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The Enemy of a Happy Life


The enemy of a happy life is not outside of you lurking in an alley waiting to ambush you. This adversary is more covert. It cleverly clings to you from the inside so that it is ever present. Have you wanted to live a happier life but occasionally find yourself ambushed by negative emotions? Time to expose the villain that may be causing you some distress. Better yet, maybe we can help you make an ally?

Sun Tzu, the legendary Chinese military general and strategist said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”  You see, the battle of positive emotions is an internal one. Knowing yourself requires an awareness that the antagonist is within. Your troubles are not purely due to someone, society or the economy. Of course, it’s far easier to look outwards finger-pointing and reacting to the tangible world as the cause of our pain. On the other hand, the urban warrior may knee-jerk towards blame but inevitably they turn inwards. Are you ready to face your dragon like the brave medieval knights?

The enemy we need to face is our intellect. Our intellect tells us we should have reached a certain income level by now. It says we can’t be happy if we don’t have a noteworthy title. The intellect tells us that we should follow our parent's wishes and not that which gives us personal satisfaction. This chatter recommends we stay current on social media so as not to be left out. And on it goes. We suffer our intellect. This is especially true if our intellect is telling us that outer accomplishment and recognition is where our worth and value reside. Intellect advises you must attain something noteworthy to be someone noteworthy.

Alternatively, you can impartially acknowledge the presence of this adversary. When you hear short-changing commentary, firmly respond with reassurance that you are the captain of your fate. Most importantly, you can’t connect with your highest potential for good without partnering with your intellect. A polished intellect does have merit when it is applied for bettering your life and the lives within your influence. The downfall is in seeking knowledge for its own sake for it leads to pseudo-confidence. Application is where wisdom lies. As Dr Sir John Whitman Ray, founder of Body Electronics said, “Intellectualism by definition is the destroyer of spirituality.”

Now there is nothing wrong in wanting more for you and your family. You should pursue worthy goals and have the finer things if you desire it. The trap is in the pain you cause yourself if you don’t achieve them at the date you set. Or if you achieve them and they didn’t hold the significance you expected they should. Remember that goals are arbitrary. Lasting happiness is found in exploring that which gives you joy and fulfilment.