Happiness is a lifelong pursuit that in a very special way unites people from all over the world How so? Well, no matter what the age, color or ethnic background is, most people want to be happy.
Some people spend their whole life searching for happiness and never really finding it because they are unwilling to step outside their comfort zone or are unwilling to change their perception of what happiness really is. For example, they are the ones who regret past decisions never made or past experiences never had.
Finding happiness requires knowing and understanding fundamental emotions and experiences that result in true happiness.
Finding happiness in giving
Have you ever given someone a gift? Do you remember the way it made you feel when the person responded with appreciation to your kind gesture? Perhaps you gave a deep and satisfied smile as you noted the expression of gratitude on the receivers face. If you have ever had that experience then you have discovered the path to happiness.
The amazing thing about giving is that the joy that comes from it is constant, unchanging and reliable. Even if the receiver does not have appreciation for the gift, the giver still finds joy and satisfaction in knowing that they did the right thing.
What if you are a person of little means and feel that you don’t have much to offer in the way of material things?
Well, giving of your time and energy to help others is just as effective. Yes, taking time out of your day to help someone in need will produce in you a deep sense of satisfaction and will increase joy and meaning in your life while adding something of worth and value to the community.
If you want to experience the joy of giving more often then you must give more often. This type of happiness is available to everyone daily regardless of age or social status.
Finding happiness in knowledge and wisdom
Most people go through their entire lives having people tell them what to do, what to think and what to believe. Challenging the accepted norms of society may not be popular but it may lead to greater personal happiness. How so?
People find joy in true understanding. Such understanding is only followed by knowledge and the application of that knowledge in ones life. For example, your teacher may have told you that 1+1 = 2. However, it was only when you tested out that information in class (the pursuit of Knowledge), and applied that knowledge on the test (application of knowledge / wisdom), that you experienced the joy that comes from knowledge.
Remember when Disney told you the story of Pocahontas? How valid is that story? When you do research you will discover that not only was Pocahontas a prisoner but that she was more than likely murdered for political reasons.
Remember when your religious teachers told you that Jesus was born on December 25? When you do research you will discover that December 25 was actually the date of a pagan celebration dedicated to the Roman Sun God and that birthday celebrations were considered pagan customs by Jesus and his followers.
Do you see how the pursuit of knowledge and the application of that information can change your entire life?
Pursuing knowledge and applying that knowledge in life can result in true happiness.
Finding happiness in forgiveness
Resentment can rob a person of inner peace and happiness. Our minds and hearts reflect on past things we’ve experiences and something that happened years ago may still produce in our hearts a measure of stress, anger, sadness and pain. Have you ever experienced that before?
Forgiveness is fundamental in pursuing happiness because it relieves you of the burden associated with holding on to negative feelings and emotions. It allows you the opportunity to mentally and emotionally move forward with your life and it gives the offender an opportunity to do the same.
This does not mean that you are gullible or that you approve of the way you were treated.
Forgiveness simply means that you are no longer holding it against the person who has hurt you.
Note: While some experts say that people should forgive everyone that has hurt them even if the person has no remorse for what they did, we disagree when this involves serious offences like murder, sexual assault, slander and things like these. However, in the case of serious offences, one can still find happiness in acknowledging that what happened was not their fault and that their future is not controlled by the actions of others. It is important to not take the blame for the bad actions of other people. Keep the blame where it belongs.
Finding happiness in balance
Imagine sitting at the dinner table enjoying your favorite meal? I mean stop reading right now and imagine it.........
Ahh, you probably have a big smile on your face and for good reason. Taking the time to enjoy things we like can produce a measure of happiness. But have you ever on occasion eaten too much? Do you remember the bloated feeling and the discomfort that followed? The point is that while it is enjoyable to have a meal, eating too much can turn that good experience in to a bad one. This well illustrates the need to have balance in our life.
Too much time doing even good things can have a negative impact on one's life and relationships with others. For example, it may be good to give back to the community through some volunteer work but if we were to engage in that work at the expense of getting enough sleep at night it would have a negative impact on our health. Also, if were were to work so as to provide for the needs of our family but our work schedule did not allow us to have daily quality time with our family, we may very well lose the family that we’re working so hard to provide for.
This is why having balance is key. It will help you to put everything in its proper place so as to ensure the mental, emotional and financial well being of yourself and your family.
It takes a considerable amount of work and effort to attain and then maintain balance but your family and friends will surely appreciate your efforts to do your best in these regards.