01/09/2013 01:24 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

GPS Guide: Living Life Backwards

The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life -- and your well-being -- off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.

GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others' stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing "secret weapons" that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.

Everyone wants it.

Few people find it.

Fewer still know where to look.

For happiness, that is.

Confession. I wasted more years than I wish to admit...

...wanting to be happy,
...not certain, when I was happy, whether I was really happy,
...and, even more uncertain where to look to find it.

Which is why I'm writing a new book, Living Life Backwards. Having lived more than half my life, I've gained a perspective I describe as the backward look that may be beneficial to persons of any age, but particularly to those who still have more than half their lives to live.

In this GPS for the Soul series, I share a few of the things I'm developing more fully in the book -- which is, of course, my most important resolution for the new year: to finish writing it. That and finding a publisher, of course.

It's a collection of things I've learned and spiritual practices I engage in on a daily basis. They provide to me, and perhaps to you, too, a framework within which to nurture the happiness that is me, and you, already.

Happiness is hard to find within yourself. But impossible to find outside yourself.

dr steve

Start here. That is, on the inside, instead of the outside in the search for happiness.

Jesus once told of man who found a treasure in a field. We might change it a bit to be that of a boy finding a treasure buried in the sand.

Here's how the story went: While crossing an empty field one afternoon, a nameless but familiar fellow stumbled over something. He had inadvertently, and unexpectedly, stepped on a "buried treasure," the value of which was so great, he went out, sold everything he had, and purchased the lot that housed this incredible find.

Hard to avoid the irony. Here's a guy out searching for happiness and he's stepping on it at one-and-the-same time.

The happiness he was searching to find he stumbled upon. For years, I made the same mistake. Looking beyond for what was beneath me all along... or, searching outside myself for what could only ever be found on the inside.

Happiness is nearer than you think.

What looking inside means:

GPS Guide: Living Life Backwards

For more by Steve McSwain, click here.

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