Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Happiness is a consequence

Happiness is not something we should search for. It isn’t something we should desire and never have. Happiness is a consequence.

Every day we make a multitude of choices: Should I get up now or stay in bed for a few more minutes? Should I brush my teeth first? Should I wear this … or that …? Should I eat cereal or fry an egg? Should I throw in petrol now or after work? The amount of choices every day is always on our mind; some we are aware of and others are hidden. We often fall into a pattern with our daily routine and make the same choices every day only to find that there is that one specific moment where we actually want to do something else. We yearn for something different.

Our daily choices have consequences and these consequences determine whether or not we are happy. Through our actions, happiness happens. It is then apt to see happiness as a by-product of what we choose to do or choose not to do. For example, Acts 20:35 says: “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving”. When we do good things for others, we will feel good.

When we feel good about ourselves, we tend to make better choices. We develop a sense that we matter. When we do things wholeheartedly and enthusiastically, we tend to enjoy what we are doing. When we do things in faith rather than fear, we will always want to do more. In other words, where there is self-love, there is happiness; where there is commitment, there is happiness; where there is enthusiasm, there is happiness; and where there is faith, there is happiness.

Optimistic people will experience more happiness than pessimists. People who have good morals will experience more happiness than those who always seek to do wrong. Happiness also belongs to those who are satisfied, accepting, flexible, tolerant and easy to forgive. Gratitude leads to happiness.

Many believe that happiness is found in material things. Shopaholics will be quick to tell us where they “purchase” their happiness. Needless to say, material things do not necessarily bring us happiness. Happiness is not determined by money. Winning the lottery so that we can resign from that job we hate will not bring happiness. Being rich so that we can buy idleness, comfort and everything else that we desire will not bring happiness.

Happiness is not a wild goose chase. It comes incidentally. Happiness is made up of small fractions of seconds that happen now. We live now and should do good now to the people who are with us now. Living in the past or the future will not bring happiness. These acts are time wasted. Now is the time to enjoy what life has to offer. If there are no good opportunities, create good opportunities. Be kind to others. Smile more often. Focus on the positive things and change a negative attitude to a more optimistic one. It takes time and a lot of effort to change our perspective and behaviour, but, if we accept the challenge, we will grow and become a better person than we were yesterday. In the end, we will reap the rewards.

If we can live our life to the best of our ability and make the best of every bad situation, we can go forward feeling happy. If we can maintain and preserve our health, we are blessed and have no reason to be sad. 

Life goes on. We only need to go on with it, grateful that we can.

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