Jan 13, 2011

Happiness Explained

Happiness photo
Photo credit: Divs Sejpal

Would you be happy if you won the lottery?
How about if George Clooney or Monica Belluci asked you to spend the night?
What if you were taller, thinner, faster, smarter or simply better at every thing you did?
“For every minute you are angry, you miss sixty seconds of happiness.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

1. Happiness Is Simple
“When hungry, eat your rice. When tired, close your eyes. Fools may laugh at me, but wise men will know what I’m talking about.”
Happiness isn’t complicated, and it isn’t an imaginary creature found in “Neverland” or “Far, far, away”, it’s real and simple and can be found in each and every one of us, if we looked deep enough.
“People spend a life time searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, and even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is, the only place they ever needed to search was within.”
~Romana L. Anderson
There is nowhere to go. There is nowhere you have to be. Happiness comes from within and looking for it outside of yourself will only lead you deeper down the rabbit hole.

2. Happiness Is Blind
“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing.”
~Michael Pritchard
Happiness is blind, this means that happiness doesn’t know the difference between male and female, little and old, black and white… Happiness is universal; it doesn’t care if you’re too busy to be happy, or if you’re too fat…

3. Happiness Isn't About the Money
“Some people spend their hole lives chasing the pot of gold, and never spend anytime enjoying the rainbows.”    
Life is too short to be unhappy, so stop worshiping money and start appreciating your blesses. 'Nuf said!

Materialism causes people to be more unhappy in the long run than anything. If you are hearing this for the first time, this concept might seem entirely absurd to you.

When you strive towards material possessions to make yourself happy. It keeps you from working on those inner issues you are facing in your life and yourself.

Materialism prevents you from addressing issues in your life that will lead to actual, real happiness.

Ask yourself this –Are there any material possessions you look to own (more of) to make you happy? What are the possessions that will make you unhappy if you do not have them?
Why do you need them to be happy? What emotional benefits are you looking to get out of this? Each emotional benefit represents a certain gap you feel inside of you. For example, if you are buying something to make you feel more confident, it means that deep down, you don’t feel as confident as you would without it. If you are buying something to make you feel more attractive, it means you don’t feel as attractive without it.

Don’t look towards material possessions as your source of happiness because you are going to hit a dead end with that path. 
“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

4. No One Is 100% Happy
“One day, someone showed me a glass of water that was half full and he said: ‘Is it half full or half empty?’ So I drank the water. No more problem.”
~Alexander Jodorowsky
We all have heard of this famous question: “Is the glass half full or half empty?” it sounds like you have to be either 100% optimist or 100% pessimist, but life isn’t like that; What if the glass was all full? The upper side is filled with air, and the lower is filled with water? Is this method of thinking wrong? OF COURSE NOT! Just keep your eyes open, and take advantage of everything around you.

5. Giving Happiness to Others


It may sound controversial, but the more you give happiness to others, the more you feel happy yourself; I mean, how happy would you be if you helped a little kid finding his lost ball? Or an old lady crossing the street?

One of the best ways to become happier is simply to share your love and make other people happier. When you do the right thing and make people happy you feel good about yourself. When you make someone else happy you can sense, see, feel and hear it. And that happy feeling flows back to you.

6. Happiness Is A Choice

Truth is, many people wait for happiness to happen to them, and end up squandering all the millions of seconds they could be using to make themselves truly happy, inside and out.

Most people don’t believe that they have the power to actively change their state from miserable and morose to happy and satisfied. And the kicker is, it doesn’t take too much effort to change states naturally.
“Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response.”
~Mildred Barthel
Happy people know that their happiness depends on their state of mind, and that they have the power to choose their response to external events. They avoid ‘if only’ fantasies, are grateful for simple pleasures, figure out their strengths and direct them toward achieving meaningful goals. They’re engaged in their work, look for ways to get more pleasure out of life, and are kind toward others. In the words of Aristotle: “Happiness depends upon ourselves.”
“Most folks are about as happy as they make their mind up to be.”
~Abraham Lincoln

7. Adopting An Attitude of Gratitude

Adopting an attitude of appreciation towards the things in your life makes an enormous difference to your level of happiness. People who consciously attempt to be thankful and appreciate tend to feel happier and at peace to a greater extent than others.

An exercise for gratitude:
Keep a gratitude journal in which you make a list of all the good things in your life right now. Although you may think that you don’t have much to be grateful for, when you start writing, it becomes clear that you do have a lot going for you. At the end of the day, why not take 10 minutes to list a few of the good things that happened during the day? You will end up with a record of things you are grateful for, which will be very helpful to read in times of stress or unhappiness.  

8. Do What You Love, Love What You Do

Do the things you love, because life is too precious to spend it doing anything else. If you don’t enjoy something, then don’t do it. Spend your time and energy on things that bring you fulfillment and happiness.
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
~Albert Schweitzer
“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
~Dale Carnegie

Be happy!