Sunday, December 4, 2016

Happiness Rising: Out of a World of Conflict and Noise -- Imagination and Intrinsic Motivation are Key

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(Stillness in the Storm Editor) This is a short yet inspiring piece by Jon Rappoport about developing happiness in our world of confusion and darkness. We are programmed to think happiness is a goal, that we need something outside of ourselves to achieve it. We are told that happiness is financial success, that it can be bought with money, and that if we don't have the acceptance of our fellows, we shouldn't be happy. But what if happiness was more simple? What if happiness isn't the goal but a method or way of living life?

Consider that reality from an objective point of view is devoid of subjectivity—that is to say, things outside of us can't make us happy, we have to choose or generate happiness from within. But it isn't as simple as saying the words "I am happy." Often we must imagine and use the power of visualization to imbue happiness onto events in life. The secret to applying happiness as the way is intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation.

When we do things for approval from others, this is an extrinsic motivation. But when we do things because we want to do them, because we find joy in the simple act of doing something, this is intrinsic motivation. To the child who is forced to practice piano to please their parents, they loathe and hate playing. To the child that practices because they enjoy improving their skills and hearing what they can create, it is a joy. Thus, the key to happiness as a way of living life is to find intrinsic reasons and value for doing the things we do. 

Extrinsic motivations are a carrot on a stick, always beyond the now and our reach‚ in the future and elusive. Intrinsic motivations do their work in the present, enriching and enhancing the moment, drawing us into it fully. 

The best performers and athletes are intrinsically motivated. They don't play because they want prestige or the approval of others, they play because they love to do it, and the act of doing so is the reward itself. Intrinsic motivations come naturally to young children, and through social conditioning, extrinsic motivations are forced on to us. By the time we become adults, the savor of intrinsic motivation is lost, but not forever. The course of one's life can always be altered if we can find the courage to change our habits and embrace a new (or old) way of being. Hence, to become childlike, in this sense, is to find joy in doing things in the moment, to rekindle the fire of intrinsic motivation, a pathway towards inspiration.

Imagination is important because without it, we will fall into our old ways of doing things. Reasons are the signposts that mark if our actions are intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. Why we do the things we do is essential to understand so that intrinsic reasons in harmony with happiness can be envisioned to replace the ones weighed down by displeasure. 

Don't go to work just to make money, find something that you personally value there and breathe life into it via imagination and contemplation. For example, if you have to work a customer service job, take it as an opportunity to be kind and loving with those you meet—even if they aren't the same towards you. If you have to do chores at home, find a reason within yourself to be inspired by doing so. Know that this method of infusing inspiration and joy into your life through intrinsic motivation is not a passive activity—especially if you've already spent time finding reasons to hate the things you do.

It takes real internal work and willpower to overcome past patterns and lay down new ones. In a sense, we've been trained to hate life. It is often socially acceptable and encouraged to talk about how much we hate this or that, for misery loves company. But in the end, the cost for indulging in these hateful ways of being is personal misery and suffering.

So be willing to do what most never do, to question your choices and reasons for doing things. It is in our reasons and motivations where the key to personal change exists. 

At first, acting on a new rationale will feel strange and unnerving, but the more you persist in acting on inspired reasons of joy and happiness, the happier you will be. For in this world sick with suffering, love is the only cure to hate, and happiness is the best treatment for suffering. As the adage goes, you can either laugh or you cry, so why not choose joy?

- Justin

by Jon Rappoport, December 3rd 2016

The message of world events and news about those events seems to be: ignore your own life and your future; they aren’t important enough to consider.

If we followed that advice emerging from the maelstrom of noise around us, we would all go down. We would all succumb.

Remember the premise that government in a Republic exists to allow the greatest possible freedom? Remember the idea that freedom involves the pursuit of happiness?

Remember the notion that this pursuit is carried out by the individual? And that his own happiness, by his own definition, is the goal?

If, in trying to make a better country and a better world, every person sacrificed his own pursuit of happiness, a better country couldn’t exist—because all happiness would have been tossed on the fire.

It’s a contradiction.

No matter what else a person does, he must have enough energy and desire to seek his own joy. That’s a given.

When I put together my second collection, Exit From The Matrix, this is what I had in mind: the individual attaining his own happiness by expanding the power of his imagination.

Imagination rises out of the sea of confusion and doubt. It is the infinite instrument for envisioning and empowering the pursuit of happiness.

Imagination breathes life into purposes and objectives and ideals and hopes and dreams and decisions. It says Yes when other sources say No. It soars above the problems that can envelop the individual. It points the way to success.

To the notion of happiness, it says, “Of course. Why not?”

As a goal, joy is rational, in the sense that it proceeds from the basic wish of the individual for himself. The opposite of joy surely wouldn’t be rational.

Imagination is a quintessential quality in attaining what every individual wants for himself.

Joy and happiness aren’t “already there.” Or if they are, they don’t last by themselves forever. There is a pursuit of these goals, and it is real. In whatever way that pursuit is conceived by each person, his immersion in imagination is needed.

Even some children are aware that, when school is out and the endless summer spreads itself before them, they are participating in the meaning and essence and flavor of that immediate future by imagining it fully.

These truths do not change. They are ours wherever we go, wherever we are.

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Contributed by Jon Rappoport of No More Fake News.

The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.
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