Can External Factors Determine our Success and Happiness in Life?
The short answer is no. But wait Sam! How about all the evidence to the contrary? Well, the answer requires some examination because it's a little more profound than that. After all, doesn't it seem "obvious" that external factors are in fact influencing our lives to a great extent? On surface it looks as if we really attain happiness and success from external sources, does it not? Fore example, the real estate market is booming and a s result it's easier to make money. There is also no denying that a robust economy is conducive to our overall sense of financial well being. But do external factors alone determine our morale? Morale is defined as having a high sense of worth, confidence and high spirit. So, I ask the question again in a slightly different context. Can external factors alone lead us to prosperity and happiness? Upon further and deeper study, we discover that these factors, although important, are merely secondary to our internal state of being. That's where our knowing guides our judgment not our knowledge. Knowing is not the same as knowledge. Knowledge is information gathered from the outside world. Knowing is somewhat disguised and not readily available on the surface, knowledge or information. Knowing lies deeper in your very core of being, it's your DNA, scientifically speaking.
Let me give you an example.. Let's say your business partner, spouse, child is driving you crazy. Do you really think that we sent him / her to a shrink for therapy suddenly your problems cease to exist? That your salvation comes from someone else improving his / her life? Here is another example. Did you know that the overwhelming majority of lottery winners revert to their original place in life only after 6 months from winning the jackpot? Sam, you mean to tell me that occurrence of such a wonderful external experience was not enough to make them the abundance of life? Precisely. I am telling you that external influences can only give you ephemeral sense of security and happiness. It's really not even happiness. It's merely pleasure, a euphoric phenomenon that will last a short while.
The fact is that unless you improve your understanding of who you are you will not be able to sustain any level of success and happiness in life. The ancient Greek sought the advice of Apollo at the Oracle of Delphi. Above the temple there were two words carved into the stone which read: KNOW THYSELF. This is the essence of what I like to convey to you today. I find it odd and amusing that people are so hard at work trying to know God, their friends, teachers, partners, children, etc. before even making any attempt at knowing themselves. How can you know anyone else if you have no clue about your identity, your purpose and your place in life?
So, start with yourself first. Spend some quality time with yourself. Get to know who you really are much like the way you try with others. Ask yourself good, effective questions. The answers to these questions would reveal your life's purpose and help you blossom your greatness. Spend time alone in nature to go within so you can discover your true essence. There are many other ways to tap into your internal knowingness but the aim is the same, recognizing who you are and what you're here to do. All the knowledge and insight that is necessary for your progress as a human being lies within every cell of your body. By all means, seek outside help from mentors, teachers, etc. but only use them as a spark to light the candle within you. Once the candle is lit it will serve as an internal compass to lead you to the Promised Land.