Finding the diamond….
Happiness is on the decline in the Western world.
According to the 2013 World Happiness Report, the 25 countries which saw the greatest decrease in overall happiness from 2005 to 2012 were littered with wealthy, modern countries: Belgium, the United States, Finland, Japan, Portugal, Italy and Spain.
In fact, only four European countries were in the top-15 increases in happiness, while North America had zero countries in the top-15.
Most of us are losing sight of happiness, no matter how much wealth or modernity we have. But don’t worry, said Supercoach founder and bestselling coach Michael Neill – happiness is a natural component of your life and you can find it.
Neill shared with us four important points you need to remember as you try and find the happiness you’ve been missing.
1. You Were Born Happy
Many times we get caught up in the idea that happiness is an entity which exists outside of ourselves and we have to search for it as one would search for a treasure. That simply isn’t the truth, Neill told us – the happiness you want already exists in you and around you.
“We were born happy. As a baby, I can guarantee you didn’t need therapy.”
“We were born happy. As a baby, I can guarantee you didn’t need therapy,” Neill said. “When you cried it’s because your needed changing or you needed food. It wasn’t because you were worried about tomorrow or you were worried about yesterday.”
2. We Don’t “Lose” Happiness
Happiness isn’t like your car keys or a credit card: you can’t magically lose it forever. Because it’s something innate in us, we can find it even though we feel like we’ve lost so much of it that we can never return to it again.
“Happiness isn’t something you have to go out and create, it isn’t something you can lose, it isn’t something you can get. It’s who you are. It’s as much a part of you as the nose on your face,” Neill said. “When you start to see that, you can relax into that.”
“Happiness isn’t something you have to go out and create, it isn’t something you can lose, it isn’t something you can get. It’s who you are.”
It doesn’t matter how far gone we think our happiness is.
“No matter how long you’ve lost sight of your happiness, you’re never one thought away from becoming aware of it again,” Neill said. “And not matter how long it’s been since you felt happy, you’re really no more than one thought away from relaxing back into that true nature, into that happiness and into who you really are. “
3. We Obscure Our Happiness
Have you ever tried to encase a diamond in horse poop? That’s how Neill describes what we do over time to our natural happiness.
“Imagine that the very heart of who you are is a perfect diamond and it shines,” Neill said. “Over time, imagine that diamond gets covered over with horse crap – the thinking and ideas about ourselves starts accumulating on top of the diamond and it obscures the diamond and you can’t see that, at the core, there’s this beautiful, perfect shiny thing.”
We’re petrified of the crap, Neill said, so we do our best to cover up our stink.
“We don’t want to walk around smelling like horse crap, so we take nail varnish and we coat the horse-crap covered diamond and we make it look pretty and that’s our personality,” he said. “But that’s all the coating we put around so people won’t notice the horse crap that we start to think is who we we really are.”
4. The Diamond Remains
Our true happiness remains beneath all our efforts to try and cover up our shortcomings and our flaws. Gaining the happiness we desire isn’t a matter of digging into some deep place to find the treasure of joy; it’s a matter of embracing our true self.
“The diamond of your essence, who you really are, the you that was born happy, is still there,” Neill said. “It’s still perfect and still as good as new as the day you were born.”
Need More Happiness Help?
Neill has plenty of more wisdom about happiness in his free Goaly step-by-step strategy, “How to Find Happiness Right Now”. In addition to his Goaly strategies, Michael Neill is a bestselling author, a speaker at TEDx and has been featured in Vogue and The Hufffington Post:
If you want to know more about Michael, you can check out Goaly’s YouTube channel for his introductory video to his happiness series: