Let us say you want to be dependent on a particular pond for a year-round supply of fish. Suppose the pond completely dries up in summer. Would that pond be a reliable source of food for the whole year? NO WAY!!!

It would be better to depend on a large supermarket for your supply of fish. A supermarket gets hold of fish from any of several sources — — — if one source dries up, it gets the fish from a different source. The net result is that you can depend on the supermarket for a year-round supply of fish (I know this is not a perfect example, I’m only too aware that supermarkets do close. Just get my drift for now.)

Extending this analogy, if you want anything to be permanent, its existence cannot depend on something impermanent. Permanent happiness is no exception.

So what should your permanent happiness depend on?

• If you try to make it depend on pleasant thoughts, you run into trouble. You can’t be thinking those pleasant thoughts all the time … for instance, if someone screams insults at you for 48 minutes nonstop, can you imagine yourself thinking pleasant thoughts while it’s going on? Your permanent happiness, therefore, cannot depend on your thought process.

• Can your permanent happiness depend on a person? In that case, what happens when that person falls out with you, or dies?

• Can your permanent happiness depend on an object (like a car)? What happens if the object is stolen, sold, obsoleted or broken in two?

• Can it depend on being at a particular place? What happens when you have to leave the place?

• OK, how about it depending on your job? What happens when you retire or lose your job?

• What about depending on a mental image? Let’s say whenever you visualize a particular religious figure or a certain kind of light, you feel happy. But can you be in that state all the time? How’ll you go about your day-to-day tasks?

Basically what you want to know is: the identity of an unchanging, permanent thing that you can hitch your happiness to.

When I say "permanent" I mean something that doesn’t disappear at any time.

There are very few things that fit that bill. Let me save you the trouble of searching: the answer to that question lies in your own mind, or, more precisely, in the background of your own mind.

This is what I mean by "the background": behind all your thoughts and emotions is a quiet observer which is your basic state of existence. It is the witness to all the thoughts that go on in your head as well as all the sights, sounds, smells and touches that hit you. It is your "sense of being"; when you emerged from your mother’s womb, it’s pretty much all that there was in your head. It never changes and has been there all your life, witnessing all external events (games with your childhood playmates, hours in classrooms, life with companions, weddings, holidays, et al) and internal events (thoughts, emotions and memories). That is what you have to make your happiness depend on. As a matter of fact that is itself happy and peaceful all the time.

It is the basic you, and if you want to locate that state of mind in your own head, follow the instructions in this blog post of mine: http://calmandcool.com/54/true-identity.htm

Now get to it… every unhappy second is a wasted second!!

Author's Bio: 

Lucky Balaraman is a life coach based at Chennai, India who teaches that making your life pleasurable boils down to optimizing your thinking by realizing your unshakeable, true identity. Read his guidelines at http://CalmAndCool.com .

Understand the basics by taking his free course at http://calmandcool.com/4-part-course .

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