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The Courage it Takes to Be Happy: Aligning Intention and Action

In the pursuit of happiness, we often find ourselves facing obstacles and challenges that test our resolve. It takes courage to break free from societal expectations and pursue our own authentic joy. It requires aligning our intentions with our actions, engaging in self-reflection, gaining insight, and being willing to admit when we are wrong. Happiness is not a destination; it is a journey that requires constant effort and self-awareness.


To embark on this journey, we must first align our intentions with our actions. It is not enough to simply desire happiness; we must actively work towards it. This means making conscious choices that align with our values and bring us closer to our authentic joy. It takes courage to step outside of our comfort zones and take action, even when it feels risky or uncertain. But it is through these actions that we create the life we truly desire.

Self reflection

Self-reflection is another crucial aspect of finding happiness. It requires looking inward and examining our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. This introspection allows us to gain insight into what truly brings us joy and fulfillment. It takes courage to confront our fears, insecurities, and past traumas. But by doing so, we can heal, grow, and create a life that is aligned with our authentic selves.

Part of self-reflection is also being willing to admit when we are wrong. It takes courage to acknowledge our mistakes, apologize when necessary, and make amends. This humility allows us to learn and grow, fostering healthier relationships and a greater sense of inner peace. By embracing our imperfections and being open to feedback, we can continuously evolve and become better versions of ourselves.


Ultimately, the most important thing in life is pursuing our own authentic joy. It takes courage to prioritize our happiness over societal expectations or the opinions of others. We must be willing to let go of what no longer serves us and make choices that align with our true desires. This may mean making difficult decisions, taking risks, or stepping into the unknown. But by doing so, we create a life that is filled with purpose, fulfillment, and genuine happiness.


The courage it takes to be happy is a journey of aligning intention and action. It requires self-reflection, gaining insight, and being willing to admit when we are wrong. It means pursuing our own authentic joy, even when it feels challenging or uncertain. But by embracing this courage, we can create a life that is truly aligned with our values, passions, and innermost desires. So, let us embark on this journey with bravery and determination, knowing that true happiness awaits those who have the courage to pursue it.

Reality Check; It is never What you think it is

We all trip over and fall down every once in a while. It happens to us unexpectedly and after a certain time we come back stronger and smarter. If we look back on the causes of these trials, most often than not it is because of our choices. Things that happen externally that might appear unrelated to our way of being reveal their connection and oneness through lessons. All that happens to us is because of our way of being, perception of ourselves and the world. These prompts and insights are here to help you own your life, learn the lessons and avoid repeating them by understanding the basic principles of mind.

The intellect you cling to is limited

From the moment we wake up, most of us automatically jump into the role of who we were yesterday and prepared to repeat the same story. Joe Dispenza calls this the trap of the familiar past and the predictable future. The mind is comfortable with what it knows so it sticks to those two certain things. But your real freedom lies in the generous now. Now is where the birth of new ideas are, where the creation of your future self is, imagine a caterpillar birthing into a moth and Phoenix from ash. Empower your SELF over the mind by sitting still. Know the truth of your being and let the mind’s chatter be. Your mind is your intellect but it’s not intelligence. Intelligence is the one that moves and runs the universe, your intellect tries to understand how it works and is never satisfied with answers. Know the place of intellect, it is good with some things like planning and checking the bank balance and tuning the car up but that’s not the whole of what you are. You are awareness and divine intelligence, an expression of the divine, unique and never incorrect. We all just are in the process of life be lifing. So when presented with complexities by the mind; say thank you mind for your contributions but I’m sitting here for now, breathing and looking at the sky.

Can you accept the notion that once you change your internal state, you don’t need the external world to provide you with a reason to feel joy, gratitude, appreciation, or any other elevated emotion?

-Joe Dispenza

Get an alternate perspective

If the mind hooks you in with attractive demands such as; “you should do this and be like that or else it won’t be a good thing for me and others and you will fail”. Take a step back and observe this conversation of the mind and SELF. Sit still and be grounded, once again, thank your mind for its opinion but the real you, the SELF is complete in and of itself and do not need to fall prey to the minds demands. Try getting an alternate perspective, the one that feels gentler and kinder. The choice that promotes growth and nurturing. Lean in to what feels right not what the mind thinks is best. Feeling transcends understanding and is more powerful and creative. It is the Buddha and Christ in you. It is conscious awareness. In an alternate perspective you get to access “omniperception”. You get to understand what is best for the ocean, not just what’s good for a single drop. From time to time, take a step back and get an alternate perspective. Learn this habit and bring ease and harmony to your day to day.

