On a quest for happiness

It all started with my desire to be happy. I come from a background of mostly chronically dissatisfied people.
Growing up I was heavily influenced by this tendency and always craved for more. I was deemed ambitious and attained every single goal I set never pausing a second to savor the moment of victory. Until last year.

Last summer I was reading a book about being thankful. This was a very new concept to me. All my life in every single one of my prayers, I had only asked. I was triumphant only for a moment or two when I received before I asked for a new laundry list of things. I was also very very bitter when I did not receive something. Needless to say I was never happy.

When I read that book, it hit me like a rock, how ungrateful I was, I realized if another person had behaved the way I did with the universe, I would have never fulfilled another one of his/ her wishes. I resolved to change.

I wanted to be content and happy and to do so, I needed to be grateful for the things I have and not lust for more. I tried to learn from books like the How of Happiness, This Year I Will, Attitudes of Gratitude, The Happiness Makeover and many personal development blogs. I studied about achieving happiness, kept a happiness log, a gratitude journal, did the 29 gifts giving challenge, tried to relieve myself of stress by learning about productivity and time management. Until the whole business of attaining happiness started to rob me of my sanity.

Then I discovered mnmlist. Living a mindful life consuming only what is absolutely necessary and experiencing every moment to its fullest is what I wanted to do and Leo Babauta showed me how. Simple and easy was the trick. I stopped trying to create a system and just did what felt natural. Expressing gratitude, connecting with the people I truly love and moving away from the ones who were merely obligations, simplifying my material possessions and enjoying what I have, taking baby steps towards my life's work and being creative with my income in the meantime, spending below my means and saving up to attain my dreams.

It has been so liberating . As I stroll in the shade away from the July Sun, I pause to take in the hypnotic fragrance wafting from an unknown tree and after a minute or two go about my way, eager to attend my first ever yoga class. I am not working like a maniac, like I used to every summer, and now that I've pared down my needs, I am finding that I don't really need to, ever again.

Did you ever have a defining moment like this? What was it about? How did it make a difference to your life?
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