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Golden Rules for A Happy Life

Sana Mohammed Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Golden Rules for A Happy Life

There are several definitions from prominent personalities around us defining the term ‘Happiness’. Although these definitions differ based on perspectives of the individuals who attempted such definitions, if we closely evaluate, certain common elements of emotions and basics can be made out from these different views.

Let us consider two definitions as examples;

a)The renowned quote from our beloved Mahatma Gandhi on happiness states that “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Therefore, according to him, the state of happiness is generated naturally when we are in harmony with ourselves by doing things that our mind and words support as meaningful and good.

b)The renowned American Professor, Ms. Sonja Lyubomirsky, from the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, defines happiness as the experience of joy, contentment or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.

From the aforesaid distinguished definitions which are from two different perspectives, we can extract the vitals as, happiness is a natural state of mind - a positive emotion - arising out of good deeds, peace and a sense that one's life is meaningful and valued.

Golden Rules for Happy Life:

a)A Purpose Driven Life: A life with visions, missions and objectives is a purpose driven life. It has a meaning, it will be organized and structured and above all will be a sufficiently controlled life. People with purpose driven life knows where they are heading to and what their goals are. Turkish writer Mr. Mehmet Murat ildan underlined that meaningfulness of the ‘purpose’ through his renowned quote “Your first purpose is to find a purpose for yourself. And your second purpose must not immediately be trying to reach that purpose you found but to investigate thoroughly whether that purpose is really necessary for yourself or whether it is worth at all to struggle for it! Because millions are fighting for a purpose which will in no way make them happy at the end!” Thus, we should not only have a purpose in life but also has to ensure that the chosen purpose we are chasing is meaningful and capable of adding value.

b)Positive Thoughts: As the happiness is a natural state of mind, positive thoughts are very important to trigger that mental state. Start the day with a smile and being positive towards the challenges that awaits during the day ahead. Amy Morin, American psychotherapist and author of "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do”, quotes that positive thinking is a valuable tool that can help you overcome obstacles, deal with pain, and reach new goals.” In fact, positive thinking is the very foundation platform for the happiness to originate and it is the only ground where happiness can continue to exist. To put in practice in our lives, let us make sure that our day starts with positive thoughts, go through positive thoughts and ends with positive thoughts.

c)Learn to Let Go: Problems in life, in one form or another, is common. If we worry about all these problems or things that could go wrong, then human beings can never be happy. Instead, we should be able to tackle them with positive thoughts and hope. The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu rightly emphasized the importance of letting go the problems through his statement “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.” Therefore, be ready and prepared to let go the issues in life, so that we can explore new opportunities to align with a purpose driven life. To borrow the words of the Nigerian Actress Miss. Chinonye J. Chidolue, ‘let go’ sometimes make us feel like losers because it means giving up what truly we felt we had a right to. But true strength lies in resisting the urge to hold onto things and people that bring us down.”

d)Fullest Use of the Day: A ‘day’ is actually a basket of opportunities. Each and every moment therein is worth and hence to be used to the fullest extent possible. A happy man is a man who identify new learnings, new opportunities, new people and new virtues each day making it worth to the fullest extent. For doing that, one needs to learn to live in the present than wasting time worrying about the past or future.

In order to make use of the day to the fullest extent possible, I follow the tactics of keeping a list of ‘Things to Do’ on a daily basis. Normally, I make the list during the night before, adding all the major and minor things I will try to accomplish the next day. It includes, study matters, extra activities and information, personal development areas, entertainments, etc. Although, completing all the ‘to do things’ in the list is a challenging task, at least, I make sure I achieve majority of them. This keeps my day very busy and create the feeling that I have made that day worth!

e)Virtues: “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” This clarification regarding happiness came from Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor (AD 161 to 181 AD). As a stoic philosopher, he emphasized the path to achieving happiness through the virtues of wisdom, courage, temperance, moderation, justice and living in accordance with the nature. Although this philosophy comes from an ancient period, the golden principles it reflect is relevant even in the current world. Without virtues, no happiness can be natural. Thus, virtues are important for attaining the state of natural happiness and for the said purpose we have to nurture good qualities. A good deed, a good word, a good wish are all seeds of happiness.

Appreciating the aforesaid golden principles that are essentials for a happy life, I tend to organize my life accordingly. For developing the virtues in life, I dedicate certain hours during each day for reading books from renowned personalities. ‘The Story of My Experiments with Truth’ from our beloved Mahatma Gandhi is the best example in this category. This legendary autobiography of our Bapuji is a marvelous guide that underlines the need of practical virtues in life, and have helped me considerably to understand the fundamentals of virtues. I know that I have a long way to go before I can claim that I have somewhat mastered certain virtues, yet, it is a promise that I have made to myself that I will put my sincere efforts for the same.

To summarize, the key rules we will have to follow for having a happy life are, we should architect our lives to be purpose driven, giving importance to the virtues and positive thoughts and make use of the days to the fullest extent possible. To quote Abraham Lincoln, “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Therefore, always remember, being happy is the greatest form of success.

Sana Mohammed
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