All right, so it’s again that article on my blog where I turn into a 90yr old grandma, who obviously knows it all(or simply just pretends to), and doesn’t hold back on giving unsolicited life advice to people who don’t take her seriously. Even she knows it pretty well that people are gonna take her for granted but nevertheless, she doesn’t hold back from doing what she believes in her heart is the right thing to do. So, with a nasty grin on my face, I am here yet again, to remind you to start feeling happy. And trust me, you’d wish you listened to me sooner than later.
If you want to be, can you even fathom how many reasons you have at this particular moment to start feeling happy? Emphasis on “want”. For those, who are pretty content and satisfied with being gloomy or morose, that’s your prerogative and I am not gonna disturb your sweet spot you have created for yourself. But this article is for those, who actually want to feel happy in life.
So, let’s get to work. Take out a pen and paper. And start writing. Write what? Well, you know what. The infinite reasons that you can think of, swirling right at the top of your head that can and will make you feel happy.
Initiate The Gratitude Chapter to Feel Happy
1. You are alive for one.
2. If you are reading this, you have at least all your basic requirements fulfilled, you know, food, home, clothes, internet, and so on. Which by the way is still a far-fetched dream for hundreds of millions of people around the globe.
3. Remember about the family that takes care of you, the friends that support you through every thick and thin, the relatives that guide you, the strangers that helped you without any ulterior motive, and all other relationships that simply made you the person you are today.
4. The fact that you are still breathing?
999966420. Thanking your lucky stars that you found this amazing website.
And literally infinite reasons more. If you think about it and actually jot it down on a piece of paper, then that will give me one more reason to be happy as well.
Again, you should be willing to do the work if you want to start feeling happy. Because make no mistake, you can also think of another set of infinite reasons to be totally miserable and hopeless and gloomy. But the interesting part is that this particular thing happens totally effortlessly and spontaneously. I mean, we will never consciously think of reasons that are gonna make us sad, it already works on autopilot.
Such is life.
I don’t know if it’s humans’ genetic muddle, or simply a matter of habit, but why is it that a million things go right in our lives on a daily basis and we somehow so fluently and meticulously ignore all of them and instead point our observatory owly eyes to a couple of mishaps and setbacks.
Why is it that when anyone talks about happiness and optimism, he is straightaway dismissed as unrealistic and superficial and naive, and when someone talks about the sufferings of life and pessimism, he is labeled as a man of great intellect as he sounds ‘practical’ and realistic? Also, why on earth do we even have to put a conscious effort into feeling happy? And the feeling of gloominess and despondency just naturally dawn upon us? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
An Infinite Treasure Hunt
Our lives have essentially become a never-ending treasure hunt. That ‘one more thing’ which is supposed to make us feel happy, that ‘one more promotion’ which will make us feel worthy, that ‘one more profitable quarter’ that will make my business finally booming, that ‘one more person who improves his nature’ to improve my mood, that ‘one more blah blah blah’.
The treasure hunt of ‘that one more thing’ never really ends. And instead of feeling happy for the ‘infinite things’ you already found in this treasure hunt until now, you are so restless and unsatisfied that you blindly keep on pursuing ‘that one more thing’ to fill that seemingly infinite void you have created for yourself.
I guess someone should tell you that you have dug enough of this rabbit hole, and it’s time you come out of it and relish what you have achieved. And who better to say this than your friendly neighborhood grandma?
Our mind has been conditioned this way right from childhood. We might have perfect health, the perfect relationships, the perfect friends, and maybe not a perfect job; so it becomes our mind’s sole job to keep us from feeling happy because of that one chink in the armor.
Nobody, neither you nor the people around you, looks at the infinite things that are going according to your plan. And even if they do notice something worthwhile in us, then they don’t say it out loud. Forget about the people, the more surprising element is that even we simply snub the goodies in our life just like stones lying in the middle of a road. This has to STOP!
