Pursuit of Happiness
I’m currently taking that famous Yale course on happiness from a couple years ago.
It’s called the Science of Well-Being. And in the course, I’ve learned some valuable tips on how to be “happier”, or at least how to improve your inner well-being.
Many of those tips I already practice. But, to summarize everything to save you time, some tips are as follows:
Practice gratitude. Gratitude can be simple. From writing a gratitude letter to someone you care about, to keeping a gratitude journal and writing five things down that you are grateful for everyday.
It’s kind of simple. Often times, we focus on the things we don’t have yet in the present moment. We focus instead on the things we want to get. And it could foster a sense of insufficiency.
But, we need to take a step back and realize that we all have a lot to be grateful for in this vast multitude of life.
Another tip is to get enough sleep. Sleep is underrated and often times we go through life like busy bees, not caring much about the amount of sleep we get.
Other practices include giving kindness, exercising often, and meditating on a daily basis.
This is not rocket science. But, they are simple things that we can do to foster a healthier life-style.
Given the current lockdown in New York, I’ve finally gotten the chance to take this free course and it’s been quite worth it. Actually, it’s free so that anyone can take it at their own leisure.
I’m glad that I’ve been doing some of these things already on a daily basis. It makes me feel much better about myself and my personal well-being.
Sometimes, though, I don’t feel like we need to make the pursuit of happiness a requirement. Why can’t we just be present in the moment?
The here and now is all we’ll ever need. And all we ever have. Tomorrow is a fantasy. And yesterday was a distant past.
The more we pursue happiness - as if it’s something to be gained in the future - the less happiness we actually have.
It’s also kind of incorrect to assume that everyone has a need for happiness. Not everyone sees happiness has a requisite to aim for. So, it’s important that we not shove the pursuit of happiness down everyone’s throat. Like it’s supposed to be something that everyone in the USA needs to have.
It should be an option. Just something to gently strive for - but not get too carried away with. It’s not as important as we think it is.
After all, how many people go through a day with everything happening just the way they want it to happen? Probably around 0%.
No day is that ideal. That happy. And no person should be dragged thru the streets thinking that they need to acquire this type of ideal happiness. This perfection in the mind of the ego.
Happiness comes and goes. It’s not something that we can hang on to forever and ever. It’ll go away in certain times and that’s okay. In other cases, it will come rushing back into your grateful arms.
Isn’t that enough? Most of us already know what happiness feels like. Because we’ve experienced that ideal feeling before. And that should be enough for us to carry through the day.
Just don’t fall into the trap of grasping for it. Like it’s something to be acquired and something that you will hold on to forever and ever.
Nothing’s like that. And quite frankly, that’s how life should be. Anything that we have for a permanent state, we don’t truly appreciate its glorious nature.
Impermanence nurtures our ability to feel and become complete human beings. So, happiness is part of that impermanence. It is unfair for us to pursue something like it’s the definition of what life should be.
No. It’ll come by when it wants to come by. And we should just let it be. Happiness is fleeting. No one’s life is as exciting and glorious as they portray it to be on Facebook.
When the happy times come, cherish it. And when they go away, think about it in sincere fondness that you’ve had the experience of it.
Don’t be so attached. Contentment and appreciation of the now can make for a fulfilling life. The less we “pursue”, the more it will naturally come running into our arms.
Let it be. 😊.