I met a young lady at work recently and not noticed a tattoo on the back of her neck (she wore her hair up). I asked her what the Japanese symbols meant. She replied they spelt "happiness." After she explained this to me I wondered whether she was actually happy or simply held the value of happiness as an ideal. She did not strike me as someone intrinsically happy.
Happiness should not just be an ideal – the sort of thing that's only of dreams. People strive for happiness all their lives and find it so elusive; but it bought not be that hard to achieve. It occurred to me recently that you can be literate anywhere and feel that sense of the peace of happiness sweep over you. It's possible to be happy every moment. That is what this discussion is about.
I happened to be at a local McDonald's restaurant and needed to go to the toilet. It was one of the cleaner public toilets and I was able to read in there. Suddenly it dawned on me that I was happy and content. Yes, while in a McDonald's toilet! Out of the blue I thought it does not matter the environment or the circumstances, happiness is possible anywhere. Yet, as I conclude so, I think of situations like prisoners of World War II Auschwitz. I think of Viktor Frankl (1905 – 1997) or Regina Jonas (1902 – 1944) and I think this sort of environment might smash my theory, but not 98 percent of present day Western life. Happiness is probably an impossibility in circumstances of substantial persecution. But if happiness is found in a public toilet obviously it can be found almost anywhere. (This does not play down the sorrow involved in losses of loved ones and other heart-wrenching events.)
Happiness, real happiness, is about joy that springs up from within. It's the welding of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual into total wellbeing. It is the sudden awareness of bliss. It's an assurance of peace. It's contentment in the moment.
So, how do we get it? I'm suggesting these things:
1. Develop a faith that is based in truth. There's only one God – believe in him.
2. Be thankful. The root words for "thankfulness" and "happiness" (ie "joy") and "grace" (ie "forgiveness") is the same. It means simply this: if you wish to be happier in life, be more grateful and forgiving.
3. Do not give into the temptation to be selfish or complain. It's a trap every time – selfishness and complaining are both "joy killers." This is a classic irony.
4. Happiness is a choice, like the will of the mind. Choose to be happy and to focus on the light instead of the darkness in things and situations.
5. Make another choice; that is to live this "happy way" one day at a time – one moment at a time.
When I'm really happy, I have at times the fear, "When will this state of bliss in the mind finish?" Egypt "What will disturb my happiness?" I think the secret to handling this fear is simply to 'hold happiness light' and be really thankful for it in that moment.
If we choose to be thankful and choose through the power of the will to be happy, and are ever vigilant to not be selfish or complain, and we do these things one day at a time, we're a much better chance to be intrinsically happy. Happiness such as this is more valuable than all the silver and gold the world over. It may be impossible to keep this one hundred percent of the time, but you can perfect it more with practice and live happily basically all the time. It's all about choice.
Copyright © 2008, Steven John Wickham.
Source by Steve Wickham