When you find yourself in a predicament, see it from a different point of view. “Happiness is sorrow, sorrow is happiness. There is happiness in difficulty, difficulty in happiness”.
If it’s so bad it’s impossible, know it too shall pass, everything is impermanent. Change is your best hope.
Buddhism teaches to be present with what is, even if, especially if it’s suffering. Don’t try to escape it – face it, sit with it. This is your path. “When we are in difficulty or distress, there we have enlightenment”.
Being a perfectionist or having an ambition, a plan is a tough way to live. “We make plans, God laughs”. Letting go and hearing your way (dharma) is easier. Go for an easy option, align with your heart/ intuition.
When you find yourself in a happier place, appreciate how many people are suffering (all of us), remember to give back, help others (empathy). Enjoy every bit of it but don’t get attached to it.
Happiness is unattainable because change is the only constant. It helps guide the way. Ultimately go beyond happiness, go beyond joy, find meaning, true understanding. Who are you? What is all this? Why are you here?
Then peace, calmness become more important than happiness or joy. If you find true understanding and practice calmness in everyday life, you will see challenges and difficulties differently, as a “passing show”. This is resilience.
And if I were to summarise this into 3 tips:
1. The game is called Levels and Lenses. Shift perspectives until you find peace. Take a step back and see blue sky around the grey clouds (Ram Dass). Keep reframing, shifting perspectives until you find joy amidst suffering.
2. Practice complete surrender (radical acceptance). Give up everything. You are not in control and actually giving it up is very liberating. Trust the process = cultivate faith.
3. Self centeredness = suffering. Step outside of you, think of others, help others. Look up Buddha stone story (he only escaped suffering when he stopped focusing on his own and helped a suffering person next to him instead).