by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
Looking externally for happiness or validation is ultimately futile. But most of us do that habitually.
My 36-year practice of the SGI Buddhist life philosophy has taught me that I create happiness for myself and that every person is empowered with this potential.
The core of this concept is that adversity develops inner strength. This concept is quite the opposite of the idea that adversity is something to avoid or minimize.
Becoming a person who is spiritually strong enough to face, endure, search for the gain within and create positive meaning from struggles, and overcome them is how to create happiness intrinsically. In other words, using our problems to develop inner strength is how to build happiness.
How does this work?
First, I do not run away from difficulties. I look directly at my troubles. Acknowledging them is the first step.
This action is an act of courage.
That doesn't mean the fear goes away. Being brave doesn't mean you are not afraid. It means you feel the fear but take the necessary action anyway.
I face my problems, even while feeling fear, and take action. From there, I can start finding the good, the gain, and the solution to win over each obstacle.
But again—first, I muster audacious bravery to look straight at the problem.
As Eleanor Roosevelt wisely stated,
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. 'You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
At that point, a celebration is in order.
When you are courageous, you've already won.
From there, strength grows.
It is also important to repeatedly remind myself not to give up. Not to allow the current moment of difficulty to defeat my spirit.
If I stand firmly, refusing to be defeated, this determination transforms into victory. Overcoming anything starts within the heart first—with a mindset.
In any race, business endeavor, toward any goal, when addressing any failure or hardship, it is important to commit to making it all the way through to the end.
Just making it to the end is a success.
So, one of the first things I do when facing an obstacle is to strengthen my resolve to finish what I started.
The key to success is this mindset to keep moving forward without retreating a single step.
No matter what.
When in the thick of challenges, whether internal or external, circumstantial or ongoing, focusing on my mindset is the key to breaking through to the next level.
I remind myself that when I'm in the middle of a mountain climb, I must recognize that getting to the top takes time and effort.
It is important to check my expectations. I cannot start the journey and get to the top in the amount of time or with the amount of effort it takes only to reach halfway up there.
Sometimes I realize my calculations were way off. It may take much more effort and time to reach the goal than I originally thought because unexpected hindrances may arise that I did not foresee.
That's when working on mindset and inner resolve is critical. When the issue becomes overwhelming, or I feel deflated, I must take a step back to reflect and reassess.
I ask myself, what is the point of fighting so hard toward a goal or overcoming obstacles if I QUIT in the middle of it?
Let's face it. We are ALWAYS in the middle of it!
At that moment, sometimes it means I must dig my heels in more deeply to firm my inner strength and forge ahead again. But sometimes, I'm too tired or overwhelmed mentally to get there with the necessary mindset.
At that moment—and along the way—it is important to:
—for the long haul.
When you need rest or a break, you must do what you need to do to be your best self.
Taking a break, taking time to reflect, pray, sleep, immerse oneself in nature, play with friends, family, and loved ones, or the awe of art and music—these are all necessary ways to refuel yourself.
When you do what is necessary to be at your best — to give yourself what you need to be your best —you can get back in there to continue the good fight.
You need this for yourself and those around you impacted by your condition.
I'm working on doing what I need to take care of myself first. I do this to not give up on all my goals. I take care of myself to prepare for overcoming the inevitable onslaught of hurdles I face as I gain ground toward my goal of winning an irrefutable victory.
Let me recap;
Then get back to the drawing board. This strategy leads to winning and happiness.
What are you doing to forge your happiness?
COMING SOON: Watch this space for new ebooks, products and courses for nurturing creativity and inspiration!
In my INSPIRATION blogs, you’ll find ways to overcome obstacles, reach goals, and experience more joy in the moment with spiritual awareness and inner transformation.