As different as we may all be from each other, we are all connected. There are an infinite number of ways in which we are all the same, but the most obvious of all is often the most overlooked. We all want to be happy.

The fact that we are all trying to be happy in our lives is such an obvious statement that it almost seems pointless to bring up. But it is this very fact that causes all of our problems in life. On our quest to become happy we are all pursuing different paths. All these paths lead to the same destination but the route we take to reach our destination is different for everyone.

You may be thinking, "Hey Brett, so many people are living lives doing exactly what everyone else seems to be doing. How can these people be on a different route than the thousands or millions of others who doing everything the same as they are?" That is a very good point, because for many people the path towards happiness that they are on is the same, but the individuals on the path are different, and even if someone was hypothetically retracing the path of another step by step they would still be doing it at a different time and would have a different experience because of it. And the fact that we all see things through our own eyes and judge our experiences based on our own past experiences changes the experience. A more simple analogy is this, if you are a 6ft tall you see things on a different level than say, a midget would. Your unique perspective would allow you to see over the shorter upcoming obstacles that could be in the way that your shorter counterpart wouldn't be able to know what is beyond. But then again, he would be able to see the rocks on the path easier and might be able to avoid some of the branches that you have to duck under. So everyone's experience is relative and no one can know exactly what you know and you can never fully know what they know, because we all have different perspectives on the experience, no matter how similar those experiences are. Everyone has advantages and disadvantages that they have to deal with, they might be different than yours but they are advantages and disadvantages just they the same.

There is no point in trying to recreate someone else's path, because even if you try, you are still on your own path and the path they walked might of worked for them, but it could lead to failure for you because the path is different because you are different. So don't bother yourself with what others are doing, your path is yours alone and only you can experience it through your eyes.

Once you can accept that you are on your own then you can be free to stop worrying about if what you are doing is "the right way" or "the wrong way", it's just your way, and your way leads to the same destination that everyone else is trying to get to...happiness.

So if everyone is trying to get to the same place, and there is no one universal path that will guarantee you will reach your destination, then you are free to stop worrying about how you get there and start focusing on the fact that you are, right now, moving towards your goal. It is the process of moving towards the goal that gets you what you want. The destination doesn't get you what you want, it is what you want. So what you are really trying to do isn't even about the destination, its about the path, the journey to it. So your goal isn't to reach some destination but in reality it is just to enjoy the journey to the destination. Once you can make the switch in your mind from focusing on the destination to focusing on the path then things suddenly become a lot simpler...here's why....

If the destination isn't what matters, and the journey there is the only part that matters, then in turn it doesn't really matter if the destination even exists, and that means that to achieve what you truly want and to reach happiness (which was your destination), then you already have it because you are already on the path! In essence you are already there! You have all that you want already. The journey, the path is the destination so you have already reached the destination, you just have to enjoy being there! Basically happiness isn't something that you "get" its something that you do. You are happy.

The idea that the destination is actually the journey is a simple enough of a concept to intellectually grasp but you may be wondering why this revelation hasn't automatically fixed everything and made you permanently happy. Here is where things get interesting...So if the destination is the path itself, then enjoying the path is what brings you happiness, because the path, the journey, is happiness. So just because you are already on the path but that doesn't mean you are allowing yourself to enjoy it.

In essence we are denying ourselves what we truly want, which is to just be happy. We are our own roadblocks on our path. So the question then becomes how do we remove ourselves from our own way! Funny stuff, isn't it?

See we all live and experience life in one moment. This moment that we all live in for every second of our lives is called the present moment. The past and future don't really exist. The past is just a previous moment where you experienced things in the present moment. That means the future is just another present moment that you will experience after you are done experiencing this current present moment. By the time you read the next word, a new present moment will be where you find yourself and etc etc etc on and on and on. So we are always living life in the present moment all the time, no matter what. So the only thing that matters is making the present moment the best moment it can possibly be. If you do this, then the future will automatically be awesome and your past will always be awesome from here on out. This is why all the clichés of living in the now have come about, because they are true. That's why they have become cliché. So now we can realize that living in the current moment, the present moment, is all that matters. The path of happiness is enjoying the process of being on the path, of being in the present moment. If you always stay focused on enjoying where you find yourself right now, then you will always be happy.

So now that you know that staying happy in the present is what is important, now we just need to learn how to appreciate the present moment as much as possible, because the more we appreciate it the happier our lives will be. But what about the past experiences when we didn't realize this, how do we fix those moments? Well those moments can never be erased, and they will always be with you forever. Now I know we all have done some incredible stupid things that we wish we could forget, or have some memories of things that were extremely negative that we wish we never had to go through, and it is hard to hear that they are always going to be a part of us, but this is the truth. There is no benefit in pretending they didn't happen, but there is a benefit in accepting they happened and moving on.

What is important to remember is that those experiences in the past, however bad they might have been, are not the present moment.

Now if we are thinking about how horrible a past experience was, what are we really doing? We are creating a new memory, a new present moment that is another negative moment, because of the fact that we are pulling up the memory and "reliving" it in our mind. This happens because although the event was in the past, we are in the present when we are thinking about it. So in essence we are adding another negative moment to our total collection of moments that make up our lives. Think of it like your brain and all its memories and experiences are a great big card catalogue system. If I asked you to name ten times in your life where you were "having fun" or were "eating at a restaurant" you could easily do it, because your brain files your memories into categories. With each new present moment, you are creating a million new entries into your card catalogue system in your brain of experiences. Right now, you are adding entry to the files of "reading", "wearing clothes" (unless you like to cruise the internet in the buff), "being on the internet", "being inside a building," "sitting down", "having fun" (or "being bored") etc etc. And most importantly, you are either adding another present moment where you are "happy" or "unhappy."

