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  • Writer's pictureMary Cassidy

"Happiness is simply the absence of desire"

If I were to ask you, "Are you happy?" How would you respond? "Happiness is simply the absence of desire," a quote from James Clear author of Atomic Habits, stopped me in my tracks. There are so many levels to "happiness." But when I asked "Are you happy, Mary?" I did a quick scan of all domains; work, family, God, health, relationships, money and appearance. 'How can I tell if I'm happy in each of these areas,' I asked myself? Then I read a little further on page 260 and got a tool to measure happiness. Clear goes on to explain: "When you observe a cue, but do not desire to change your state, you are content with the current situation. Happiness is not about the achievement of pleasure (which is joy or satisfaction), but about the lack of desire. Happiness is the state you enter when you no longer want to change your state."

I concluded that "I am happy" and it surprised me. Right in this very moment, I have no desire to change my state and I'm content with sitting at my laptop, typing a blog on a Monday afternoon in July. I have a lack of desire to change anything in this picture; no "urge to feel differently." And that is a new feeling. I was always chasing the person I needed to become. I never fully realized that there was a low level of dissatisfaction going on in the background until I read this quote and assessed my level of happiness. I knew I experienced dissatisfaction from time to time, but when I consciously turned toward the question of happiness, I saw the side of me that was constantly striving to become more successful, a better person, more equipped to handle life on life's terms.#lifeonlifesterms. Living in the moment, being happy in the moment, is the art of mindfulness to me. #mindfulness. 'I have been working to obtain a quieter mind,' I tell myself, and now it's here...a quieter mind. I scan for dissatisfaction just to test my hypothesis. But it's gone right now. All I can find is a happy contentment. How did this happen? How did happiness sneak up on me and whisper "all is well?" It didn't. It was daily habits and observations of gratitude and good stuff which reached a tipping point #tippingpoint inside me. That's my explanation. How about do you know if you're happy?

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