Thoughts on Happiness

We could come up with hundreds of motivational quotes on happiness, talk and rationalize about them our entire lifetime but one thing is sure – each of us would have already dealt with the pursuit of happiness on our individual , unique ways from the moment we knew we existed. There are times when we would be in a state of quandary, not fully understanding what happiness really means, more so when abrupt, life changing events punctuate our journey. As we move on in life, happiness increasingly behaves like a variable not a constant. Often times it is gives us the illusion of being perpetually elusive and unreachable, much like a Shangri-la. Happiness is like a chameleon that perhaps we can’t precisely define what it really is but we can certainly experience what we may call our personal versions of it.

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence” …Aristotle

This sounds so amazingly simplistic and it does pack a big punch. Do I have the right to my own individual happiness ? No ifs and buts about it – you bet I do, much like everyone else. How about people who curtail if not abandon their own personal pursuits and aspirations for the sake of others, loved ones most especially, so that they could be happy ? Have they missed the real purpose and meaning of life ? An example would be the dude who works overseas in a western country, perhaps even illegally, lives in a cramped rented bedroom and thrives on cheap canned food so he could send all his earnings back to Pinas so his wife and kids could buy a new car and take tours to Hongkong and Singapore. I bet you many would say – it’s noble, commendable, inspiring, etc.. The dude is doing a noble thing indeed. But if his family has any clue of what gratitude means and really care about their father, they should rid of the selfishness, make good use of the stipend received to improve their lives, finish school, get jobs and extricate themselves from the dependency bind expediently so that Dad could take a break and enjoy life himself. If happiness is indeed “the meaning and the purpose of life and the whole aim and end of human existence”, Dad shouldn’t be the sacrificial lamb. If his family truly cares about him, he shouldn’t be the oxen pulling the yoke his entire lifetime carrying everyone in the family until his last breath.

YOU’RE RICHER THAN YOU THINK

One of the local banks here devised an interesting ad that sort of inspired a lot of people 😉 The ad says ” you’re richer than you think “. It is not a ruse meant to delude people but the catch is quite simple. It encourages folks to visit any of their branches for a quick financial consultation and credit worthiness assessment. It is clever way of getting people, especially the un-initiated, strictly cash folks to get in debt and stretching the limit of those who are already in debt but have good credit history. Some people are surprised that they could get a loan beyond their expectations 🙂

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Frederick Keonig

Most people acquire things so they can genuinely enjoy them. Some however spend money buying things so that they can show off. It is logical to conclude therefore that the lesser friends and neighbors you have, the less obsessed you would be in acquring stuff to boast about 😆 I know of people who openly and unbashedly declare that they are not living a happy, fulfilled life because they haven’t attained what they long wanted and dreamed about. You’d be surprised that when a person vocally expresses such frustration for an unfulfilled dream it has to do more with satiating the ego – in short, ego tripping. The consequence of living in frustration is bitterness and we all know that bitterness kills because it generates negative energy and gradually erodes and destroys the remaining good vibes that is dwells in the person. There is nothing wrong with dreaming but happiness naturally comes forth when we start to appreciate, enjoy and cherish what we have.

THE GRAND ESSENTIALS FORMULA

If we couldn’t define happiness at least would could probably identify the ingridients that constitute happiness. In my private moments I always mull about the things that make me consistently happy that if I have them all the time I would stay mentally and physically healthy. I try to focus on me and reduce my dependecy and expectancy on others. I’m a person that has taken care of my needs well and expect others, my loved ones included, to do the same for themselves. But we always fear the loss of our happiness because the element of uncertainty acts like a dark cloud of doom threatening to cause turbulence, making our journey so unclear. As one saying goes ” The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be”.

“The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for… Allan K. Chalmers

If happiness has a formula the aforesaid quote may just cut it, not quite to a tee but perhaps close enough because it somehow trumps the uncertainty encumbrance. Happiness is relative. It matters not if you haven’t got fame and fortune as long as you have something to do, something to love (it doesn’t say someone) and something to hope for you could be a happy man. Since these three conditions are essentials, just like a recipe or a formula, if one ingridient is missing the entire concoction does not work.

