Happiness comes from within: Lessons from Thailand

We all want to be happy. This is something that I’m certain about. We spend our lives trying to find happiness – sometimes in money, in people, jobs, marriage or even fame. You hear people saying, “once I get that job, I’ll be happy,” or “once I marry that person  I’ll be very happy.”

I’m also guilty of this sometimes. I tend to think that once I achieve a certain goal, or if I buy a certain thing it’ll bring me all the happiness in the world. But I’ve found that this is not true. I’ve also been guilty of leaving the responsibility of my happiness in other people’s hands. And, because they’re only human, I’ve been hurt and disappointed.

I’ve always heard that true happiness comes from within, but I’ve never truly been able to relate to this. Yes, I understood the concept, however, applying it in my own life has not been easy. While it makes perfect sense in theory, it’s been a bit difficult in practice. It was only until a few days ago where I truly understood the meaning of that concept.

About a week ago I arrived in Thailand for a vacation. I planned this late last year and, in my mind, it was going to be everything I’ve ever wanted. This is my first trip outside of the African continent and this country has been at the top of my bucket list. So, naturally, I’ve been so excited about it. I looked forward to every single thing that Phuket has to offer. Also, I was excited about all the happiness I’d receive while in this beautiful country.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I go through a rough patch I always think, “if only I could go away and leave all this mess behind.” Surely I’m not the only person who does this? Although April was a very good month for me (I graduated and I turned 29), it was also tough. You see, I’m currently in a very weird and confusing place in my life right now (I’ll write about it one day) and I’ve been praying for a miracle.

Thailand was supposed to be my escape, the place that would suddenly make every single negative thought disappear. It was supposed to bring me all the happiness in the world. This is what I thought, at least. While the experience has been amazing – beautiful beaches, friendly people, lovely spots for shopping, great weather (not too crazy about the food) – I’ve also had moments where I’ve found myself thinking about all the mess that’s waiting for me back home. I guess it’s human nature?

So, where is all this happiness that I was supposed to find here? I was asking myself this question about two days ago. I got my answer. Happiness comes from within. No amount of money, traveling or people will ever truly make you happy. It’s an inside job.

It might sound like a cliché, but it’s very true. Since getting that not-so-deep revelation, I’ve been trying very hard to just live in the moment and enjoy every single minute of this beautiful trip. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve definitely improved. Being fully present, in the now, brings so much peace. I’ve read so many books and listened to sermons on this,  it took me being in another county to truly get it.

Happiness is not found in things, people, money, jobs or success. True happiness comes from within. And that’s that on that!

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