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”

– William Blake

Quit certainty cold turkey

Let go of always needing to know. The mind is never at ease even though all information is out there, there is always something it needs to know. Curiosity opens up new worlds and is the doorway to creativity but there is a difference between open inquiry and wanting things a certain way. If we always impose our preferences and beliefs into everything we encounter there will be no room for miracles. Try being comfortable with uncertainty. Try this mantra “I may have preferences but I really don’t mind what happens next”. Either it will or not won’t. This is neither a fortune nor a misfortune, it is just is. Try to quit our attachment to certainty and observe a lightness in the heart and your whole being.

“You want to know my secret? You see, I don’t mind what happens.”

– Jiddu Krishnamurti

Figure it out by observing not thinking

Sit still and be quite for a certain amount of time and there will be nothing that you can not know. Everything is divinely simple, there’s a spiritual answer and solution to everything. When bothered by complexity and indecision, take a moment to observe. Observe yourself being bothered, observe your physical self sitting and thinking of the problem. In this practice we get off our mental loops and get to see things for what they really are. You are awareness, not circumstances. Circumstances change and can not be controlled and it doesn’t have any power to disturb your peace unless you allow it. Always remember, things are mostly fine if we stop fiddling with it. Let most things be, let your loved ones be, let your natural well being be in balance, harmony, life affirming and giving. Brilliant insights come in observing and not judging, be sensitive to whispers from eternity.. They are subtle so quieten the intellect and be a mindful observer.

Mother Nature is always speaking. She speaks in a language understood within the peaceful mind of the sincere observer. Leopards, cobras, monkeys, rivers and trees; they all served as my teachers when I lived as a wanderer in the Himalayan foothills.

– Radhanath Swami

Be truly happy knowing that happiness is fleeting

The secret location of happiness is found in the abandonment for the need for it. Stop looking for happiness outside of you, what you have been looking for is what you already are. How many more shiny objects and promotions do you think you need? What ever you are looking for, let me stop you right there. You are already that. Yearn for inner joy, calm and tranquility than happiness that is instantly followed by despair. Be not attached nor afraid of anything…. Loss, change and disrepute. Stay in your equanimity and be above all the crash of breaking worlds. Here you are, sitting, smiling taking this journey gently, with ease and gratitude.

You only want to be happy. All of your aspirations, no matter what they are, are a yearning for happiness. Basically, you wish yourself well…desire isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s life itself, the desire to expand one’s horizons of knowledge and experience. It is your decisions that are incorrect. To believe that something as insignificant as food, sex, power, or fame can make you happy is to deceive oneself. Only anything as big and profound as your true self can completely and permanently bring you joy.

– Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Truth comes when you stop grappling with it

Imagine a pond of water, if you disturb it by swishing the water all around using a stick the water will turn muddy, unclear and unsettled. But leave it alone for a couple of hours and the sediments settle at the bottom and the water becomes sparkly and clear once again. The stick is our intellect trying to run hither and tither asking all sorts of nonsense, demanding this and that leaving us with a muddy perception of the truth. Stop disturbing the waters and we shall find truth. Truth of peace, love, clarity and abundance.

All you need is a calm mind. Once your mind is tranquil, everything else will fall into place. Self-awareness affects mental changes in the same way as the rising light affects the environment. Inner energies awaken in the light of calm and steady self-awareness and create miracles without any effort on your behalf.

– Nisargadatta Maharaj

The purpose of life is life itself

The million dollar question of the purpose of life. What is the purpose of life? It is life itself. It is all the courage and battles of your ancestors summed up in your DNA. You, being a divine spark of light from the cosmos entering your mums womb, hung out for 9 months and cried for air and has never stopped breathing. Your mission to lighten up the load of mankind and be a light to those in the dark. To leave things better than you find them. To become awake to everyday miracles. You digest sunlight and turn it to energy. You are constantly putting together pieces of your masterpiece. No matter how hard you search, you will be brought back to yourself. Be ok with life. It is pretty astounding to be here.

Be a lamp unto yourself, make of yourself a light’ were the last words of the Buddha. no teacher or outside authority can give us the truth or take it away. in the end, we will find that our heart holds the simple wisdom and unshakable compassion that we have sought all along.

– Jack Kornfield; After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path


You are done running around looking for answers and asking questions. Let go of the need to know. Practice silence and prayer. Nothing can bother you but your own mind untrained so become a master in letting a story go and shifting perspectives. Not immediately reacting is a beneficial tool to. Just smile, be at ease and know all is well.

– Namaste

What is Better than Happiness? 19 ways to transform your day

Happy comes from the root word Hap which means chance or good fortune. Its first meaning was recorded in 14c which means “luck” except for the Welsh which means “wise”.