Stop Snubbing Your Pretty Little Heart
We have stopped listening and speaking from the heart. There have been just so many layers and filters in the whole process that take out all the charm and love from what we hear and what we speak. When was the last time you genuinely appreciated someone without feeling hesitant or embarrassed or jealous? When was the last time you accepted someone praising you wholeheartedly instead of suspecting the other person and conjuring beliefs like “Oh he must have some ulterior motives which is why he’s buttering me”. And if not that, then we simply don’t think that we are good enough to actually deserve the praise. See what I am talking about? This is why people live unhappy and dejected life.
Most of us live under the illusion of happiness. They either feel happy reminiscing about some past events that occurred a decade ago or they conjure up a sweet picture of the future. It essentially becomes a pendulum that oscillates from “10 years before when my boss promoted me as the vice president of the marketing team was the best day of my life” to “10 years from now when I become the head of marketing at my company will be the happiest day of my life.”
Honestly, it sucks! What you have and what you are today, at this very moment is where the real happiness lies.
Close your eyes and place your hand on your heart and take a deep breath. Just imagine all those things that you have at this very second.
You have eyes that let you witness the ethereal beauty of this world, your ears let you hear all the melodies, your body is the most advanced tool you are ever gonna operate in your entire lifetime, you have children that literally exited your body. I know it will get mundane if I keep on counting the reasons for you. I can go on and on all day long, the reasons are literally endless, if one actually thinks this way. It has to be done by you and you alone because that’s what will be the most relatable and beneficial to you.
Words Are Weapons of Mass Destruction
Yes, that’s right. They can either destruct your happiness or your despondency, for good. And the good part is that you are the one who’s gonna decide what you wanna kill. And let me tell you something even more interesting. We don’t laugh because we are happy, we become happy because we laugh. It’s not some random shower thought I had, there’s a whole science behind this maneuver.
Words have power. The words that you say to yourself cast a spell that can either make or break you. Simply saying that “I am happy” or “I am laughing” will actually go a long way in ejecting stress out of your system.
Now, this also doesn’t mean that I am asking you to subside sorrow and pain from your life, for good. They are pretty helpful at times to see where we need to make changes in our lives or to give them a new direction. But I am talking about the scenario where some people keep on whining all day long that “Oh I am sad, depressed, and gloomy. I don’t deserve happiness. I live such a miserable and doomed life. An unhappy and unsatisfied soul is what I have become.”
For people like them, you guys, there isn’t any miracle waiting to happen that’s gonna turn your life upside down. You are the magician yourself who is gonna unfurl all the magic in your life. Don’t be under the misguided impression that cursing yourself and undermining yourself and demeaning yourself is gonna make you entitled to something amazing in life, it’s not.
So, the point being, you gotta be extra careful and vigilant with what you are saying to yourself. What words you are using, what tone you are applying—all of these trivial things actually hold a pretty important place.
Let’s try a small activity. Can you be serious and say, “I am laughing, I am happy.” Go on. Try it. Keep a straight face, as serious as you can, and repeat the above phrase 10times. What happened? Did you flinch, or were you able to stay serious? Or were you trying hard to stay serious but your mind was telling you to relax and just smile? See the point I am trying to make?
The Happiness Mine is a Scam
If you think about how most people try to feel happy in life, you will literally start guffawing. Some make some huge ass goals in life which they think will make them happy once they achieve them. Then some chase materialistic objects namely money, name, fame. A few even chase some person who they think will make their life absolutely amazing once they are together.
Let’s hammer these nails one by one.
ACHIEVING GOALS WON’T MAKE YOU FEEL HAPPY
All right so the first one is your dreams. As the saying goes, “One shouldn’t mix business with pleasure”, there’s also a need for someone to say that “You shouldn’t confuse achieving your dreams with happiness.”
Yes, you heard that right. There has been such a massive misconception that has been fed to us by the monstrous marketing companies of the world that living a luxurious life, a successful life is synonymous with a happy life. It’s not.
So, while they did become successful in selling us dreams, we have been stuck where we were. Restlessness, anxiety, a sense of lack, stress—they all have been circling us and making us believe that what we have today is less and we should be unhappy with it.
