What is Happiness?
Happiness is the art of learning how to be fully alive to the experiences of the present moment. Happiness is a moment when we are simply alive and aware to what is happening within and around us. Yes, surprisingly happiness has very little to do with what is happening on the outside.
If our happiness were to depend on external factors alone, then we would never be able to get to it. This is probably why we spend our entire lives searching for happiness, never to find it in reality. Happiness is not a momentary excitement that comes and goes. For happiness to be real it has to be constant; it has to be a part of each and every moment of our lives.
If we have not found this happiness, then we have simply forgotten how to experience this true state of internal happiness. If all we are searching for is momentary excitement that we experience when some of our daily expectations of life are met or pleasantly exceeded, then we are not even looking for real happiness. Happiness is more real and tangible than we can ever possibly imagine.
When we find our true internal happiness, it becomes a part of our life fully – Real happiness can never be lost and happiness that can be lost has never been real. The real pursuit of happiness is a quest for this internal state of happiness that is independent of our external reality. Happiness that is tied to our bank balance is something else altogether, we simply call it happiness. Let us see if there is a way to reach to our true and lasting happiness.
Before searching for happiness, let us for a moment pause and reflect on our greatest possession. What is the true source of our strength and inspiration? What have we been relying on every time we have been down and out? What has helped us to go over life’s innumerable obstacles? What is the single biggest positive force of our life?
It is our very “Self” isn’t it? Aren’t “we” our biggest possession? Aren’t we the biggest source of our strength? Can there be anything more powerful, positive, real and constant than our Self? If Self is our greatest possession, then finding it is true happiness. Quest for happiness is nothing but a quest for our true self. This is why happiness can never be found on the outside. How can we find happiness on the outside when the very source and foundation of happiness is hidden within us?
All this might sound like some esoteric spiritual, philosophical, or high up in the sky concept. But this is the reality of our situation. What we are searching for is us. We are in a quest to find ourselves. Happiness is simply a pursuit of our most natural, simple and constant internal state of being. We are the happiness we are seeking.
The whole challenge is learning how to separate ourselves from all that is happening around us so that we can experience ourselves fully. This doesn’t mean running away from everything. We cannot simply run away from the world, the world has already entered our mind; we cannot simply shake it off. The art of happiness lies in learning how to stay internally detached from everything that is happening around us so that we can constantly be rooted in the pleasant experience of the self.
how to be happy?
There are a few things we can do on a daily basis to cultivate this internal state of happiness. Let’s look at some of them:
1) Being mindful and aware throughout the day is an excellent way to stay away from unnecessary negative thought processes and be in control of situations.
2) Accept both negative and positive feedback from the external environment with equanimity. All judgements are subjective opinions; it is impossible for anybody else to judge you accurately.
3) Learn how to relax and let go of constant thinking about the past and the future. Cultivate a regular habit of being in the present moment. Happiness is in the present moment.
4) Let go of constantly judging others. We are all products of our conditioning. Another person is simply you in a different situation. Judgements simply take away your time and peace of mind.
5) Practice the art of detached attachment. Learn how to be involved in something and yet not be affected by it.
6) Practice at least 1 hour of meditation on a daily basis. Meditation will help you to know more about yourself. It is a wonderful way to explore your inner life.
7) Take regular breaks to relax and refresh. Be aware of over exhausting yourself. It is very easy to get lost in an activity and forget to rest. Adequate rest is a must for a happier life.
8) Be organized and keep things simple. Make an effort on a daily basis to simplify your life a little bit. Happiness is always in simple things.
9) Invest your time and energy creatively. A lot of happiness is hidden in creatively applying ourselves. We are naturally born to create. Creativity always brings out the happiness from within us.
10) Always remember that happiness is the starting point of everything. Instead of expecting to become happy when something happens, be happy and that something will happen. Happiness is always one momentary choice away; when you want to be happy, simply exercise the choice. Let your happiness depend on only one thing – You.
Pursuit of Happiness
Pursuit of happiness has to be an all encompassing and focused quest, mainly because our state of happiness is tied to everything we do on a daily basis. We cannot get to true happiness without understanding our mind, body and our life fully. Happiness is simply a consequence of understanding our life as much as possible. This needs a scientific and systematic approach.