Being lucky and being wise are quite different.
Don’t we rather be “wise” and take charge of our own luck? Naval Ravikant’s 4 types of luck is worth looking into.

You create your own luck by putting yourself in a position where luck can find you.

In his podcast Naval discusses four kinds of luck.

  • 1-Blind Luck – This is pure dumb luck, fortune, or fate. Where were you born? Who are your parents? Stuff you have zero control over.
  • 2-Luck from Hustling – Luck that comes from hard work and persistence. Opportunities are created through sheer energy and activity. Things get “stirred up” from the high amount of activity. The more activity you generate, the more opportunities that arise.
  • 3-Luck From Preparation – Luck that comes from being prepared to act on an opportunity. Having the ability to spot an opportunity. Other people do not notice, but you are skilled and attuned to spotting an opportunity. You are sensitive to luck.
  • 4-Luck From Your Unique Character – Luck that is generated because you have built a unique mindset or brand. Opportunities arise because you are one of the most qualified people to assist. Somebody else spots an opportunity and turns to you to assist because you are uniquely qualified. Someone else’s blind luck becomes your opportunity.


There is also Joy which is defined to be the source of pleasure and happiness. Joy being an inner feeling rather than an outward expression which is happiness. We can simplify this concept with the oldest aphorism “As within so without” The duty here is to cultivate inward unconditional Joy and its outward expression will flow out effortlessly as happiness.

Let’s dive into these insights.

1. Learn Something New

Make a daily habit of learning something new. Learning fires up new neural connections in your brain. Keeping your brain healthy, opening up doors to other ventures and increases your value. So entertain your curiosity, it might lead to new wonderful places. Question the normal, open yourself up to new combinations of interests to get to know yourself even deeper. You can always let go if it doesn’t resonate. But always keep on trying new things, there is a lot out there, from cuisines to musical instruments to language to arts and crafts. Get comfortable with something new and get ready for better worlds. Remember that you contain multitudes.

2. Let go

Unload the things that don’t serve you. Imagine letting go of a heavy backpack. Letting go is acceptance of things you cannot change. Much of our suffering comes from voluntary forcing to carry things that don’t need carrying. So lighten up by surrendering some of the load to a higher power.

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.”

– Herman Hesse

3. Pay Attention to Little Things

Doing small things in a great way is an opportunity open to everyone in the present moment. Small acts have big impact, tidying up sets you up for success. Trimming your nails is a simple act of renewal. The little things are the big things. What little thing are you going to engage in with a big heart?

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

– Arthur Ashe

4. Author Your Future

Take a moment to imagine what is possible for you within the next 6 months. What opportunities are you willing to take up on. Write down a strategic plan with specific actions. Set some SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound. Designing your future will provide confidence that you are in charge of your life and joy will inevitably be found.

“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”

– William Ernest Henley

5. Go To The Edge

The version of yourself that you are destined to be is on the other side of your comfort zone. Find the edge of your comfort, ask why you have set those boundaries and discover new worlds. On the edge you will feel truly alive, exhilarated and renewed. A constant rebuilding and polishing, a persistent joyful rebirth moment to moment. So meet that edge with gentle courage. Now isn’t that a joyful thing?

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”

– Joseph Campbell

6. Find Freedom

Too often we get too comfortable in limitations of our own making. Joy can be found in your freedom to discover yourself, your journey and your mission. Know your values, hold them close as you venture new worlds. Joy can be found in freedom.


– Herbert Hoover

7. Live in the Moment

This is the heart of mindfulness. Bring yourself here. Listen to your breath. Scan sensations in the body. For each hour, spend 5 minutes to just be here. Nothing to change, nothing to do, just being. We are human beings after all, not human doings. You are here, just this. Just sitting. Practice this and notice the joy that is already in you. It has always been there we just need to intentionally live in the moment.

“Give yourself permission to allow this moment to be exactly as it is, and allow yourself to be exactly as you are.”

– Jon Kabat Zinn

8. Expand Your Awareness

Allow yourself to drop the story of “Me”, “mine” and “myself”. Your True self is beyond your persona and identity. When you let go of the story of “I need this to be such & such for happiness to happen”, You open up yourself to a majestic plane of consciousness where all is correct and dancing beautifully. Nature is one best tool for expanding the awareness. Try npr’s joy generator.

“We only know a tiny proportion about the complexity of the natural world. Wherever you look, there are still things we don’t know about and don’t understand. There are always new things to find out if you go looking for them.”

– David Attenborough

9. Envision The Best Outcome

Live in the positive expectancy of the best. Stay calm when things don’t go your way. Be not attached to the fruits of your labor. Just be consistent in acting as if the best has already happened. This is being pro active in creating inner joy first. There is also a concept called law of inverse transformation that I have learned from my favorite metaphysician Joseph Murphy.