Well, one thing needs to be made absolutely clear. I am not in any way advocating that you stop growing, stop progressing, or stop having dreams. That’s practically impossible and plain nuts. But, I’d like you to keep in mind that you are not doing any of those things to be happy. That’s a trap you don’t wanna fall for. If you wanna live a luxurious life, a comfortable life, a stress-free life, then it’s of paramount importance you have some big-ass dreams and are working hard to pursue them. But I will repeat it again, don’t confuse it with happiness.
Once you achieve your dreams or whatever your goals were, how long do you think it’s gonna keep you happy before you aim for an even higher goal? This cycle never really ends, and as I said in the beginning, it becomes ‘that one more thing’ to make us happy.
When I started off with my blog, I too had the same mentality. Once 50 people read my blog, then I will be happy; once I reach 100 followers on Twitter then I will be happy, as soon as I make $x from my blog, then I will rejoice. Well, it never ends. It keeps on increasing and increasing. And while elevating your goals and dreaming bigger than before is all well and good and in fact a necessity, but postponing your happiness and fooling yourself to believe that “I am gonna be super happy the next time”, well then, you are gonna repent sooner than later.
Pursue your goals with happiness, instead of looking for happiness after achieving them. And the fun part is that you are more likely to achieve your goals when you are acting towards your dreams as a means of expressing your happiness. Feeling happy while pursuing your goal trumps becoming happy once you achieve them.
The latter kind of happiness will be short and temporary. The former kind of happiness will be more real and strong. Don’t be under the misguided impression that if you are feeling happy and content you will stop doing anything and would just sit idle all day long.
Another interesting thing about ‘dreams’ is that we never dream about excelling in the work we are doing, but we always dream about the end results that look all shiny and glittery, the name, fame, money.
Nobody dreams about putting thousands of hours into work, grinding day and night for years to create a successful product or a company. They all dream about becoming the new hotshot Entrepreneur, featuring in the Forbes Magazine, with billions of dollars in their bank accounts to buy all the luxuries in the world. Nobody dreams about practicing for literally tens of thousands of hours to perfect one’s acting abilities. They all dream about becoming the top-notch A-list actor, who will be best friends with Ellen Degeneres, with millions of fans waving them at a concert, and starring alongside Leonardo Di Caprio as the main lead.
MATERIALISTIC POSSESSIONS WON’T MAKE YOU FEEL HAPPY
Oops, sorry for drifting off-topic, and coming back to hammering the other nail.
So for the people who think accumulating all the material possessions will make them start feeling happy, well, sorry to rain on your parade but that’s not how it works, my love. If only there were some materialistic item, owning which one would magically start feeling happy all of a sudden till eternity, then everybody would get their hands all over it, but it’s not the case.
Whatever it is you are so blindly and meaninglessly chasing, living under the delusion that it will make you feel happy, it’s totally possible that someone else who already possesses it is trying to get rid of it. And I don’t think I have to explain to you about this, there are enough examples out there who lost their everything because they were busy chasing name, fame, money. If you are chasing it for a better lifestyle, stress, and tension-free life, then it’s all lovely, but if you are chasing it for a happier life; well, you have been warned!
Yeah Yeah, I know what you are gonna say. “Crying in a Lamborghini is much better than crying on a bicycle”. Well, there’s definitely no question that it will be much more comfortable and relaxing and soothing in the Lamborghini. So while you are working your ass off to get a Lamborghini, why not as well elevate your intellect a bit so that you can smile in your Lamborghini? That’d be a much better bargain now, right? And, if you do work on your intellect, it won’t matter to you in the long run whether you are smiling in a Lamborghini or a cycle, what will and should matter more is that whether you are smiling in the first place or not.
And while we are quoting our favorite memes, let me share another one of mine.
“Money may be the husk of many things, but not the kernel. It brings you food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; acquaintances, but not friends; servants, but not faithfulness; days of joy, but not peace or happiness.”
