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What if happiness is about subtraction, rather than addition to our lives?

Updated: Oct 24, 2023


What if the key to happiness is about subtracting something from our life, rather than adding to it?


What if “10 Steps To Happiness” really is a myth? (I wanted to use a swear word there but restrained myself!)





The current consciousness of most of Western society tells us that being happy requires certain outside world parameters to be ‘attained’, or in place, for our lives to be happy – a loving relationship; a job we enjoy that pays us good money or a thriving business; a slim, healthy body; a great group of fun, vivacious friends; close family relationships, only feeling certain feelings etc. etc.


Now the savvy among you will already have clocked onto the fact that the outside things don’t, and can’t bring, us happiness…even though, damn it, it really looks that way sometimes. When you notice your experience of the 'perfect' job, relationship or body can fluctuate all the time, we start to realise that this isn't where we should be looking for the ever-elusive happy state.


Couple this the fact that you may have also noticed that the analytical part of your mind will simply find another area of your life to ‘improve’ once one area has changed. We then find ourselves on a never-ending search.


The list of standards we need to meet in order to be happy just goes on and on. And all the while the pressure increases internally when we believe that we need more in our lives, rather than less, in order to be happy. The expectation put ‘out there’ that we should be happy all the time, and need to work on ourselves in order to be happy, creates more unhappiness in its wake.


Rather than setting ourselves up to fail (we aren’t meant to be happy ALL the time) with this expectation, a more peaceful way to hang out in the world, could be accepting and allowing EVERY experience and emotion to show up and flow through us.


The resistance to what is, is what creates suffering.


The only way, 100% of the time, we experience happiness is when we happen to have happy or contented thinking running through our heads. And as the energy of thought is an ever-moving and changing energy, we never get stuck for too long in any emotional state – ones we like and ones we don’t. In short, happiness is an inside job!


What if the key to happiness is as simple as subtracting the belief that every thought that runs through our heads is true and needs to be paid attention to?


A place slightly deeper we can also look is that happiness (or peace, or contentment ,whichever word you want to use) is a default state within us; part of our essential essence. And it is only ever believing our own thinking that takes us away from that.


I’m not saying that being happy is not a ‘good’ thing but rather that it comes from a totally different place than we may believe it does; not from outside of us. It resides within us as a part of the factory-standard settings of human beings. It is only believing our current thinking that gets in the way of us experiencing this.



Lindsey Elliott is a Certified Change Coach and Three Principles practitioner working in Brighton and online. She offers one to one coaching in a life-changing paradigm of understanding about how the human experience is created. With this understanding you can move from feeling insecure, stressed, anxious or unfulfilled to happy, secure, inspired, peaceful and filled with love.


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If you are ready for freedom from trying to be happy, work with me 1:1 in my Change Catalyst Coaching programme to help you finally get there.


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