Happiness is a universal sought after from the poor to the rich, from all 4 corners of the earth as well as those who are sad to those already happy. I believe that Happiness is not a destination or state that one reaches and remain static, but rather a journey, a continuous never-end journey, of ups and down where we strive to maintain more ups than downs.
The topic is wide ranging, with no right or wrong ways of viewing it, dependent on a lot of factors, the majority of which I believe lies within the individual – ourselves. In my own odyssey, to strive for happiness, I have come to understand and learned a lot on this elusive phenomena. I am still learning, striving and here I would like to share my opinion, understanding and offer those few tips and tricks that I picked up along this journey.
What is Happiness? If there is ever there is a way of measuring happiness, a universal gauge on happiness, and a measure of the degree of happiness, we could then see whether there is any difference. To my knowledge, there is non. For instance, can we then say that a rich man is always more happy than a poor man. Perhaps, the rich one would know the answer to this. Otherwise, we would see that they are so many unhappy ones, more so at their dying bed.
Many people define Happiness differently, and from a spiritual viewpoint, there is again a definition from the spiritual aspect. For this article, I would rather focus on as it applies to the secular world.
Perhaps at the fundamental level, we must at first try to understand what Happiness stands for and what it means to us. Many factors influences the way we think and view Happiness – our upbringing, background , environment , educational level and many other factors shape our outlook towards life and what life stands for. From this, subconsciously, we all view Happiness in different light. So at the fundamental level, one must do some soul-searching and determine for himself what constitute Happiness is to him, and no one else except him. The essence is Happiness means different thing to different individual. This definition can take on lengthy debate, but suffice to say, it would not do much good to get into an analysis paralysis situation and defeat the purpose of the article.
So, we now need to define Happiness within our own context. And let us not confused it with Success in life. For success in life encompasses the ingredient of happiness, and without happiness where then is success. Here , I have do encountered with many who have made tremendous material gains will disagree.
Along my own journey in life, trotting the uncharted path that I have to lay out for myself, the university of life has taught me the few things that I share with you as follows;
Stepping Out and Taking Action
Human by nature likes to procrastinate and has tendency for delay in everything, and to put of things to do to tomorrow. I remember reading an article that gave good advice as in “Doing your next few days work all into one day, and that is today”. Come to think of it , this is pretty powerful. Try doing it and you will see what I mean, the result is amazing. And you will not have nagging and hassle from your spouse and bosses. The illustration about the big elephant being tied to a small chain – applies very much in life, that we must learned to grow out of our fear and the limitation we put around ourselves.
· Take accountability and accept responsibility
When things do fall apart, it is better to accept the responsibility, take the necessary action to rectify the situation, and move on. Let the past mistake be the past, we can only look forward and not be kept saddled with yesterday’s mistake and accountability. In my encounter with mistakes, I find that people are more forgiving and will not pursue when there is acceptance of responsibility and genuine desire to make good and move forward. Of course, such mistakes should not be recurring or else, one has to seriously re-assess his own abilities and capabilities.
· Maintaining a harmonious and well-balance life-style
In life, there are so many things we want and we want to do. God is fair in that we are all given the same amount of time per day to do what we want. How much and what to do is all within our control. Come to think about it, attaining something also means that we have to forgo something. Sound funny right, but think about it. The same time could be used to achieve other thing – this is the opportunity cost or lost. So what we do, how we spend our time, and with who is entirely up to us. I read somewhere that aptly put it across that just as in a theater play, in life we are the producer, scriptwriter, director, actor & others and the audience as well – all in one. So how we want to act out our life is entirely up to us. We must maintain a harmonious balance so as not to focus too much of one aspect, neglecting the others. Like the Chinese says, the Yin and the Yang.
· Don’t complain about life, be appreciative of what you have at present, while you strive for more
When we look around ourselves, our family, what we have attained so far, be thankful and appreciative and accept whatever shortcomings and deficiencies that comes with it.. Try not to compare with others. In this way, one feels happier while we work on improving further, comparing ourselves with yesterday. If we can improve on ourselves everyday, is this not what we seek out in life.
· Change ourselves first before we think of changing others
Mahatma Gandhi quoted “We must be the change we wish to see in the World” Jim Rohn quoted “You must take responsibility, you cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” If we can learn to start by changing ourselves, then we might have been able to better the people that surround us, then possibly change our environment, our circumstances, and who know, maybe the world.
