In our modern day world you would be forgiven for thinking that it is impossible to be truly happy if you don’t have a continuos source of pleasure in your life. It has become a common misconception that true happiness can only be derived from pleasure, whereas in reality the two do not always have to be connected. In order to understand why this is true, it is helpful to look back on ancient perspectives of happiness and how people through the ages have attempted to interpret its meaning.
The idea that the mind is completely responsible for happiness is one that has been explored extensively. The essence of this concept is that perception is everything and by finding ways to believe that happiness surrounds you will in turn breed feelings of persistent happiness. In order to achieve this it is essential to find ways to have a positive response to every situation and experience that you encounter. This can of course be a difficult rule to live by as the majority of us can never have complete control over all of our emotions! So, for those of us who can’t, I’ve put together the following list of simple concepts that can help us to strive towards a place of peace positivity.
First of all, I encourage you to accept the fact that happiness is not something that will appear overnight. It is a journey that we take which requires our attention and effort. Don’t see happiness as something that you are entitled to, but rather something which you earn through your behaviour and treatment of others. As you spread happiness, it will come back to you. Be grateful for the happiness that others extend to you and show appreciation for those who do so.
Secondly, work to adjust your perceptions of the things that happen in your life. Allowing yourself to have your mood dragged down by negative events beyond your control plays straight into the hands of sadness. Try to see light in every dark situation and understand that with every setback you are growing as a person. Your character is dependant on the way you conduct yourself in the world and refusing to let negativity in will go a long way to aiding you on your journey to happiness.
Finally, spend some time contemplating the things that are important to you and the things that you believe to be true in terms of a basic belief system. Do you want to eradicate cruelty from all aspects of your life? Do you want to be moral and virtuous in all of your interactions? Do you want to be kind and thoughtful to everyone you encounter? Once you know how you want to live, it will be much easier to implement this lifestyle. It isn’t until you truly do so that you will be able to reap the happiness that doing so brings!