How to Find True Happiness and Inner Peace

How to Find True Happiness and Inner Peace

© 2013 Henry Willey,Jr.

Mankind has always lived in groups—and no individual can isolate himself, either physically or mentally to be happy. …happiness is to be achieved solely in terms in terms of socially useful activities.

All human striving, as we have seen originates in a sense of inferiority. The goal of all human striving is life, security, and that sense of adequacy which we call self-esteem.

The best craftsmanship of life consists in transforming your defects and inferiorities into assets and superiorities.

Real happiness, which we must derive from the conscious and calm utilization of life forces to a useful end, can never be gained by the artificial use of stimulants and intoxication.

Happiness is the interest that is paid men by nature for investments in the good life. It is not a reward for perfection. It begins as a dividend of the first step in the right direction, and it accrues by compound interest.

As a human being you have the choice of three basic attitudes towards life. You may approach life with the philosophy of a turnip, in which case your life will consist in being born, eating, drinking, sleeping, maturing, mating, growing old and dying?”

These operate at the lowest level of humanity. They do nothing to improve themselves. They grow like weeds and their lives are unproductive and of little real value to anyone. The second basic attitude is to look at life as if it were a business.”

W. Beran Wolfe, M.D.How to be Happy though Human’

Many very successful people think life is no more than a business. Their lives are based on competition and competing. It is a dog eats dog world and the survival of the fittest. Their life is a full offense and a successful defense.

These people live life filled with aggressive searching out in competition and building their personal fitness and efficiency. These are the inventors of the “rush hour”, “Instant everything” and the crisis of the “Now”.

These are the greedy ones, the “right is might” and the “end justifies the means”. Those who continually ask: “What is in it for me” will sooner than later suffer disappointments, depression and breakdowns.

They tend to lord it over the “little people” with whom they enslave the world. The world is filled with competition and the pressure is always there to perform bigger and better than anyone else. They are the bullies at school and on the job.

These people breed crime because they can’t or don’t have all that they want in material things. I tends to lead to the feelings of failure in those who strive but can’t achieve. The pressure is on at all times. There is no rest for these kind of people. They become greedy and must have everything their eyes behold. The self-actualizers and those who never get enough are in this class.

These invented the “Me Generation” and Corporate America and a government that instills fear in its citizens along with suspicions and control at every level. They say they are the protectors but in reality they are not. They take your peace and leave you with nothing but poverty and desolation.

Corporate and government domination are those who run the country like a business. We are bought and sold on the public markets like chattel.

Our third type of person is the creative one. They ask: “What can I put into life?” They look for ways to cooperate and use common sense. These people are the real achievers contributing to life instead of constant selfish motivations. Success becomes their reward for living a non-selfish life. It is the process not the product that means something. Their motivations are pure and philanthropic.

What is happiness?

It is not a thing that can be defined clearly, for everyone it is different. There are no standards of achievement or limitations. “Nevertheless, if you observe a really happy man, you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden, or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi desert.”- W. Beran Wolfe

It is not those who search for happiness who find it. One does not seek after it as a goal in itself. One becomes happy as he lives his twenty four hour day with purpose and meaning. There is some rhyme or reason to what he does.

There is no magical formula that can be given. If you are seeking to know your Creator with all your heart; you will find happiness is a byproduct of discovery. Happiness is sometimes termed: Success” but what really is success. Someone has said that it is the steady achievement of any worthwhile goals you set for yourself.

To be happy, you must work on being a complete whole being. Live up to your potentials. It takes courage, hopefulness, faith and commitment. Happiness is in the journey not the destination. Happiness is the interest paid by the Creator for a life well lived.

First you must realize what the materials are that we have been given to work with in life. Then the next step is to learn how to build successfully the life using these gifts and abilities that are God given. Thirdly, you need to have some goals in life. What is it that you really want to achieve in this lifetime?

What are the tools that you have to work with? The secret then is to keep your eye on the goal and do not wander off the pathway that leads to your end dream or reality. Every person has come into this world with something special that only he/she can supply.

