Learn to Let Go of your Attachments
In today's society, we have ingrained in our minds that more is better and maybe even bigger is better. For example, compare a standard new car in 2005 versus a standard new car in 2013. In 2005, most cars did not come standard with navigation, Bluetooth, the Push Button Ignition, auxiliary input to hook your Apple products in, and air conditioning. I'm kidding about the last one, but you get my drift. Now even the Honda Civic comes standard with a back-up camera! It is in our nature to constantly want better, more efficient, stronger, faster, bigger.
Although striving for better and more is not in itself a bad thing, it poses a problem for most people when they start to believe that the key to happiness is to constantly chase after better things. Most people including myself develop plans and set goals that might involve ultimately buying a new house, new car, or land that new job. The moment it gets out of control is when we start to believe that in order to be happy we must have all those things we have listed in our "checklist". For example, we believe that we not be truly happy until we get that car, that job, that new house, more money, more prestige, and power.
When you start to shape your the world into what you want it to be, you get yourself into trouble. The reason being is that the world is constantly changing, there are a lot of things that we can not control. Everybody has their own ideals and fancies of how the world should be, there no way to change the world into everyone's desires. Then of course, suppose you do get everything you dreamed of. Now you will find that it isn't enough and of course you'll end up wanting more.
Most people carry their wallets or purses with them when they go out. We don't think much about it when we go shopping or out for dinner, except for the fact that it might feel slightly lighter at the end of the night. But you certainly don't expect to lose it. The minute you lose your wallet or purse you might start to panic and think about all the credit cards you had in there and let's not fail to mention the cash that was also in it. But, after retracing your steps, you find your wallet or purse and suddenly you feel relieved. Isn't it interesting that the same purse or wallet made you panic and worry also is caused you to feel relieved and thankful? It is almost as if your happiness was dependent on that wallet or purse.
Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't care if you lose your wallet or purse. All I am saying is in general, your mindset is what controls your happiness. When you change your mindset, you'll be able to control your own happiness and not let it depend on external forces.