 

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26 Responses

  1. some people are happy doing service to others. Success does not necessarily equate to happiness. Also as you said in your front page quote… happiness is within ourselves. If we feel that we make people happy that could be our version of happiness. good post.

    • agree. Some people find happiness in helping others. There are those however who are compelled or forced to good so to speak to help others. Much that they try to seek their own happiness, they can’t because they feel duty bound to help first esp if they are family. The sad part is they are hooked into helping forever and their own dreams and pursuits become secondary.

  2. The last paragraph sums it up for me — as my definition of happiness.

    I also agree with you: “In my private moments I always mull about the things that make me consistently happy that if I have them all the time I would stay mentally and physically healthy. I try to focus on me and reduce my dependecy and expectancy on others. I’m a person that has taken care of my needs well and expect others, my loved ones included, to do the same for themselves.”

    Thought provoking post. Love it!

    • thanks Eric. The 3 grand essentials does it for me too 😉

      I also gradually realized that I could be happy with relatively simple things and that doesn’t mean turning into a minimalist 🙂

  3. As for ego tripping and boasting with your stuff, I think it is true 🙂 I also think that competition makes life interesting haha..

    I worry about myself but there are times that I try to ignore the problems of others because I can’t be of much help. I am not happy with the feeling but as they say we have to make ourselves a priority. Yikes, I am not wealthy and I scrape for things and I don’t have enough for myself lol.

    • Frankly, I only circulate with friends who are a positive influence to me. I shy away from people who exhibit negative energy, who only care about status and what they can get from you.

      As for helping, I can relate to the way the church I know helps people and that is helping so they can get back up and get going again. That to me is the kind of help that people need – not a permanent dole out.

  4. lately i find happiness in small things. it must be age overtaking 🙂 or simply i’m really “mababaw ang kaligayahan”, which is not bad mind you.

  5. you know what, i like your thoughts on happiness. so true. with me i just remember one thing when it comes to happiness. it is a choice.

  6. simple doesn’t mean easy 🙂

  7. ‘something to love (it doesn’t say someone)’

    sa iba, happiness is a relative, katulad ng na una mong subject na mga beneficiaries ng OFW. lol

    • Happiness is a relative hahaha :mrgreen:

      Your know the golden word that beats anything nowadays – “sustento”. It’s like getting locked in to an investment without capital that gurantees an income every month 😆

      • Even the Philippines relies on the huge ‘sustento’ amounting to US$ 18.32 billion as of end-November. if not for this, ang Pinas ay baka natulad na sa ibang African countries.

        Likeswise it is this sustento that creates successful people, BUM, hobo and others.

        • very true. Remittance has become a good business. Even in my local supermart here I was surprised to see Tagalog brochures at Western Union outlets. There is a serious supply and demand issue in the country. We are passionate about education and produce highly educated people but there are no jobs available. Our favorite whipping boy is naturally the government for its ineptness but on one hand it is high time we also think about population control because the problem has transformed into a runaway train that is seemingly impossible to correct.

          As for the sustento , it is also true. The bad part of the sustento is when people stop taking care of themselves, thinking that it lasts forever 😦

          • it is typical of third world countries, even here in India where the concept of family is different than the west. People in the third world think that family is everything, that no amount of success can replace family.

            • true.We can probably say the same thing as
              Japan and South korea but their overall quality of lifeis far better because everybody strives to be be self reliant.I happen to believe that self reliance is a basic requirement for human survival. if family value reneges on this crucial attribute then we should not expect a prosperous society for a handful cannot possibly meet the needs of everybody.

  8. It’s true, “happiness is relative”. Mine is so simple that you may say “ang babaw ng kaligayahan ko”. : )

    As for the “martir” na Dad, this is very common in our society. We find fulfillment seeing our family in a better standing even if it means total sacrifice for the “bread winner”. I wonder, Is it because of our Catholic upbringing or a mild form of masochism?

    • Being suckers to sacrificial relationship as being the purest expression of love, it may have to do with our Catholic upbringing. Sometimes we need to question ourselves – is such a sacrifice absolutely necessary ? we tend to look at one side of the coin and overlook its negative consequences, the often abusive implications of such a relationship.

  9. By the way, nice reflection there, bro!

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