There are some real obstacles that can come into play as you seek to lead a full and meaningful life. Some of them are age, sex, time, money and where you live. relatives, public prejudices, physical illness and sometimes religious beliefs.

Failure comes because we are trying to use the wrong kind of tools to achieve our goals. Sometimes, our ideals are not realistic and rather grandiose or we may try too hard to be what we were not designed to be and do.

Happiness is not something that we get overnight. There are successes and failures all along the pathway to our final destination. One must accept an occasional failure and then pick themselves up and get back on track.

Too many, meet failure and they give up. The risks seem to be too much but if you do not accept these occasional setbacks, you will never grow and your position in moving ahead will be slowed down. You have to take some risks to win the prize.

Discouragement and depression can rob you of your happiness. We know that some depression can be seasonally with the lack of sunshine in the winter months. Other reasons can be having a false value system.

Discover what is truly important in life. Evaluate your needs from your wants. It is much easier to find happiness if you set realistic goals for yourself. Are your goals and your methods consistent with reality? Unreal goals are just pipe dreams.

Unreal expectations are the things that will bring you down very fast. What do you really want out of life? What will make you happy? How realistic is this list? Discuss it with someone else who loves or cares for you. Get an objective opinion from someone else.

Learn to adapt. Life is filled with surprises and we can’t be ready for all of them but we can limit our risks through realistic positive thinking. If your goals are too high, you will be defeated and discouraged. Be sure that they are reasonable otherwise you invite defeat and failure.

Never say: “It’s my entire fault” because it seldom is. Don’t set yourself up for discouragement. We all tend to maintain a fixed pattern of behavior.

This was determined in early childhood unless some deep experience or re-programming takes place. Many of our habits are fixed by age five according to specialists in the field.

Progressing along the road to happiness:

The baby finds happiness and contentment by nursing and nurturing. As the child grows, parents, siblings, friends, teachers and significant other people teach the child what is and is not acceptable behavior. Doing the wrong things always has consequences. They are not always immediate but they are sure.

The building has started and many things will influence the growth and fulfillment in a child’s life.

The roots of depression and despair are also planted usually early on. Sometimes, it can be generational and through no cause of your own. How life is built up depends upon the reaction of the child to early influences. Rejection starts early as does nurturing. Sometimes the two are mutually exclusive.

We learn fear. We learn rewards and figure out what brings us contentment and can be very vocal about whether our needs are being met or not. As we grow, we also get the input of others into what is and is not acceptable behavior.

This can bring us into the place of wanting complete perfection and that is the only thing that makes us happy and content. The child is at an incomplete stage of personality development. The body grows slower than the brain and this also is a factor.

The wants of a child exceed his ability to get what he wants and thus his mood depends on others to a great extent. The child is dependent on others for everything.

In school, he will learn that he gets what he wants by being the center of attention, He becomes destructive at home.

Challenging this are courage and gaining useful knowledge. These will help develop the child into a happy and contented person as they learn more independence.

There is a crisis going from absolute dependence upon the parent leading to the child learning individual responsibility for their actions.

Further Personality and Character Development:

The goal is to travel towards the pathway to completeness and totality as a person. The child learns to form his desires into “I want” statements but learns gradually that what he wants is not always what he will get. Growth to adulthood is an evolution of personality and behavior.

What a person wants is compensation or over-compensation for his inadequacies. The child usually finds some one person who embodies all that is perfect and powerful to them. The poor want to be rich. The sick wants to be well. The low achiever wants to be better than anyone else. We learn discontentment early in life. Children need to grow up and this has to be taught to them because growth is a challenge.

One’s goals in life depend on a view of their own inferiorities, situation and totality and not always factually as things are. Children fanaticize because their reality is much different from what they desire inwardly. They want something else that reality doesn’t offer them.

The situation the child believes to be reality for them does become their reality. Once the individual finds good things from their behavior, it will motivate them to grow in the direction of the most rewards. Those positive things will draw the behavior in the direction of rewards just like a magnet draws iron filings.

Dissatisfaction with reality is what motivates the goal-setting. The weak want to be strong, etc. Their goals move in the direction of possession of power and betterment.

