Are you happy with life? And are you content with life? To many of us, these two questions seem poles apart. However, there is a simple, very real, and unquestioned truth that connects them. Most of us wonder about how to achieve happiness, assuming that a more fulfilling career or more money is the answer. I have also been through this maze of thoughts and for years, searched for answers. Finally, I assured myself that once I buy a bigger house and have children, happiness will knock at my door.
However, this isn’t how life turned out to be. I was too obsessed about what I should have rather than being grateful about what I had already achieved. Yes, being content with life translates into more happiness!
How to achieve happiness in a practical way?
Try to reassess what life has given you rather than contemplate what is left to be achieved. We live in an era of celebrating material accomplishments. We evaluate our lives by the number of cars we own or the kind of club memberships we carry in our wallets. In this consumerist era, feeling content with what you have is almost impossible.
Our professional and personal lives are dominated by different forms of digital media that unashamedly peddles the need to own more. As a result, we are always in a state of anxiety, worried about how many extensions we can take on our loans, or ways to settle the increasing credit card bills. This is the main reason why we feel overworked and seldom rejoice what life has given us. A practical approach to be content with life includes:
Introspect What You Have, Not What You Own
The Zen thought process focuses on a very simple concept: you need to reconnect with your inner self. This isn’t about computing your life according to your materialistic possessions. This is a slow process of introspection where your mind is freed from such worldly thoughts. The emphasis should be on decoding the things that bring you real happiness.
For instance, your father might have recovered from a life-threatening heart disease. You should appreciate the fact that a terminal illness has been defeated and your father will live longer. Similarly, being blessed with a child or having the courage to chase your life’s dream is something you should be grateful for.
These things cannot be quantified but are more valuable than a bigger car or another overseas vacation. If you want to feel happy, try to think beyond the realm of things you own. Finding a school friend on Facebook should be counted as a blessing.
This might give you the chance to discuss your schooldays, get nostalgic, and rejoice the journey that life has been so far. Try to be grateful for the things you take for granted. For example, having colleagues with whom you love to share lunch or friends who are always there to help is precious.
Don’t Stagnate, Keep Evolving
People who consider themselves spiritual are often shocked that despite their monk-like lifestyle, they find it difficult to be content with life. I believe that letting go of materialistic possessions isn’t the only way to achieve true happiness. It also means evolving as an individual. Many of us are guilty of living our lives within a small circle. Our daily schedule creates a comfortable zone that offers a sense of security but steals the opportunity to grow as a person.
The spirit to better ourselves, the curiosity to think beyond the obvious, and the courage to question the customary is important. Every time we learn something new, handling the boring everyday life becomes easier.
Get Inspired, Don’t Compare
It is good to have an inspiration in life. There are two ways of approaching this. You can either take clues from the source of your inspiration or be intimidated by its stature. Being intimidated is a negative mindset. It makes you more doubtful about your ability to achieve success. Being inspired is a constructive mindset. It gives you a reason to set higher goals, improve as a person, and learn new skills. I notice people feeling bad because they constantly compare themselves with their workplace colleagues or a movie personality. This only leads to self-pity and more unhappiness.
How to achieve happiness in daily life? Stop Being Cynical!
I have noticed that some very rich, well-placed people are often the most bitter. The reason lies in their attitude. They delve more on life’s negatives. Such folks develop personal habits where enjoying the simple pleasures of life becomes impossible. They tend to evaluate happiness with the grandeur in life. However, it is difficult to achieve things of epic proportions on a daily basis. For instance, a steep hike in the value of company stocks is definitely worthy of a celebration. However, limiting celebrations for incidents of equal magnitude isn’t the right approach. A beautiful rainy day, a good night’s sleep, or a heart-warming meal should also be reasons to feel happy.