“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”
– Guillaume Apollinaire
It is really comical the way in which we constantly keep seeking happiness and forget our daily lives. This scavenging act of ours isn’t healthy, no, it’s merely a state of mind we have come to depend upon. No wonder life seems to be fleeting by, if we are all but engrossed in such proverbial pursuits. It is the act of chasing after happiness that tends to make us unhappy. We keep setting certain standards of happiness that we believe to be essential, but this search and struggle for that ever elusive happiness is totally fruitless. What we manage in achieving is monotony, a boring and lacklustre lifestyle.
And the truth is we are annoyingly reactive to situations and forget to keep control of our emotions and ultimately our lives. We have this tendency to blame our misfortunes on someone or something. But how’s that going to make things better? We keep seeking specific outcomes, and in doing so forget that everything doesn’t always go according to plan, setbacks happen, priorities change. Being over-obsessed and basing happiness on specific outcomes will simply lead to misery. The disappointment on not achieving the preconceived result puts in a negative mindset, which is completely unwanted and unhealthy.
No two human beings are equal, so stop believing in a single standard for achieving success. We all somehow manage to end up in an endless rat-race of life. It is vital that we take that long overdue pit-stop and assess our self and the situation more wisely. Chalk out your own action plan, follow your methods and success is sure to follow.
The Hard-work – Success – Happiness paradox
The general notion that people believe in is, “If I work harder, I’ll be more successful. If I am more successful, then I’ll be happy”. The fact is every time we achieve success our brain reconfigures the milestone of success. The college topper strives to improve his already good grades in the upcoming semester or say you make a good income, now you feel the need to earn a bigger income. The target always keeps on eluding us. Our expectations are constantly changing and we aim for better perfection level than before.
Shawn Achor has rightfully said, “If happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there. We’ve pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon as a society”. He believes happiness leads to success, and he is quite right. If you feed your brain with happy thoughts, your present moments become enjoyable, and you portray an aura of delight and positivity.
Avoid Being Materialistic
Another important factor that shapes our daily life is our possessions. We are never satisfied with the bare minimum. What happens is our possessions own us, instead of them serving us. It is high time for us to be less materialistic and more realistic. Robin Sharma’s comment in a certain interview really hits the brief, “We are all dust. The CEO is buried next to the janitor”. Do not keep worrying about how people will remember you by, but rather care about what you do here and now, so as to make the biggest impact in people’s lives.
Learn to be Grateful
Happiness is proportional to gratitude. By being grateful to our peers and to life as a whole we benefit a lot. We become more positive, active and alert. We derive more joy and pleasure from the tasks that we do. We are socially more outgoing, compassionate and generous. And this optimism and openness seeps into our complete being, and brings abundance of happiness.
The best advice here is to stop yearning for more of the newest and the best. If we are incapable of keeping a check on our wants and desires, we become unable to properly appreciate what we have. Socrates rightly said, “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”
Acknowledging the people who have made a difference in our lives and appreciating the things around you, the gift of nature for instance, helps maintain a positive vibe and youthful vigour in our hearts and minds. The universe opens up fascinating avenues for growth when you keep an open mind and a gentle heart.
Happiness is indeed contagious. You smile at a random passer-by, chances are they’ll feel good and smile back. People are mirrors. If you exude positivity, people around you bask in that goodness and get inspired to be happy and enjoy moments more frequently. But if you keep being passive and worry constantly about the chances of the positivity and happiness coming to an end, it doesn’t help you nor your peers. Such thoughts dampen spirits and makes you incapable of cherishing your time with yourself and equally with others. Stop brooding over deeds that can’t be undone and yesterdays that can’t be re-lived!
The True Meaning
Adam Smiley Poswolsky in an article on medium said, “Meaning is the journey, not the destination. Meaningful work is not really about quitting one job, starting one business, or writing one book. It’s the ongoing process of putting yourself out there, exploring your interests, becoming really good at something, creating something that matters, and leaving a legacy of impact over time. Truly brilliant people never stop creating.”
Our success depends entirely on our decisions and the choices that we make. It is you who gets to decide which path of life you want to embark on. You can’t have a perfect expressway to your destination. There will be challenges there will be detours, but you get to decide what story you want to tell with your life. You must choose a path and work to stay on it. It’s not easy choosing, but it is your choice and only you get to do the choosing. And once you do, stay on that path.
Think Outside the Box
In order to stay happier, it is essential to avoid monotony. The mechanical cycle of eat-sleep-work-repeat will only land us in a cul-de-sac. Instead of adhering to a fixed system that isn’t our own, we should try and bring variety to our daily routine. Thinking outside the box, pursing new interests helps us be more creative and allows us to enjoy life to the fullest.
Happy people live in the present. They rarely miss moments that matter the most. By focusing on the important and the essential they have achieved happiness that ultimately leads to success. Learn to prioritise the few best opportunities that come your way and forgo the countless good ones. Only then can you utilise your time properly and don’t’ feel rushed all throughout the day. Remember your ideals, list your goals and become your own master. Concluding today’s banter with the following quote –
“The meaning of life is life. – Alan Ada”
Action Steps to achieve true meaning in life: –
• Enjoy what you do everyday.
• Focus on your priorities and live in the present
• Be grateful
• Work hard and think happy thoughts
• Make better choices today with our Chevaun App