Happiness means different things for different people. Even for the same person it will be different at different points in time.
There is also this thing called change. Any accomplishment, however hard-earned, will not lead to absolute happiness for ever. You set your goals and priorities to something more, and move the goal post for happiness.
Happiness means different things for different people. Even for the same person happiness seems to be different at different points in time. Happiness is not set in stone forever.
The level/degree of happiness is also guided by this this thing called “change”. Accomplishments, however hard-earned, will not lead to absolute happiness. You set your objectives to something beyond your previous ones. You move the goal post for the “being happy” state.
The ultimate happiness that lasts arguably comes to you when you find out the “real” reality. Even with the best of intent, I am not ready to write a post that will guide you to nirvana. So, as one of the mortals who cares about worldly affairs, I can only outline the secret to living a happy life that one can find fulfilling.
While growing up, you would have probably believed that happiness is having well defined goals, working hard, being responsible and succeeding in life. But the answers are not simple. Here are the three of the most important tips to lead a happy life.
1. Live in the moment, or at least in increments.
Although the “live in the moment” mantra has been repeated by every master who is worth listening to, this is the most difficult thing to apply in life. So, I tried to follow the next best thing:
live life in increments, and relish them.
The whole point of living in increments is to identify a small, discrete time unit that can make your life wholesome. The time unit should be typically a week and must be less than a month. Anything longer – you are missing the point of “small increment”.
Next you decide the task for that time unit and identify an accomplishment that corresponds to it.
You may find the identifying part easy.
For example, let’s say writing a blog post makes you happy. Spend 10 min every day writing something that feel good about.
If you enjoy talking to a friend about philosophy you can take 5 min out of your coffee time to do just that. Read a paragraph of your favourite author, listen to classical music that you find enchanting, clean up your workspace every week – the list can go on.
Identify the task and the time unit to achieve that task.
Target to achieve a given task, and move on to the next task. The little things can be easily identified and accomplished. The accomplishments give you profound joy. They make you happy.
Live with essentials, and luxuries that you need. Eliminate things that find are superfluous, not value adding, or plain annoy you.
If you do not feel your work environment productive, re-arrange to make it so. If you see your attic filled with equipment that you will not use, donate or dispose them. If you have clothes as a product of your impulse buy, but you know in your heart that you cannot wear them in the next year, donate them.
Do not go on living by getting annoyed at someone or something. Know that life itself is short. You change yourself so that you get a better perspective, or change the situation so that it is no more annoying. Annoyance and on-going irritants just add up to the negative vibrations that help no one.
Forgive yourself for the mistakes or failures of the past. Like it or not, failures are an intrinsic part of life. You live through them, learn from them, and aim to be a better person in the future. Failures will stay around – no matter how perfect you are. Do not dwell on past failures and mistakes, do not be afraid of future failures.
Anything that worries you has to go, or you have to change. Eliminate clutter from life.
3. Choose your own path
Empathise with others but do not let them dictate what you should or should not do. They don’t lead your life, you do.
Solicit opinions, ask for advice, but finally – be the judge of what best works for you.
Do not spend your life thinking what others think of you. Do not let that factor guide your opinion of what to do and not to do with life.
People around you may have the best of intentions while advising you but they are not devoid of failures. The advice may not work for everyone.
Choose your own path in life, and in many of the smaller aspects that make up this life. You may succeed and enjoy the fruits of success. Or, fail.
Forgive yourself for the mistakes and failures in the past. No matter how perfect you are, you cannot avoid failures. Learn from failures and move on to the next goal. You are a better person because of it.
Regardless of the result you get a tremendous satisfaction of making decisions for yourself.
These three tips may sound simple but are difficult to implement without focus. But you
You will find that a happier “you” is more welcome than your older self.