The Pursuit of Happyness
I recently had conversations with some dear friends of mine on how life has been for them.
The answers were different but I could almost draw the same conclusion. Everyone seems to be in a Pursuit of Happiness.. And I am no exception.. Ugh... That one seemingly elusive essential in life...
I gather that different people have their own measure or definition of Happiness. Each one is driven by different desires or wishes attached to Happiness. What makes one happy may not necessarily have the same impact on others. And so I decided to only look after my own garden. I endeavored to sow little seeds here and there that I may reap the fruits of happiness in time.
My personal journey to finding Happiness started when I once hit rock bottom. One big lesson I learned is to Never rely my own Happiness on someone or something. I owe myself the happiness I deserve. I am responsible for my own happiness.
And so it may have started as an intentional effort from me. Yes, on some days, it may even feel like pushing my luck too far, but Happiness is more of a choice, a mindset, a decision, a direction I wanted to take and pursue in my own life.
I started off listing down the things I think would make me happy. It does not have to be grand or expensive. I even wrote down some reminders to myself:
- Choose Happiness EVERY time. The journey has to start with a decision. A direction you want to take in life: that no matter what happens, you will choose to have a positive spin of things, to look out for that silver lining or to rise up to the occasion. You may not have control over some things, but you can always choose to have a positive take on the situation. If you fall into the mud, get up! Do not stay there.
- Keep Trying and Never Give up. I think that life can end even before death and that is when you allow hope to walk out of the door. I know it can be exhausting and frustrating sometimes. And it seems easier to just not have any hope at all. In that way, you are not doomed for Anticipoinment (Anticipation leading to Disappointment). When you give up, you throw away that zeal, that passion to go on with life. You kill your dreams, you force yourself to stop breathing even before your actual death. It may seem far-fetched but you just got to believe in the greater things, in better days, in the bigger picture. And you can rely on that little hope in you to illuminate your dark moments.
- Pursue what you love doing. Start off with your own passions. Our passions direct our course of action. They give us our sense of fulfillment. I never realized how many varying interests I got until I began this whole journey. I started this blog and wrote 170+ entries in 6 years. (Not that many but that's already something for me.) I got my first SLR cam and honed my skills in photography. I travelled to and marveled at beautiful places. I dance like nobody is watching. I sing in the shower. I bought a bike. I opened myself up to people. I went to a solo mission trip for a worthy cause. I would have never been able to do all these had I not decided to take control of my own happiness. If you cannot find happiness, create your own happiness.
- Extend your happiness to your neighbors. I have this thought that Happiness is doubled when shared with another. And I would joke about it saying if I cannot make myself happy why not try making at least 1 person happy, see if that makes any difference. Ha. I have proven that making other people happy in however little way I can generates a deeper sense of fulfillment. See, this entire pursuit does not necessarily have to be contained in one's own little world. It does not have to be all about you only. Make someone smile. Be a blessing to others. You can certainly derive happiness knowing that you have made a positive difference in someone else's life.
- Cultivate a Grateful Heart. When you develop an attitude of Gratefulness, your eyes open up and you become more aware of every blessing around you. If you are not grateful for little things that you have, you will never be contented with no matter how much you will have. I really believe that for every person, there is always always at least 1 thing to be thankful for. Just remember too that somewhere, some people are happier and contented with less than what you have. Gratefulness unlocks the door to a Happy and Contented Heart.
- Aim to turn Happiness into Joy. Happiness is a state. It could last for a minute or two. But I understand that Joy is something greater and deeper. Something that lingers on. Perhaps, after those seeds of happiness bore fruits, you could turn them into something that will hold ground. Once you have learned the art of generating happiness in every little opportunity you get, you develop that stability and serenity within you. You become like an impermeable membrane, in a good sense, and that no circumstances can ever dull your shine.
I would not say I have already mastered all these, but at least I get to hold on to some things that keep me going through life. After all, they say that Happiness is not a destination to be reached. It is the entire journey altogether that brings about that state of Happiness.
And so I continue with my journey and adventures...