“If a physical fact can produce a psychological state, a psychological state can produce a physical fact.”

– Joseph Murphy

10. Plan a Trip

It doesn’t need to be Paris or Tokyo. Just a change in environment to spice up your day to day. Take a long drive somewhere unusual. Maybe along the coastline or up in the mountains. Planning a trip creates something to look forward to. It is also a practice of designing your life. Plan ahead and be flexible to change. New places will bring forth dopamine and you will expand your domain of familiarity. Have a journal on hand because you might receive your aha moment as you cruise.

“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.”

– Henri Nouwen

11. Accentuate what is Working

What has been working in your life? Too often we ruminate on the things that don’t work or what’s lacking. Take a deep breath and find Joy in what is working. See the fullness instead of the emptiness. What have been your strengths? Maybe they were the values you’ve been carrying all along, resilience, forbearance, endurance, adaptability. Focus on what works and be glad that it does. What joy to know this.

Seeing everything just the way it is – that is the way to be within. If you see something other than what is there, it means you are contaminating the world with your opinions and prejudices.

– Sadhguru

12. There is Joy in Humility

The difference between an intelligent person and a foolish person is that the intelligent one knows that he is foolish. Know that you do not know a thing. What our conscious mind thinks it knows is minuscule compared to how truly things are. Do you know how water works? How your consciousness work? Fire? Rocks? The Octopus? Walking this life with humility and reverence opens us up to joyful wonder. Like a child easily pleased.

“The key to knowing joy is being easily pleased.”

– Mark Nepo

13. Hit the Pause Button

Literally stop everything and just be. Notice the beauty that surrounds you. Recognize the life you have created so far. In practicing this habit of pausing, you are training your subconscious mind to intentionally find joy in little things that are already around and within you.

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.

– Albert Einstein

14. Befriend the Mind

Too often we let our thinking rob us of our joy. Befriending the mind is setting healthy boundaries between your awareness and the minds chatter. Know that you are not your thoughts and you can let the mind wander to different places and viewpoints without losing your centeredness. When something unloveable arises from the mind, you are a friend who understands the nature of the mind. You say “thank you mind for these thoughts but I choose to stay here in my center, my peace, in this space lies your joy.

Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.

– Jon Kabat Zinn

15. Maintain Balance

When everything is in balance, all is well and at ease. Stop the endless cycling of the mind. It is a predicting machine. It predicts the future and lives in the familiar past. Find joy in what is. Everything is neither good nor bad but our judgment makes it so. Maintain a balanced diet, exercise, human connection and creativity. Balance of the mind and heart; joy will ensue.

Wisdom says we are nothing. Love says we are everything. Between these two our life flows”.

– Jack Kornfield

16. Be Solution Oriented & Trusting

Be the change you want to see, be part of the solution rather than the problem. Approach life and its complexities with courage and knowingness that all works out for the best. There is a solution to every problem and most of the time it is very simple and will get solved by leaving things be. Trust in the Dao. Try your best at helping the situation but know how to surrender to higher power as well. Knowing that you are not responsible for fixing everything is a joyful relief.

“There is a spiritual solution to every problem”

Dr. Wayne Dyer

17. Find Joy Being Alone

Whenever you are alone the easier it gets to connect to your higher self. To rejoice in all the life that is around you. This is the time where you can really just be yourself and observe what it’s like. Getting to know yourself without other people’s expectations. So find your favorite self care modality and feel free to indulge.

Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.

– May Sarton

18. Rejoice in the Success of Others

There is no limit to the pie. Other people’s success doesn’t mean shortage in yours. Play the game of collaboration instead of competition. Nobody needs to be beneath anybody. Status is a zero sum game, but wealth creation is a positive sum game according to Naval Ravikant. More information here. So celebrate other people’s success and think of how you can progress that success through your creative thinking.

See others as you see yourself. Salute the divinity of others as in yourself. Their success is your success. You are a player in this one big team of humanity.

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

– Martin Luther King Jr.

19. Experience the Sunrise

Not even the finest artist nor the most distinguished poet can paint and describe the beauty of a sunrise. A symbol of renewal, the dawning of consciousness, the beginning of life itself. Make an appointment to see the sunrise by yourself or with a loved one. It is the grandest of all art exhibits. It is free, it happens daily. All we gotta do is show up and tap into its indescribable joy.

“If you are in a beautiful place where you can enjoy sunrise and sunset, then you are living like a lord.

– Nathan Philips


There are many ways in which we can cultivate inner joy. Knowing them is only the tip of the iceberg. Putting them to practice is where the fun really is. Play the game of Joy in your daily life and observe how things around you change for the better.