ACTUALLY, NOBODY ELSE CAN MAKE YOU FEEL HAPPY
As for those who are waiting for that dream person who will come and sweep you off your feet, make you whole, and let you feel happy, then you are again living in la-la land. The movies and TV shows, the cheesy dialogues, and the lazy writings have somewhat skewed our thinking into believing that somewhat we alone are not enough. That we need someone else or something else to feel happy, satisfied, or fulfilled. This is nuts.
What makes you think that if you are not competent and responsible enough to make yourself feel happy, that anyone else will take that job for you? And even if you do impose this mammoth of a task on someone else, how do you think it is gonna go? Let me tell you. It won’t. All you will be doing is pushing the person away, and you wouldn’t even know it until it’s too late.
This goes the other way as well. If you are responsible for making someone else happy, then those kinds of relationships aren’t gonna stick for very long and will become shallow and meaningless.
Moreover, people change. If you become too dependent on someone else for your own happiness, then sooner than later that very person will become a pain in the ass, when he stops or alters the way he used to be with you. Your own source of happiness will become your biggest source of misery. This is why, the source of happiness, the inception point of making you feel happy, has to be within you only. Not on other people, not on objects, not on name, fame, money, and not even on your goals or dreams.
And just to be clear, not extracting happiness with the above-mentioned things, doesn’t mean you stop chasing them, or you sever all your ties with them or live an ascetic and secluded life. I am simply trying to make you more aware of what will actually contribute to helping you start feeling happy in the long run. The things above mentioned are brilliant for short temporary kicks in life, which are also required. But if you are looking for eternal bliss kind of happiness, then you will know where to look.
Fixate your Center Point in LIFE
The center point of your life, the anchor on the basis of which you are gonna take the major decisions in this game of life, should be based on happiness and peace of mind; and not name, fame, and money. There’s a really strong possibility that your majority of decisions in life are based on the latter set, which is what forms the misery cloud over your head that keeps on raining droplets of anguish and torment all your life.
Only you can truly understand who you are from the inside, not your parents, not your families, not any gurus or pandits, not any counselors or psychiatrists. They all can show you the path or point you in the right direction, but at the end of the day, you and you alone have to embark on the journey of discovering who the hell you are.
Stop trying to be like someone else. I can understand that you are totally smitten by the person, and are in an awe of him, and want to be like him, but you gotta stop, seriously. His experiences are entirely different from yours, his circumstances and situations are totally divergent from yours, his strengths and weaknesses are wholly contrasting from yours, his thoughts and beliefs are unalike from yours, his way of action and decision making is poles apart from yours.
Logically, it doesn’t make any sense for anyone to be like anyone else. You simply can’t be. You don’t have the variables the person has, to get what the other person accomplished in the way he did.
It’s far better, to comprehend what variables you possess under your hat, and how you can strike that perfect permutation and combination to get what you want in life. It’s small things like this that are keeping us from feeling happy.
A fish should never look up to the bird and start dreaming about flying one day, and neither should a bird look down to a fish and start hoping to be able to swim the way she does. Those roads are always gonna lead to disappointment and affliction. Now, this doesn’t mean that one is less than the other, or one is superior to the other. They are both amazing at their own respective places.
At the end of the day, it won’t be entirely wrong to say that feeling happy is more of a habit. The person whose basic nature is to be happy, chilled out, and enjoy can do that in any and every circumstance of life.
While, the person whose basic nature only is to count the shortcomings, pick out the negativities in everything, look at the worst side of every situation, then even if he is given a royal palace to stay, with a fleet of workers fulfilling his every wish along with a harem of women to satisfy his ego, he’d still whine and be unhappy. And one of the luxuries of being a human is that we guys can change our habits all the time. That’s a choice that solely resides in you. You are the remote controller of how strongly or feebly to follow a habit.
Hit the buttons wisely.
Feeling happy is a matter of habit. A habit of being at peace with what you have instead of chasing things you don’t have all your life.