I remember when I was young I’d always go to the market with my mother and I would drive her crazy until she’d buy me some sweets. I would pull a frowny face until she gave in and bought me some.
I think sometimes that happiness is just like these sweet treats that I was begging her for. The only difference is, happiness comes for free but it is so hard to attain.
Imagine if happiness could be purchased from a market stall? Would that solve all the problems? Maybe.
Admittedly, I spent my youth thinking happiness can actually be bought and began purchasing expensive things to feel contented. But, little did I realise I was just getting a temporary happiness fix when I actually yearned for a permanent one.
That’s where I went wrong, we all do at some point in time, or are still now. I wonder, how could we get it so wrong?
Perhaps because we’ve been fed a wrong definition of happiness all our lives.
So, what really is happiness?
People nowadays say happiness is not permanent, it comes and goes like seasons. But I realised, even the seasons are longer, aren’t they?
If I’d be precise, I would say happiness is not even a season, but little moments. The last time I laughed at a joke was happiness. The last time I listened to a song and felt peaceful, that was happiness.
I was too naïve to understand happiness back then. But I hope my dear readers, you’d understand it now.
If that is happiness, then what’s with the grief?
Like me, you might as well attribute grief to be antithetical to happiness. You’re partially right. But I won’t blame you for being half wrong about it. Grief is not a complicated subject, but our understanding of it is.
There are three components here…
- Middle ground
Often when we stand on this middle ground where we are neither happy nor sad, we assume ourselves to be sad. But the reality is, we are just being normal.
I understood happiness was not in material possessions, but that was not enough for me to stay happy and love life. I needed something more, I needed to accept more truths.
So, I explored my inner self and developed a few rules according to my understanding that helped me be happier. These rules were like the stepping stones to a happy life for me and I hope that you share a similar feeling after reading them.
5 Rules of Happiness and loving your life today
1. We need to be grateful for things in life
This came as a blow to me when I explored my inner self and realised that we are often sad because of the things we don’t have. Be it a luxurious car, a well-paying job, a dream holiday, or even love. Our list of wanting stuff that could make us happier never ends.
I realised this the hard way that while chasing after these things, we undermine the things we do have.
I thought if I was grateful for things I had, I would have no reason to be unhappy.
2. We must try to come out of our shell
Have you ever ditched your friends for a fun evening because you don’t feel like going and you’re a little upset?
Frankly, I’ve been there and I’ve done that. I would spend the whole evening doing almost nothing, over-thinking. I didn’t realise I was killing myself slowly.
I perceived distractions as distractions, something negative. Never did it occur to me, that I needed such distractions from time to time in order to relax and feel better. And perhaps you may need the same.
Distractions are the chances your life gives you to feel happy for a while, your chance to put down the baggage you had been holding for a while now. Grab these chances because that’s your only temporary remedy until time makes it better and easier for you.
3. Grief is inevitable
Why do we want to be happy? Because we do not want to grieve, right? We perceive grieving as something bad, as a sin, we must not commit.
This is where the problem lies.
Grief is in fact healthy for you. It acts as an outlet, catharsis. Only if you try to grieve, will you help yourself find happiness. Focus on processing grief as it is vital for both mental health and happiness. It’s good to let it all out.
4. We must not look for happiness in the wrong places
Recall the time when you cried the whole night over your first failed relationship? You thought you cannot be happy without them and continued to chase that toxicity. Wish I could tell myself back then something I realised later in life.
We consider happiness to exist in just one place; Sometimes only in moments, sometimes only in people. But it is scattered into so many places. While focusing on just one place, we forget the others.
I repeat again. Happiness is not enclosed in just one person or in one object, it’s scattered into many, so try to explore these other places and don’t depend on anything for your happiness.
5. Life isn’t like movies or novels
It’s sad we’re fed this same narrative again and again that there exists a happy ending. It’s a myth, there is no such thing as a happily ever after. I sometimes wish someone had told me that when I was younger. But maybe then I don’t. After all, wanting to meet your prince charming, get a fairytale wedding was great as a kid. We never wondered what happened next until Shrek came along!
In reality, we might not end up with people we so badly want, the dead won’t come back, we will encounter failure, we might not be extraordinary. But it doesn’t matter. These things are a part of life. We must not run away from them, rather, we must accept them as they come. “C’est la vie” as they say in France with a shrug ( and a large glass of wine!).
There isn’t a rule book or a hack on how to find happiness. It lies inside you. It just gets lost in between reality and dreams. We need to find it. I found it, and you will too. All you have to do is believe and accept. ACCEPTANCE IS THE KEY.
Once you have accepted these facts about life and happiness, some great wonders will happen.
You stop being disappointed
You don’t complain
You’ll have a mature mindset
You’ll be prepared for upcoming challenges
You’ll have “inner peace” like Po in Kung Fu Panda
You’ll spread positivity
You’ll change lives
I really hope that this post opens you up to look at the broader view of finding happiness. Grab your journal and start making the changes now.
Do let me know how you feel in the comments below.