is within you always and when you find it there you will also find it all around you.  And finally, be here now.  Let go of worry and embrace your inner peace.

Do this.  Remember these simple truths.  You will be the rare one who does not seek happiness, but simply lives it.  You will be the exception to the rule.

Comments (7)

  • Mark

    January 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Reminds me of a Hawthorne quote…(and I paraphrase): “Happiness is like a butterfly: reach for it and it is always beyond your grasp. But, if you’re willing to sit still for a while, it may, for a time, alight upon you.

    PS…very clean looking site.

    1. Dena

      January 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      @ Mark – First of all, thank you so much for the lovely comment about the site. I just re-designed it yesterday actually. I am going for minimal/clean/inspiring. 🙂 Secondly, thank you for sharing that Hawthorne quote. I have heard it before but it has since slipped my mind. It is SO true, I adore it! Exactly what I had in mind while writing this post…

      Are you on Twitter? Let’s connect there if you are. I’m @denabotbyl … I just checked out your site and would love to know more about your journey!

  • andra watkins

    January 15, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Hi Dena. I love the redesign also. Good job.

    This post really speaks to me, because I have to fight to live in the moment. I always have. Thank you for encouraging me in my quest to continue to make better choices.


    1. Dena

      January 15, 2011 at 7:43 am

      @ Andra – Thank you so much, Andra. I am grateful that this post spoke to you. When you say that you have to fight to make better choices, you are hitting the nail on the head! You’re already a step ahead of the game in realizing that you can choose happiness, and choose presence. Keep fighting for it. It is a daily battle but not a battle like a war — rather more like a life-long labor of love, a journey to peace.

  • josh

    February 7, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Hi Dena,

    I hope all is well. You haven’t posted for a while. I’m betting that you are busy.

    Looking forward to your next post.

    1. Dena

      February 7, 2011 at 10:03 pm

      @ Josh – Thank you so much for stopping by. I’ve had a rough few weeks. My grandmother passed away. We just had the funeral over the weekend. It was sad but I am grateful she is finally at peace. I will definitely update soon. 🙂

  • josh

    February 9, 2011 at 3:24 am

    I am also glad she is at peace.

    I imagine she loved you very much and you loved her.

    All the kindest condolences and prayers for you and your family at this time.


Leave a Comment

Prev Post

Healthy, Happy Habits in 2011 (Two-Thousand & Heaven!)

Next Post

Fate vs. Freewill: How to Fulfill Your Life's Purpose