Happiness, Now there's a word. What is it? To be honest, I don't
think it can be that closely defined. I think it differs from
person to person and only that person will know the answer to the question: "Am I happy?"
I also think that we have somehow come to expect that 'happiness' is a God given right and we should all be 'happy', all of the time.
Let me tell you, that is an unrealistic expectation. S-hit happens. People die. People get hurt. People get sick. Wars happen that shouldn't. Wrongs get done. We all have bad days. It is hard to be happy in a concentration camp watching your loved ones dying of starvation (actually, it is possible and there is a great book called Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl but hopefully you get my point).
However, in our normal day to day lives, I do think it is VERY
possible to be happy. MOST of the time. By the way, many studies have been done around the world trying to find the correlation between wealth and happiness. Let me tell you, there isn't one.
Often, the poorest people on the planet are the happiest. If money can't buy you happiness, then what can? Hopefully, the following secrets will help you on the way.
Let's start with the first one: "Be Happy".
It seems strange to be writing this. But one of the secrets to
happiness is to BE HAPPY. Yes, it's true. Again, it's that power of thought. It is a magical thing. Let me try and explain. We all have negative thoughts. We all have our bad days. I suffer from depression when I don't get enough sunlight (and when I don't exercise, eat poorly, drink too much etc. etc.). The trick is not to buy in to those negative thoughts. Recognize what it is. "Oh, that's just a negative thought, I don't REALLY believe that". Recognize when you're feeling down, tetchy or that you're short of sleep. That's not YOU, it's just how you feel at the time. It's you responding to a number of tiny chemical influences. But here's the trick: Think happy thoughts. Think of the good. Think of the people you love. Think of the joy. See the beauty in every tree, every leaf, every insect. Wonder at the sky. At the clouds. At the stars.
Imagine the Universe and your place in it. Whatever you're worrying about, don't worry about it. Trust me, it's not that important. Will you still be worrying about it a year from now? Ten years from now? Will it matter in a hundred years from now? A thousand? Think about your place in the Universe. This time around it's about 15 billion years old. There are billions upon billions of stars and planets in that Universe. There may well be billions of UNIVERSES.
There are around 7 billion people on this planet. There are around 200 million insects for every ONE of us. In the scheme of things, you, I, are just specks of beings, in specks of time. We are here for a such a short time, it would be such a waste not to try and enjoy every moment that we can.
One of the problems we face in a media dominated world is that good news does not make the news. No, bad news travels a lot faster and further than the good stuff. So, if you're in 'touch' with what's happening in the world then it is very easy to be caught in the doom and gloom. A earthquake here, a flood there, starvation there etc. All, in their ways, terrible, terrible things but there is very little that YOU can do to change it. Sure, you can donate some money, maybe even go over and help, but YOU can't be everywhere.
Bad things will happen. YOU cannot save the world. It is life. It is just life happening. The Universe unfolding as it should. Sure, you can change what you can (if you think you can) but you cannot change it all. I repeat, bad things will happen. It's how you take on the knowledge and the news that is important. It is how you deal with it. How you internalize it. Here's a quick strategy for you for ANY negative situation in life:
1.Identify the problem, put a fence around it (create a corral)
2.Now, with that corral, can you do anything about it (to solve the problem)?
3.If yes, do that something.
4.If no, then don't worry about. There's nothing you can do. Knock down the fence, let the problem go, get on with life.
It's a simple strategy but let me tell you it works. The
alternative to this is to 'grumble'. Or to worry. Or to be unhappy. Your call. You can choose. The other thing you should be aware of is that you cannot change the past. No matter how many times you regret whatever happened, no matter how many times you wish it had been different. It is done. Set in stone. Only the future is yours to behold. Grab it with both hands. Carpe Diem! Seize the day! Live in the moment! Now!
Finally, tomorrow morning when you wake up ask yourself this one
question: "Shall I make today a happy day, or an unhappy day?"
Like I said, it's your call, it's your thought, it's your life.
It's your now.