3 Truths about Happiness
Being happy is one of the most elusive feeling one could have. People seem to search and aim for it, but only few people attain it. Quite strange but this leaves a question to all of us, "how do we become happy?"
People all around the world do everything to be happy. Some travel from different places for them to feel something new, savoring every moment before those happy days are gone. People find new friends, hoping that they can provide the happiness they are longing for. Some turn to their addictions for them to escape from the sad realities of the world. Interestingly, there are people who are waiting for luck to do a sudden turn in their lives to be happy.
Everyone needs to be happy. It is equated to wisdom and even self-actualization. Because of this, people perceive that happiness is a life-long journey that some people become successful, while most fail in their lifetime. Since happiness is equated to wisdom, it gives us the impression that happiness is a privilege only given to few people who had earned it hard through sacrifices and tough experiences.
Are these things true about happiness? My answer to this question is NO. Here are the things I learned from my recent experiences that made me realize that happiness is different from what our perception of what it is.
1. Happiness is not achieved
It is not attained by hardwork and sacrifices. It does not depend on your status, wealth, relationships and level of education. One must not think that we need to suffer and toil to be happy. Happiness does not require anyone anything in the simplest terms.
Parents do not need to force their children to follow their desired paths. The only thing needed perhaps is to teach them how to live in the moment and focus their attention to what is happening. This means they are working or studying today because by being in the moment, they are happy; not because they are compelled to do it because they want to feel happy in the near future. Indeed, the most important thing is now, not what happened and what will happen in the future.
2. Happiness is not attained long-term, nor short-lived.
Happiness does not correlate to experience. No matter how we gain experience, if we were not living the moment in each of our experience, we would never be truly happy. Everyone of us must learn to appreciate what is happening in the present. For example, if you are enjoying and learning while reading this text, continue to do so. Do not think you need to do it for some reasons. You just need to be happy.
The danger of happiness is that people think of it like fire that extinguishes when it runs out of fuel. Since happiness does not require anything, it is limitless and timeless. One feels happy if he or she is mentally prepared and made himself or herself accustomed in living the moment and ensuring he or she is not bounded by some restrictions deliberately and indirectly. Thus, everyday we say, I will be happy and so I am happy. This will continue as long as we believe and live in it continuously.
3. Happiness is not searched.
Happiness is not an end, a goal or a destination to look for. Instead, happiness is decided upon everyday. We need to be willing to take steps to focus on doing what makes us happy and at the same time being productive to the society. Everyone needs to find the balance. The willingness to be happy MUST come first before what society dictates us what to do. We need to understand that conformity to standards may limit our expression of happiness. Although it is true that this expression is not absolute, but we should avoid being compromised and restrained to feel happiness because of societal norms.
It is important for us to understand that our concept of happiness have changed tremendously when we started learning societal rules and regulations. What keeps us happy when we were babies is that our parents would provide us anything we need. The time we learned that there were restrictions, we remained happy but became cautious. However, the time we place ourselves in the box within what society expects, this heralds the time that we have turned our backs from the opportunity to be happy.
The decision and the willingness to take action to feel every moment and provide due attention for what is happening at the moment are crucial aspects of becoming happy. The question really is not how we can become happy, instead, it is what keeps us from being happy. We should let go of the restrictions of the past and the threatening consequences of the future. As long as our actions do good to oneself and others in the present time, then there is no reason to restrict ourselves from enjoying the state of elation and happiness.
Although it takes awhile for us to see happiness in this perspective, that fact remains that happiness is real, not imaginary. Anyone can be happy. We just need to make a decision at this moment to be happy today!