The more the person grows; his behavior is aimed at rewards. His self-image is dependent on getting something back in exchange for his energy and a job well done. Characters are developed by the many sources of input and the way the person perceives them and responds.

The personality is developed by looking at what the individual perceives as good and powerful and apt to make him this way too. The growth then is set on its way and the inertia keeps it going unless something or someone intervenes in their life.

Growth brings many changes and some will cause suffering and pain. The person identifies what these are and learns to avoid situations or behavior which does not bring inner satisfaction.

Adulthood brings the person into learning to live with others and in groups. This brings more development of the personality. How those interactions go will determine minor adjustments along the way to adulthood. What does and does not benefit us?

Eventually, we learn that life is lived in relationships with others. Being alone is not satisfying to the person. They find that relationships can bring great joy but also pain. They learn to resist the pain and thus avoid confrontations with others.

Group involvement causes adjustments in our ideas of who we are and what others would like us to be. When we discover that we find satisfaction in the inner person.

Being with others brings comparisons. “Am I like they are?” “Are what I want and what they want the same?” We find that no two humans are alike in all ways. Being different can be good or it can bring us insecurity and “wanna be” feelings.

How does the person himself or the other person need to change to bring accord and agreement in social settings? He discovers that his self-worth can be dependent on what is contributed to the group setting.

Rewards and compensation will help build the way the individual looks at himself. No one wants to feel worthless. He wants to contribute to the general and overall good of others as well as himself.

Experience fits our personalities into a pattern that allows us to be accepted by others. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, needed and of real value. Peer pressure causes us pain and fear of being unpopular or rejected by those we value.

They begin to discover what they can and cannot do. The boundaries are somehow determined. They may not be true and accurate but this is the limitations the person puts on himself.

He learns values and what is important and what is not. What brings good and happiness and what brings hurt, sorrow, disappointment and despair and rejection?

Society determines a great deal who and what the individual will become and be. He must learn to get along with himself, the groups, their work associates and relationships of the heart. There is a close inter-connection with all of these. Failure in any one can bring unhappiness.

We learn that we do not always succeed in what we attempt. There are limitations that we soon discover. Some limitations are self-made and changeable and some are permanent and unchanging. Discovering the differences is a lifelong task. Adapt or you don’t fit in. We can no longer have everything our own way. It won’t work any more.

The goal of human happiness goes through these steps: Honor, Sympathy, Common Sense, Giving, Giving more than required, honesty and sincerity. Of course these are the steps to a good life with rewards. This is character building.

The opposite path is Suspicion, Trickery, Dishonesty, Taking more than Giving, Cruelty and Crime and Punishment. Self-deception and evading responsibility are products of fear and ignorance of what life is all about.

Often these people are anti-social. They perceive everyone as their born enemy. Like my dad used to tell me: “The world doesn’t owe you a living”. He believes that those who are successful got that way through dishonesty and greed. To steal back is only fair in his eyes. Bullying is common for these people. The use of intimidation, shaming and blaming are also his tools.

No one is born bad or good. Each of us is who we are because of the choices we have made.

Blaming is a useful tool to those who do not want to face reality but live in a fantasy world. Sooner or later there will be a rude awakening that this lifestyle gets one in trouble.

The sum total of the tools and techniques an individual uses in the pursuit of his unconscious goal in life constitutes his character.”- W. Beran Wolfe-“How to be Happy though Human”

Character traits are relative and need to be interpreted in the relationships of conduct with others. People can and do change. No one is stuck with what life has given you. You always have the opportunity to change it into something beautiful.

The well adjusted individual is honorable, sincere, optimistic, sympathetic, friendly, self-confident, generous and unafraid…” W. Behran Wolfe, M.D. “How to be Happy though Human”

Building Wisely:

Living a happy life is not just muddling thorough and taking the punches as they come. Much of our life can be changed and is not determined by anyone else but ourselves. Taking personal responsibility of your own growth and recovery is one of the first steps to living a happy life. The first steps need to be taken cautiously but start the walk.

