How To Make the Feeling of Happiness Last a Lifetime?
My acronym for GOAL is God Only Allows Love. If your goal, your target, your ambition has the sharing of love with one, or many, as its motivation and objective can becoming blissful be far behind?
We set goals for ourselves and this becomes our obsession. We believe that once we reach that goal then happiness, joy and, even bliss, may be ours. These goals are invariably of a material nature as they can be identified, planned for, monitored and the finishing line crossed.
How many people, having crossed the finishing line, achieved their objective of happiness, joy, and even bliss? And how long did that feeling last? And once that feeling abated, how did they feel? At that point did they raise their self-expectations and set another goal to do it all again but this time for a bigger prize? And how did that work out for them? Was the feeling of achievement and becoming happy, joyful and even blissful ever sustained?
The efforts they expended are commendable but they were focusing on what they set their minds to achieve and that is why the feelings of happiness, joy, and even bliss, dissipated not long after the gold medal was placed upon their chest or other rewards achieved in a myriad of ways.
To achieve the long-lasting feelings of happiness, joy and bliss we need to focus on how we are being in doing our set objectives to reach our goal.
Feelings are the language of the soul and the soul is love based. So only by being love in our thoughts, words and actions towards ourselves and others can we develop the long-lasting feelings of happiness, joy and bliss.
Let me give you an example from the Comrades Marathon, an annual race of some 90 km, some 56 miles, run between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg in Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa.
Over 30 000 people begin this gruelling race and the time limit to complete it is 11 hours. The winner does it in around 5,5 hours running at some 16 km/hour or 10 miles/hour consistently for 5,5 hours, some achievement!
The bulk of the field’s objective is to make the cut-off bell at 11 hours, an average running pace of 8/km/hour or 5 miles/hour. There are many hills to climb especially as they run through the picturesque Valley of a Thousand Hills around halfway along the race. On the “Up”run to Pietermaritzburg from Durban, the race alternates annually, there are some killer hills to climb in the last stretch of the race.
My friends who have run the race and attempted to beat the 11-hour clock say that the comradeship and support between the struggling runners are immense. Although they all want to beat the 11-hour bell and receive a medal for finishing the race, the stories of runners going back to help friends and strangers across the line, and in so doing, missing their own 11-hour bell are legendary. They have the satisfaction of finishing the gruelling race but not the satisfaction of receiving a medal for doing so under 11 hours.
Those who have told me their personal stories, either as someone going back to help and support their fellow runners, whether friends or strangers, to finish the race after the 11- hour bell, as well as those who were helped and supported and encouraged by fellow competitors, whether friends and strangers, to finish the race, with none of them making the cutoff time of 11 hours, is the spirit of the aptly named Comrades Marathon.
Knowing how they ran this competitive race in the spirit of comradeship and love for others is a feeling that lasts a lifetime. Not having a medal to place around your neck, or in your display cabinet, pales into insignificance when you know how you performed in the race.
These people know that it is not what you achieve by reaching your goals but what you become by achieving your goals.
These runners know the feeling of becoming blissful by acting out of love for another and not simply focused on personal gain.