Happiness just doesn’t happen out of nowhere. It’s not something you can wait around for or pursue. Happiness, for the most part, is a state of mind. It is an accumulation of habits dedicated toward a perceived and defined state of happiness.
Happiness is not something that is outside of yourself. You choose to be happy and you choose to be happy right now. Too many are deluded into the thinking that demands, “I will be happy when…” or “I will be happy if…”. This is an extreme delusion because they find that once that “when” and/or “if” ever comes, they are still not happy because they have replaced them with new “when’s” and “if’s”. It all seems rather insane.
People who are happy, in general, tend to look at things much differently from people who just seem to put too many demands on their happiness. So, what things do happy people do that everyone else isn’t doing?
- The first thing they have is gratitude. They know things have been, and could be, much worse for them. They are grateful for what and who they have in their lives, however humble. They don’t hold grudges. They know that a grudge is exactly what the Buddha said it was. Holding a grudge, nurturing anger, the Buddha taught, “is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
- Happy people always look kindly on others. They try to have understanding and compassion. As the Christians would say, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”. Another mindset they have is that they don’t have problems, they have challenges. For the happy among us, it is an opportunity to learn something and to make their life better. They don’t whine and complain. They act.
- They never gossip or bad mouth others. To them, that is poison that just feeds on them and seeks to cause despair and destruction. It only releases negative energy and doesn’t help anyone. They have goals and plans to attain those goals. Further, they have the will to carry out those plans. Most people simply don’t have the will.
- They are always in the present and never make excuses. Most people always have an excuse for why something didn’t happen or why they can’t do something. For all of the excuse making they tend to do, they could have actually accomplished the thing. Happy people are in the present because that’s where the happiness is. Most people are lost in the regrets of the past that is gone or are fretting over a future that never comes. Only the present moment ever comes.
- They are honest with themselves and with others. Lying, again, is poison to them and telling someone a lie so as to not hurt their feelings, or to make them feel better, is not helpful to the person. They never compare themselves with others. They respect the words of the Chinese sage, Lao Tzu, who said, “If you do not compete, you cannot be competed with.”
- They never live for anyone’s expectations but their own. They don’t care, or value, what others think of them. It is only what they think of themselves, and the expectations that they have for themselves, that matter.
- They are practiced listeners. They are fully aware and attentive when someone is speaking to them. Most people don’t listen. They don’t know how. All most people are doing is waiting for another chance to talk. The happy never hang around with negative people. When they stumble upon negative people, negative energy, they immediately remove it from their lives. They know that all the negative energy wants to do is to feed off them.
- They do what they can where they are and don’t worry about things they can’t do anything about. They exercise and try and eat healthy, too. They are nurturers and realize that friendship is just that; a “ship”. Like a relationship, it needs nurturing and they know that to have one or two real friends is something to cherish.
PHOTO CREDIT: Priscilla Westra / Unsplash