· Accept diversity and differences and learn to see the beauty in them
From where I was borne and raised, we take pride in being a very good role model country where there is diversity in races and people who live harmoniously. Each has its own culture and value system but in general, people learned to accept the differences and be tolerant. As in family and organization, these are reflected into difference capability, skills, expertise or opinions, needs and wants. Acknowledgment of such difference, and leveraging the strength of the individual goes a long way to a harmonious and happy environment.
· Be Magnanimous and forgive and Forget/Letting it go
I had several encounters with friends that have harbored within themselves, many years of conflict that they encountered long ago. And refusing to forget and forgive. And I find that each time when they relate to the incidents, they bring back very painful memories and sadness. Hanging on to such baggage does more harm to the individual. It takes a lot of courage to forgive and only when we are magnanimous enough that we find solace and happiness.
· Sincere communication – heart to heart dialogue where necessary
The world we are in today are fraught with much animosity, hatred and violence. Much of this can be attributed to misunderstanding, and misunderstanding arises from mistrust. And why would there be mistrust if there were adequate communication. Imagine those quarrel and unpleasant episodes at the home and at the office. We tend to make assumption based on our own knowledge and value and assume others carry the same. The reality is not, and we must communicate and communicate enough, to carry out sincere dialogue during complex and complicated situation. Only with sincere effort and understanding arising from the communication, we can learn to live, work and co-exist in harmony.
· Learning to Turn someone down and Say No – Many a times, when we succumb to courtesy and graciousness only to feel regret over an earlier decision, makes a lingering troubling thought that spoils the day. So learning to say No, politely and firmly needs to be learnt. In my country, we have a culture where people are friendly, polite and helpful. Looking at the crimes that are committed today, and especially learning from those internet circulated horror stories of the modus operandi of the crimes, it now pays to be able to say No to strangers when we have to think of self interest and security. A lesson I learnt many years back is that people are feel pressed to oblige and in so doing, are coerced into agreeing to something and later realize the mistake. I have since learnt to put on hold to any decision, and where and immediate “No” is not an appropriate one for the situation, try to stall for time, to check on certain things first. This will buy the person time to think things through and seek advice before making a commitment.
· Planning for Leisure and take your Vacation
A periodical break is essential to refresh both the body and the mind. At the same time, to allow you to take in new things. In our daily routines, there is always this excuse of putting the trip of to a future date. Well maybe, by then this will happen and that will happen, and then I can go for the vacation. We tend to put on the chain on ourselves, we have this meeting to attend, that meeting to schedule… Really, what happened when we fall ill, the meeting still goes on or worst is just re-scheduled. Or do we find that there are more important people who should attend the meeting, but they can be absent. It is good to be a person that is of value and required to be around, that we are indispensable. But in reality, we must work on the basis that nobody is indispensable. Take and enjoy a carefree holiday as one holiday slogan says, ” without lock and door” be carefree and free from all hustle and bustle.
· Keep an Optimistic and healthy Lifestyle
People say that health is wealth, and this very true in that without health, wealth no matter how much is of no value. The very essence of a healthy body goes a long way to making a healthy mind, although we do some times see people who though may not healthy but still maintain a very healthy and positive mind.
To many people, happiness is as elusive as in wealth. Many people I have come into contact with view wealth as the synonymous with happiness, and in the process, lost the essence of meaning in life.
Eventually, it comes back to the individual, what does that person want in life, and it may well be that little thing that will sustain the happiness in him despite that trying circumstances. It is important that we know the situation we are in, our capability and to learn to live with that knowledge.
Just as in life, happiness is mystical, and as man seeking to understand it more, he will find that they are still unexplained phenomena and more unknown uncovered. As man continue to seek further knowledge on this topic, let us individual not dwell into all the “if” and “but”, but instead embrace it and maintain a state of mind that we can say we are always at a good level of happiness in Life.
Hello, my name is Ivanhock. My Blog focus on http://improvelifeblog.com>Life Improvement relates to inspirational and motivational aspects to elevate one’s state of mind towards happiness, and hope that readers will be in a better state of mind to take charge and control of their own mind and in the process, improves his life condition and state of happiness. Do visit my site at http://improvelifeblog.com, if you are feeling down and lousy, and need to recharge your frame of mind.