The one thing world’s 7.9 billion people are chasing, the one thing you want in life, ‘Happiness’. We all crave it. Today happiness is an industry worth over 4.2 trillion dollars. Everyone is selling it. In the last three years alone, 3.4 million people enrolled themselves in online courses on happiness. There are 151 million Instagram posts with the hashtag happiness.
What is happiness?
What exactly is happiness, and where can we find happiness? Hindu scriptures say a human can only temporarily secure happiness on earth. This is by pursuing Purusharthas, the four chief purposes of human life, which are Dharma (Religious and Moral Duty), Artha (Wealth), Kama (Conjugal Bliss), and Moksha (Liberation). According to Hinduism, permanent happiness is present only in the highest heaven. Islam says happiness is a lifelong process that includes peace of mind, tranquillity of heart, contentment in the world, and everlasting bliss. The followers of Moses believe that happiness is man’s ultimate goal and pursuit of happiness is a moral duty.
Happiness remains one of the least understood and subjective terms in society. To a coffee lover, a good cup of coffee is happiness; to a traveller, good weather is happiness; an evening well spent or movie time is happiness for friends, and toys are a happiness to kids. It is that simple and attainable.
Every individual seeks a better and more happy life. To achieve a victorious life, individuals try various ways and plans. But every individual won’t win their goals. Someone is much happy in their life while someone is not. We should always think about why they are such happy in their life and what makes them happy. Are there any special mantras to achieve a joyful life?
However, we all want a happy and fulfilling life. But a few people attain it. It is unrealistic to keep doing the same old thing and expect circumstances to change. Unfortunately, that is not how life works. People often overlook the things that truly make a difference, and it can be due to fear, laziness, or ignorance.
Accepting the following harsh truths about life will definitely contribute to everyone’s future happiness.
1. Love yourself
Have you ever worried about what other people think about you? Many of us define ourselves by the thoughts and opinions of others. We think to ourselves, what will she say? What will he think? There is a way to eradicate that incessant thought process.
The reason behind your apprehensions is lack of love, to be exact, the lack of love for yourself. Self-love creates an inner compass that you trust completely and implicitly. This compass allows you to focus on your thoughts and opinions rather than the thoughts and opinions of others.
Self-love is often described as conceit, vanity, and narcissism. This definition gives us the wrong idea about self-love and tells us it’s destructive. In contrast, it is exactly the opposite. Self-love allows you to express yourself in every aspect of your life. And it is not different from love for other people. And you can only give love when you love yourself. Because love always creates more love. Self-love makes you feel passionate; it makes you feel cared for, safe and loved. And you can finally step into your own shoes and prove to everyone that you are your own person.
Additionally, you should be aware that you are not that important to others. Remember the time that you tipped and fell, some people laughed, and others asked if you were alright. Of course, you were fine but embarrassed beyond belief. You have thought they would be telling that story about you for the rest of your life. The truth is you are just not that much important. You play a minor role in others’ lives. As embarrassing as it was for you, everyone else probably forgets what happened after a short while. Just like you are wrapped up in your own life, and so are they. And that is not a bad thing.
2. Money does not matter.
Many people want to believe and try to convince themselves that money doesn’t matter much. The truth is money will not buy everything that is necessary to thrive in today’s society. It may not buy happiness; it provides everything we need to survive, like a roof over our heads, shoes on our feet, and food on the table.
That being said, money and the things it provides do not define who you are. A person with a luxurious house and an expensive car is not necessarily better than someone who lives in an apartment and rides on the bus. Regardless of what you have, ultimately, people form their own perception of you based on your consistent action and how you impact them personally.
3. Make your own choice.
We are not the victims of external forces. We have the power of choice, and you can decide how you respond and what happens to you. For instance, if someone punches you in the face, will you stand there and let them continue punching you? Obviously, no. While you might be tempted to punch back or otherwise, moving out of the way is likely a better option.
We should apply the example to daily life, and you are the only one who can determine how others treat you. If someone shows no regard for your well-being, it’s completely acceptable to walk away. In my case, when I chose to do my higher studies in international relations, my family members, friends, and others were not supportive. Instead, they advised me to select other areas like commerce or business. But I ignored them. Now I have a good job, and a decent salary, and everyone around me is happy.
4. Be accountable to your own life.
Your words and decisions, whether positive or negative, have consequences. If you don’t hold yourself accountable, someone else surely will. Accountability helps us maintain our integrity so that we can be better individuals and lead happier lives.
Taking ownership of your life is one of the most empowering things you can do. If you are unhappy with your situation, you are the only person who can make the necessary changes to improve it. If you start your day off on the wrong foot, you can either allow the rest of your day to be ruined or, you can control and do what is necessary to turn things around. The sooner you acknowledge that you alone are responsible for and capable of creating your own situations, you will start to take steps towards living the life you desire.
5. Do it now
We, people, often want to wait for the right time to do something or make a change. But regardless of what it is, you will always be able to come up with an excuse not to start something; it can be a lack of money, age, lack of time, or anything else.
Unfortunately, the harsh truth is that the perfect time doesn’t exist and that things you’ve been putting off may never get done. It is natural to experience fear when encountering something new. It is a biological response to the unknown. But you cannot allow it to hinder you from trying different things. Simply recognize that it is unfamiliar, and approach it with an attitude of excitement and curiosity. If you do not face your fear, it can easily lead to missed opportunities. Life is full of exciting challenges reserved for those who are bold enough to step out of their comfort zone.
Your situation could always be better, or it could be worse. Do not make the mistake of comparing yourself to others. It is counterproductive and often discouraging since everything in life is relative. What might be a cakewalk for you might be a challenge for someone else and vice versa. Always be compassionate to yourself and others.
Accept the truths and move forward with life.
Most people don’t like these kinds of universal truths. However, it is essential to be aware of these truths. All these truths are from my experiences and living styles. I am not forcing you to do the same things in your life. I am trying to advise and make you aware for better happiness in your life.
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About the Author
Anwar Shahid is an Academic professional in International Relations and Political Science with a broad knowledge of Research and Analytical Skills. He is currently working as an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Beja Model College of Arts and Science, Nettanige, Kasaragod, Kerala. He has keen interest in the areas of International Cyber Security, Contemporary International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Diplomacy and Indian Politics.