Happiness need not be attained by meditating like Buddha on a mountain-top.
True happiness lies in the simple joys ingrained into our daily lives. Still, for the soul-searchers on their mission to attain nirvana, here are some steps to boost happiness.
1. Know Thyself
It is so much easier to please yourself than going out of your way to please the seemingly cruel world. One can blissfully admit that the world is, single-handedly, the biggest battlefield to inhabit. Every junction in life is fraught with problems, which challenge every shred of knowledge and question our long-held beliefs constantly. In this run for perfection, one tends to get bogged down by negative circumstances and give in to their doubts. The life thus lived is a life full of remorse. In this constant strife, the only scope for solace is in oneself. Knowing yourself equips you with the biggest weapon of confidence to take on the world. If you know your potential then you cannot be held down by naysayers. Knowing your innate qualities gives you an edge over others and invariably leads you to success.
2. Be Here and Now
The time is now and you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Most people fight with the forces of nature to alter their present circumstances to their liking. The forces of time are beyond your control and living in the past only brings heartache. Living in the past keeps you from opening yourself to a possibility of a bright future. While it can be difficult to pick up the broken pieces and move on, that is ultimately the only option left. Accepting your present will lift the burdens of the past and give you strong wings to soar ahead into the future. Fretting about an elusive future will not get you anywhere. While mankind is far from the omniscience and omnipotence of God, what man can do in hopes of achieving a semblance of satisfaction is to live his present to the fullest and leave their future to destiny.
3. Less Cars, More Stars
Mankind has been the progenitor of a host of inventions to address their necessities. With time and growing technology the desire for a better and easier life has only grown. Now, even with a line of Ferraris and innumerable mansions, man is still very unhappy. Have you ever wondered why a rich man cannot sleep at night, but a poverty-stricken man sleeps like the dead? It is because the latter realizes that materialistic pleasures amount to peanuts in the grand scheme of things. Wielding personal satisfaction is mankind’s best hope in achieving even a small fraction of the desired happiness. Sometime a comforting smile from a friend or a lover’s embrace tends to uplift the soul much higher than possessing the latest gadget. Man, amidst the humdrum of urbanization, has lost his touch with nature. Sometimes, lying on the grass and looking up at a starry sky can put things in stark perspective. The vast expanse is enough to tell us that our material possessions are utterly impermanent. Morals, values, relationships and love are what everyone should hold on to; these are things which matter.
4. Follow your Heart
Inside every person is a palpitating organ keeping us alive by relentlessly pumping blood. While the cynic might choose to look at it as squelching mass of muscles, to the idealist the heart transcends its biological purpose. As children, we learn to crave for our innermost desires, see the wonder in every aspect of life and pursue nothing but our defined goals. Through social and experiential conditioning, we grow up to lose the inner voice that keeps telling us what to do. The adventurous voice from yesteryears becomes a nagging and improbable voice of today. Although muffled, our heart still speaks to us, urging us to follow our passions. People out of touch with their emotions tend to lose this potent voice in the complicated realm of personal circumstances and suffer incessantly throughout their lives. All one needs to do is just stop and listen. Let that innocent voice guide you beyond reason and comprehension. Following your heart will lead you to inexplicable experiences and untold happiness.
5. Shun Labels
We are living in an extremely biased world governed by –isms. Sexism, fascism, racism, feminism, chauvinism and anarchism are just some of the numerous labels that the world has to offer. Growing up with such conventions tends to make us unconsciously adopt such labels as well. We begin to judge people by character, colour, form, language, religion, sex and sexual orientations, only to discriminate and hate them for no apparent reason. The older generations fondly remember their times when unity ruled supreme and –isms only existed in the dictionary. Labels only spite discord in the name of race, religion and beliefs and life is too short for such petty things. Although learning to behold everyone equally is a gift bestowed to some, it’s still not completely unheard of. Life is much better without a label, designer or otherwise. If it cannot improve the way of life, it should not be included in life itself. The only label to wield is humanism. Be a slave to humanity and watch how hatred flies from your life, never to return again.
Mankind was sired from the bosom of God, only because the Supreme Maker wanted his children to learn forgiveness. He vested them with a heart to beat for humility and a mind to seek redemption. Millions of years on, mankind has become increasingly self-sufficient. State-of the-art gadgets and weapons fuel his grudges and tear nations asunder, in a mere blink of the eye. Mankind has let his ego get the better of him, which believes that it is better to tear people down than forgive them for their mistakes. If one could only look within, they’d discover the innate potential to love and be loved. Mercy is mankind’s biggest trait, which when exercised regularly tends to bridge all emotional gaps. Life is far too short to hold an insignificant grudge. Learn to forgive and forget and watch happiness seep in through the cracks.
By following the suggested advice, you will be able to lead a fulfilled and happy life.