How I Stopped Searching For Happiness

Minimalism is only the beginning of living in the moment.

Doody Richards
5 min readMay 20, 2021

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Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

I’ve been living in a 63 square metre apartment for eight years in Sydney Western suburb. Now it is finally up for sale. But why am I selling my place now if everything is okay? Letting go of the eight-year memories has never been so easy.

Sarah Lindberg, writing for the Healthline website, in her article “How to let go of things from the past”, argues that to let go of the past, you need to make a conscious decision. So you can take control of the situation.

Hence, I decided to sell the apartment and live less in a tiny flat with 32 square metres. But letting go of the past, for some people, can also mean stepping into the future uncertainty. Is this the right decision? How about if this is all going to be a mistake? But you will always learn from a mistake. We all learn and grow from our mistakes.

So most people keep searching for happiness. But I realised that searching for happiness will never end with happiness. What is happiness, anyway?

For a long time, I didn’t know whether I was happy or unhappy. Not because I didn’t have enough money or a well-paid job. Neither owning property and living in a prosperous Australia that I was content with happiness.

It was because I couldn’t find the exact answer to what happiness was. I wasn’t unhappy either. But one thing for sure that I always felt discontent in my life. Everything I had never done up to my standard. Hence, aiming for perfection will always end up with failure. So I always felt incomplete and discontent.

But when I travelled solo to Kyoto, Japan, in May 2019, I stumbled upon the ancient wisdom. It says

Do not let troubles catch in your mind, nor future fears. Live in this moment, this place in pure mind without regret, and each day will be a good life — Honourable Dai Min.

Though the founder of Nanzen-Ji temple in Kyoto, Japan, penned his words in the twelfth or thirteenth century, it is still relevant to our modern lives today.

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Doody Richards

A Travel writer based in Newcastle, Australia. Passionate about exploring places, people & cultures. Published travel stories in various magazines and a memoir.