This is very important to note because when you are thinking about things from the past that are negative, if you aren't doing it with the mindset of being happy in the moment, you are just making things worse for yourself by adding another present moment to your catalogue under the title of moments where you are "unhappy." And that is contradictory to what you want to be doing, which is being happy. So although you can't change the past but you can change how you view that experience! You are not a slave to feeling the way you did in that past moment, you have the power to change the way you view those experiences. In essence you can rearrange and re-file your card catalogue system of your life experiences for the better. By viewing past experiences in a positive light, even though you can't erase them from your existence, you can change them! You can take a bad experience out of the "moments of unhappiness" category and move them to the "moments I learned how to be happy" category, which in effect changing the past moment from being a bad experience to being a good experience. It's even better, than getting rid of it because you can change it into something that you are glad you experienced!

See everything that happens in your life is just a relative experience, it is not a concrete, definite thing. It is just relative to your perspective on it. Think about this...if you were, let's say picked on for being fat when you were a kid, would you even care that you were fat if you in that moment, if instead of being picked on for being fat you were instead getting your arms and legs cut off with a chainsaw? Hell no. Being called a "fatty" would be, relatively speaking, a blessing that you would be happy to experience comparatively speaking to getting all your limbs brutally cut off. Suddenly it doesn't seem so bad relatively speaking. Now being called fat is a "bad" experience compared to the moment of being called beautiful or something. But see things are neither good or bad, they are just experiences, it's the way that we feel about those experiences that make us feel that they were good or bad. But our view of these experiences is not real, its is just what we choose it to be. The power is yours to decide whether that experience is a good or bad one because everything is relative. Ugly is beautiful and beautiful is ugly depending on who you are talking to. Sometimes some of the worst things that happen to us turn out to be the best things. Being called a "fatty" could inspire you to lose weight that might of stuck with your throughout your adult life and could of even brought about an early demise for yourself if you kept getting fatter. But on the other hand, some people who get called a "fatty" go and kill themselves. It was their choice how to view that experience. Maybe because of the fact that they are fat, and out of shape they instead of joining a sports team because in their mind they felt inferior to their thinner friends, maybe they decided to do something less strenuous on their body and decided to learn how to play guitar instead. They could go on to be amazing on the guitar and become a world famous rock star (and still lose the weight too) when if they were thin they might have been too busy on the sports team and never would of realized their talent for music. Being a "fatty" could have been a blessing in disguise. So if you were picked on as a kid for being fat, you could look back on that moment and think "so what if I was fat at this moment and some dumb kid with self esteem issues had to put me down to make himself feel better, I still got to experience the delight of eating tons of the most delicious food! And besides I could of lost that weight if I put my mind to it, but instead I didn't care enough to and was having fun too much fun playing video games with my other fat friends, joking around, and sitting in the air conditioning all day long!" That is just one example, there is always a way to make a negative experience into a positive one, you just have to be thinking positively and trying to focus on the good aspects while viewing the negative aspects as something that you can learn from. Everything is a lesson. Everything has value, it is only good or bad in comparison to something else. The trick is to allow yourself to be happy without feeling the need to judge everything. If you can manage to not judge your life and just experience it instead, your life becomes an infinite experience! By judging it and saying this was bad, or good, you create your own limitations to it. Everything is only relative, you are the one who decides what you compare it to. We often like to jump to conclusions too quickly without looking and thinking about how our events and experience might play into the bigger picture. It's the whole what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger mentality. Its true, but only if you choose it to be true. What doesn't kill you can make you weaker if you allow it to, as well. Its just in how you choose to view it and judge it. You create the reality of the situation and experience.

So when you are viewing your past thoughts, remember you are still in the present moment and that you are creating a new present moment right then and there and it is your choice to view that past memory as either a good or bad experience. If you choose to view it negatively, you are adding another negative moment to your life and are taking away another chance to add another moment of happiness to your life. It's your choice to enjoy the path or to hate being on it, but hating it doesn't change the fact that you are still on the path so why not enjoy it! If you want to be happy, it's as easy as choosing to be happy. Remember you are only a roadblock on the path to happiness if you allow yourself to be. So always look for the positive and choose to review your past moments while maintaining the present moment as a positive moment. You can't be happy in the present if you are feeling how miserable you were in the past. I am definitely encouraging you to review your past memories, especially the ones that were "negative", just remember that you are living in a new moment that is only as great as you choose it to be.

When you are on your deathbed, you will look back on your life and ask yourself "Have I lived a life filled with happiness?" and the answer will be decided by opening up the file of "happy moments" in your card catalogue system in your head and seeing how many of those moments you choose to put in there! So always choose to be happy, even when you are thinking of things or experiencing a situation that may at first seem to contain only negativity to it, there is always a way to find the positivity and pull it out of the moment if you choose because everything is relative only to what you compare it to and judge it against. So the power is yours to be as happy as you want to be, no one and no circumstances can stand in your way! You don't have to wait to be happy, you can just be happy. Remember, Happiness is a choice and it's up to you to choose to enjoy the path, because enjoying the path is the only way to ever reach your destination!

Author's Bio: 

Brett is a human being who doesn't like to live life feeling stressed out and prefers to live it being happy...because of this he has always sought out new ways to free himself from the burden of anything that holds him back from appreciating the beauty of everything. On a constant search to improve the quality of his thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and actions he has learned some interesting and helpful information along the way that he likes to share with others who are on a similar mission. He tries his best to constantly learn new things about himself and grow deeper in his appreciation for the world and everything that exists everywhere, when he succeeds in this he tries to pass that along incase others find it helpful as well. In his free time he enjoys doing stuff and things.