The Art of Happiness

Happiness

Happiness is simply a choice. Your life is totally within your control. Everything and everyone in your life is there because you invited them in. And your circumstance is something you determined over a long period of time. In most cases, that is. Mental and physical infirmities are not choices we make for ourselves. But most everything else surely is.

Happiness is also an attitude. The fact is that most people simply take themselves and life too seriously. Not a shred of evidence exists that life was meant to be taken seriously. It is fleeting, and we are each largely insignificant. Happiness is the only reward. It should be your major goal. According to Aristotle happiness is the meaning and purpose of life. He says that it is the whole aim and end of human existence.

Plenty of evidence exists that making others happy actually makes you much happier. It is giving, and caring, and taking responsibility for the welfare of others that brings inner peace. And fun is an important ingredient. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “to laugh often and much is to have succeeded in life”. Spread your laughter, make others laugh, and greet everyone with a smile, it’s so positively infectious.

And remember, joy is in you, not things. Very little is needed in life to be happy. If you could visit some of the poorest villages and families in the world, you would understand this. Money and possessions (stuff) will never make you feel better about yourself. Besides, what good is prosperity without happiness? Prioritise your goals accordingly.

Happiness and inner peace is basically the same thing. And finding inner peace means letting go of the need to control and the need to judge. Of course both these needs are based upon fears – fear of not being in control of your life and fear of rejection. The simple answer to surmounting these fears lie in finding yourself, accepting what you find, and being that person. Inner peace is really about winning the war between who your parents wanted you to be and who you really are. Trust who you are and be that person. Happiness awaits you if you can; and you can. There’s no point in dreaming of being free; you are already. The choice is yours.

Of course, I failed to understand these truths for such a long time. The real blessing of my life is that I lived long enough to grasp them. I thank the universe daily. And it really disappoints me to look around and see the unhappiness that seems to define so many people. I have long advocated for the introduction of EQ classes into the school curriculum. If our young could better understand what drives the and what holds them back, we would have a much more peaceful world.

Geoff Mooney