Happiness is about making a choice. And that choice is how you want to perceive the world you are living in to be.
Right from when we were young, our parents (or other well-meaning adults) told us to study hard, so that we can be successful at work, then we will earn lots of money and then we can be happy. But some of the happiest people in the world are not rich and some of the richest people in the world are the saddest bunch around. So this can't be right, isn't it?
Recently, in a training which I conducted, I asked my participants to rate their levels of happiness. From 0-100%, how happy are they at present stage of their lives. Very little of them scored themselves 80% or more. Then I asked those who scored their level of happiness lowly, what would make them happier, many answers came out, but commonly across, money tops the chart. See, how that mentality which was drilled into us when we were little made us believed.
Do you think you have the ability to choose to be happy, or remain sad, however rich or poor you might be? What makes you happy? Shockingly, 10% of our happiness comes from external factors, like that new car or a new boyfriend. The rest of the happiness pie is made up of our genetics (don't go blaming your mother or father just yet), our thoughts and our behaviours that we do deliberately—which includes our attitude.
Living in a first world country, we are constantly focused on the next thing and what we need (or consume) next to make us happy. If you obtained what you desired, would you be happy? Yes. But usually, it would come as a form of temporary joy which lasted shorter than you could wish for, and then we quickly fall back in to that stressful existence. Once the happiness eases out, you would set your mind on another aim, which you think would make you happy if you achieved it.
How could this endless chasing possibly grant you the ultimate happiness? It would, if you are a dog! Have you not seen the silly, yet satisfied look on the face of a dog when it finally got its own tail after chasing round and round it insanely?
To receive happiness, one must change the perceptions we have for our lives. There are multiple benefits of being grateful for things you currently have. Recalling the things you are thankful for will create a change in mindset and your outlook of life. Rather than being focused on things you want, you will be focused on things you have.
Think about it. If you are living in a first-world country, you have clean drinkable water, abundant food, and relatively easy access to health care. 95% of the world's population doesn't even have these 3 things. But have you been thankful for this unassuming but amazing things that surround us? Not many Singaporean here would be. Just take a look at the turnout at an opposition party rally. But that's politics and I am not about to go there. (I am politically apathetic.)
We are so focused on what we want, that we take what we have for granted. And that was what robbed us of our happiness.
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” - Wayne W. Dyer
Happiness cured my clinical depression.
Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.10