Unhappiness, depression, and despair come often when we choose to isolate ourselves from others. It is a sure way to going down the wrong road to coping and overcoming your obstacles in life.

Man was made to heal and recover from setbacks, illness and disease. Much of what we call healing is the natural product of letting nature take its course.

When nature compensated for a defect, either is structure, such as a broken bone, or in function such as in a heart whose valves did not function correctly, that the compensatory mechanism frequently more than filled in the defect. In other words, where nature found a minus, she was inclined to replace it with a double plus, the healed bone being stronger than the original fractured bone, the leaking heart, by virtue of an overgrowth of muscular tissue, becoming in some instances better and larger pump than a normal heart.”- W. Beran Wolfe, M.D.How to be Happy though Human”

Those who find that life has handed them what others term disability often fine that God has provided something else in which you can excel and become better than your idols.

Often, the character and behavior is because of some physical defect or inadequacy in the body. This brings us to the causes of some character problems.

Some have thought there are diseases of the brain or chemical imbalances which cause damaged emotions. We also find that feelings come not only from the brain but the heart and gut. A displacement or malfunction in the body can lead to the emotions and behavior in individuals. Much of this is still unproven and in the theoretical stages but research is going on and at least parts of it are true.

Some diseases have been proven to be genetic and linked to DNA abnormalities. Some serious mental illnesses are still without a known cause. We do know that childhood trauma, nurturing, poor parenting, shame, guilt, societal interactions such as bullying or putdowns can damage us.

Much of who we are the product of our reactions to our environment and other outside stimuli. One has to learn how to identify the problem areas and then find coping mechanisms to overcome the bad things in life. Interacting with others certainly helps us if the people we are meeting and getting to know are sympathetic to our issues.

Support groups have been extremely successful in helping people identify the problems that might have been right in front of their eyes but just needed a new perspective to see it in reality. Coping skills are also shared and become valuable tools for your ongoing journey.

It helps to have someone to whom you can share on an intimate basis the very issues of life that are troubling you. Of course, this person must be someone who you can trust and respect, someone who can and does keep confidences; one who will carry the load with you of overwhelming issues.

Today’s society does not lend itself to these kinds of relationships. Everyone is TOO busy trying to make a living and dealing with their own lives that they rarely can or will find time to be a true friend as we picture it should be in our imagination. Supportive individuals and groups can help tremendously. Isolation will bring only bigger problems as you tend to focus on yourself and your situations.

Man was made to live in groups. That is why solitary confinement is so inhumane. It robs the person of interaction with others. We were born to be inter-dependent although we like to think we are and should be independent. We all need each other.

Infants left unattended die a cruel and fast death simply from isolation. Isolations from others can be deadly physically, mentally or emotionally. There is strength in numbers and belonging to a therapeutic, helpful, supportive group will help you tremendously in overcoming hurts and pain.

Groups are our first line of defense against threatening forces. Learn to become socially well-adjusted. Listen, share and participate for this will bring you healing power and happiness.

No Man Is An Island

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

By John Donne

Lonliness is the most dangerous plague on civilization.”

– W. Behran Wolfe, M.D. “How to be Happy though Human”

Important bonds which help us in groups are: same language, emotional links like love, sympathy, friendships, pity and empathy. Other things that tend to unite us are: work, play, music, art, ethics, world view, philosophy, religion, writing, science, clothing, appetite, rituals food and physical attractions. Some societies could never exist without the group.

Look at our Constitution. We agreed to join together for the public safety, common defense and insure the general welfare. We are a people who have joined together for common issues. There will always be certain ties that bind us to one another.

Nervousness, anxiety, worry, timidity, or actual fear where no danger exists, are therefore manifestations which accompany an unconscious realization of danger or isolation. An individual who has effectively isolated himself feels himself in constant danger in situations where normally social men and women feel secure.”-

W. Behran Wolfe, M.D. “How to be Happy though Human”


How to be Happy though Human

W. Beran Wolfe, M.D.

Farrar & Rinehart Publishers

On Murray Hill, New York

© 1931


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