Life becomes too complex and unhappiness creeps in when we are stagnated waiting in life on a desire. Maslow’s hierarchy which is a motivation theory, has 8 levels which gives you perfect answer to what is long-term happiness. In summary the more higher you strive to move in the hierarchy, more happy you will be naturally. The word naturally is important here and has very deep meaning to it. However majority of the population are stuck in lower levels with a huge list of needs & desires waiting for the world to change.
First two levels are basic needs or physiological need. These are things that you cannot live without (Food, shelter, Clothing , safety, and security). You might even steal or cheat to satisfy those basic needs if not met.
Then comes coping with life type needs like love, belonging and self-esteem. These are levels where you look outside for fulfillment. Communication, family, love, social connections and pride type needs. You can become very satisfied with what you have and live happily in this layer for life. However, If your mental definition of love or social connection needs are not met, then you start feeling unhappy. You will show the same steal or cheat behavior but in a little milder way (force, push or pull). You will get stuck at this level. You start using negative behavior to get those satisfaction met. eg. You push your partner a level below to make them feel physiological pain as punishment (like deny food, sex). I will explain in a future post what happens to relationships when you are stuck in the coping level.
As you move higher to growth levels you start using your personal potential and self-realization. You start focusing on your strengths. These are not dependent on others emotional support for growth. Your focus moves to cognitive, rational and real world understanding for self growth. You disconnect yourself from the negative noise in the head which look meaningless.
See the video below for a good introduction and a related video which talks about relationships. The best solution for such a relationship is to approach the Maslow’s triangle from the growth layers. You will realise that when you start focusing on growth the bottom need parts will be automatically met.
This is what many spiritual books mean by inner focus. You will naturally be happy if your needs are maneuvered by your strengths rather than looking for it elsewhere. This can happen only by understanding the self, understanding the power and ways to use intellect mind & controlling the ego mind.
You will also learn how to attain any of your desire through non-resistance. These may look really difficult to digest for a mind which is used to opposite way of working. But that is where real personal growth, peace and natural happiness is. Maslow estimates that only 2% of the population do this. Now go back and read why the meaning of simple words are opposite when two people belonging to the opposite side of the triangle communicate.
Maturity is understanding that you are stuck in a level and aspiring to move to higher level which will give emotional stability and exponential growth.
“The more you know, the less you need”