Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.
WHAT IS HAPPINESS?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, happiness is “the feeling of being happy”. Happy, according to the same source, means “feeling, showing or causing pleasure or satisfaction”.
HAPPINESS VS WEALTH
Does money make us happy? Economists have long argued that richer nations tend to be happier than poorer nations – a view supported by recent research by the World Economic Forum that found higher GDP (gross domestic product ; the total products and services produced by a nation ) usually means better education, lower child mortality, a better lifestyle and, consequently, a measurably happier population.
The problem with this viewpoint, however, is that there is a limit to how much longevity, literacy and good health money can buy. Studies suggest that beyond an average GDP/capita of about $15,000 a year, income makes difference of the average happiness of the population. In fact, if you were to measure the increased levels of happiness that cash alone can achieve, the upwardly arcing curve would eventually become a straight line.
WHERE DOES HAPPINESS COME FROM?
Those who try to find their love and happiness in possessions, places or people are destined to be miserable because they fail to understand that true happiness can only be found within themselves. Everlasting joy, happiness and love all come from falling in love with yourself. The people, places and things that you attract into your life that make you happy only serve to enhance the love that you already have for yourself. They can never replace that inner love. If you seek true happiness, practice giving unconditional love – and the first person you must show true love to is yourself (SELF-LOVE).
Around 2,500 yrs. ago, the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said: “The biggest problem in the world is that individuals experience themselves as powerless”. Today, this is still our biggest problem. The main barrier to happiness and success Is our feeling of powerlessness, which cause negativity, anger, anxiety, inertia and fear.
Personal power comes from an inner sense of security, which is achieved by knowing who you are, connecting your thoughts and feelings with your inner self, and then accepting yourself. By accepting yourself, you can be yourself and other people opinions and criticisms cannot make you feel so insecure that you feel worthlessness. Personal Power comes from within on one can give it to you.
Retaining your power requires you to take control of your thinking. This way you alone decide how you think, which in turn affects how you feel, how you behave and what your attitude is. Take care of yourself; look after your physical, emotional health and spiritual needs. Let no one else be in charge of your life but you.
You cannot change how others relate to the world, or how they relate to you. However, you can change yourself. Look closely at what blocks your inner vision and you will be amazed how quickly the fog disappears and a clear, focused picture emerges.
THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
A lot has been written and said about the pursuit of happiness. In 1776, the US Declaration of Independence enshrined in law the inalienable human right of every American citizen. Among these was the freedom to pursue happiness. What an irony. If you “pursue” happiness, the last thing you are is “free”. Instead, you will always be a prisoner, destined to forever be chasing something that remains beyond your reach. You cannot pursue happiness any more than you can rely on someone else to make you happy. The only way to be happy is to be happy, Right now.
HAPPINESS COMES FROM WITHIN
Happiness, like unhappiness, is a product of our minds – even though we often project those feelings outwards, insisting that the world at large is responsible for our state of mind. Since the causes of happiness and unhappiness reside within us, ultimately, they are within our control – we can choose whether to be happy or not. Happiness is inside us and is attainable
When the clouds hide the sun, the sun is still there. Like the clouds, thoughts, worries and desires can cover and hide our happiness. We have to disperse them in order to experience it. Then the inherent and everlasting happiness in the soul can shine forth.
You may wonder what you have to do to gain happiness, but it is already there within you. Just clam your mind and stay relaxed and you will experience it. There is no need to wait for circumstances and events to bring it to you. A clam and detached mind Are the gateway to true happiness. It is your decision to choose happiness; happiness is inside you. This advice has been communicated to us down the ages:
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
The world around you are filtered through the lens of your senses. Depending on whether you interpret this information in a positive or a negative way, you will either find happiness in small, everyday things or blame the circumstances of your life for your lack of contentment. Your choices control the levels of happiness in your life.
Strive to be detached, and don’t let your feelings be influenced by trivial matters. If you convince yourself to stay relaxed and calm in every situation, then you have chosen happiness. Activities such as meditation (see October – Awareness) will train your mind to stay focused and clam, and will help you develop willpower and self-discipline. Such disciplines are the gateway t happiness.
2.FOCUS ON THE PRESENT, NOT YESTERDAY OR TOMORROW
When one door of happiness closes another open, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distances; the wise grows it under his feet.
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God’s gift, that’s why we call it the present.
You only have now… and now…. Yesterday is a memory that you cannot change. Tomorrow is merely a fantasy that exists in your mind right now. So, live more in the now by focusing on the present moment and today. If you think and worry too much about yesterday and tomorrow, you risk missing out on a great deal of happiness that is available to you right now.
Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.
We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Among the many things you can feel gratitude for are the sunshine and the weather, the roof over your head, your health, a good TV show, a movie or a song, your friends, family, work colleagues, and the people you meet walking down the street.
Just for a minute, try feeling grateful for these things and see how it changes how you feel – it’s a win-win situation! You feel great because you are grateful about your world, and the people you are grateful for feel great too because they feel appreciated. So, don’t forget about gratitude or you may forget about the happiness that already exists in your life.
4.HELP SOMEONE ELSE FIND HAPPINESS
Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
If you want happiness for an hour – take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day – go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year – inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime – help someone else.
Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.
When you make someone else happy – by, for example, helping them with something – you can sense, see, feel and hear it, and that happy feeling flows back to you. And then, if you choose to, you can boost you own ego by thinking something like: “Wow, l really made him/her happy!”
And because the law of reciprocity is so strong, there is another upside: people will feel like giving back to you. Or they might feel like helping or sharing it with someone else. And so, the two – or more – of you keep spreading the happiness.
5.Do what you like doing
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
It’s very easy to let yourself get stuck doing things you don’t want to do for hours on end, never making time to do what you really love doing. While you might not be able to do what you want to do right now, you almost always have a choice to do more of what you really want to do. There is always time. Or time you can free up. You have a choice.
6.OR AT LEAST DO SOMETHING
Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.
Twenty yrs. from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
One of the best ways to not find happiness it to sit back and do nothing, or paralyse yourself through over-analysis. It’s not always easy to be proactive. In fact, it can be scary and difficult at times. But if you don’t seize the moment, you risk, missing out on a lot, including moments, people and experience that can bring you a lot of happiness.
Have you ever noticed how happiness is contagious? The way this works is actually quite simple. Let’s say that one day you’re feeling particularly gloomy. You go into a grocery store and the shop assistant greet you by saying, “Good morning! What a wonderful dress/suit you’re wearing.” or “You have most beautiful eyes!” A few warm words of encouragement like this from another person can trigger positive feelings inside you that may prompt you to do something similar for someone else a short while later, such as helping an old lady cross the street.
Each time, think of something nice to tell another person. Even a simple hello or smile can help change someone else’s day for the better. And when you do this, you will see how other people will reflect the happiness and enthusiasm you have shown them back to you.
This is taken from – Read me I am Magical
Thanking to ALINKA RUTKOWSKA
Written by: ARSHAD ANSARI