Young woman in trendy sunglasses laughing at camera with double peace signs

The Pursuit of Happiness and Letting Go

Mike Mather

Happiness is a universal goal that many individuals seek in their lives. Unfortunately, people often search for happiness in external factors, leading to disappointment and a lack of inner peace. Instead of searching for happiness outside ourselves, it is important to recognise the power of our own mind in creating a peaceful and fulfilling life.

In the beginning of his powerful book ‘Letting Go’, Dr David Hawkins writes,

”While in contemplation one day the mind said:

What in the world is wrong with us?

Why doesn’t happiness stay put?

Where are the answers?

How do we address the human dilemma?

Have I gone nuts, or has the world gone crazy?”

I will attempt a brief solution for you here.

In any endeavour, we try to control. Do you find yourself often thinking that the world would be a better place if only things were done my way? Me too!

Sages and Saints from Buddha to Brach, from Jesus to Jung, have been directing us in the other direction.


One important aspect of letting go and gaining control of our minds is to break old habits. Habits are actions we perform without conscious thought and can lead to pain and negativity. Although it is challenging to break established habits, the process of forming new ones is a key component to a happier life.


Another aspect of letting go is the choice between being happy or being right. When someone takes our parking space or jumps the queue, we can choose to be happy and let it go, or we can choose to be right and engage in an argument. The same applies to situations with our partners, parents, or colleagues. Instead of focusing on being right, we can choose to be happy and let go of the small things that do not matter in the grand scheme of things.

We often have to make this decision in various relationships. It is important to prioritise happiness over being right, as this leads to a more positive outlook and less stress.


The idea of hierarchy, especially within families, can also be limiting and contribute to negative behaviours. It is important to recognise the impact of these social structures and make the decision to break away from them. This may be a difficult decision, but it is necessary to move beyond these limiting beliefs in order to lead a more fulfilling life. It wasn’t that any of my own family were bad, but that the relationships needed to be repaired or removed for health to begin.

A straight country road heads into stormy clouds on the horizon

Photo by Raychel Sanner on Unsplash


It is also important to let go of people and things that cause pain in our lives. This can mean cutting ties or walking away from some relationships and situations. However, it is important to distinguish between walking away and running away, as running away is a form of fear-based action. By letting go of these harmful elements, individuals can create space for peace in their lives. Remember that pain is the beginning of healing in your body. This is also true in your mind.


Our self-image and ego can also hold us back from happiness and inner peace. By letting go of our attachment to our self-image, including our thoughts about what others may think of us, we can focus on making a positive impact in our lives and communities. Additionally, it is important to let go of our ego, which can hold us back from growth and lead to negative thoughts and behaviours.

See also ‘Greed and Happiness”

Status Quo

Finally, the idea of rebirth and embracing new beginnings is crucial to letting go and finding happiness. By recognising that the old ways of thinking and acting can become stale and predictable, individuals can embrace new ideas and fresh beginnings. This allows for a greater sense of inner peace and a more fulfilling life. Try a meditation on this in one of the many platforms including

In conclusion, letting go of external factors and focusing on the power of our own minds is a key component to finding happiness and inner peace. This includes breaking old habits, choosing happiness over being right, breaking away from limiting hierarchies, letting go of harmful elements, embracing a positive self-image and letting go of our ego. By embracing these ideas and embracing new beginnings, individuals can lead a happier, more fulfilling life.

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About the Author Mike Mather

Mike was born in 1963 which technically makes him one of the youngest of the Baby Boomers. An Australian with Indigenous and European heritage, he has been an avid and required student of Buddhism and alcoholism since 2008.

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