Once you have these, every other thing you need - inner peace, positive outlook, good relationships, and much more- will be added unto you. Then you can spice it up with the seasoning mentioned earlier.
Happiness is a magical feeling that defies all dictionary definition. It mean different things to different people, but there's no denying the fact that we all desire it.
This desire for happiness have driven man, throughout history, to search tirelessly for a perfect list of "ingredients" required to achieve it. In fact, almost everybody have a different list. A random survey will reveal wealth, health, fame, children, political power, and good looks as the most recurring ingredients on most people’s lists
The irony, however, is that happiness is found less often than chronic depression, drug abuse, addiction, and even suicide in the lives of the most known, wealthy and powerful people in the world. This reality is indeed a mystery to many philosophers and opinion makers.
In a personal research, I discovered two basic things about happiness. They are;
1. There's actually a recipe that has never failed to produce happiness when applied appropriately.
2. Health, wealth, fame, power, children good looks and most other palpable variables are just like food seasoning, needed only to add some flavour and enhance taste. Of course, nobody goes cooking Maggi for dinner :-).
In the next few paragraphs I'll try to shed some light on obtaining and using the major ingredients on my list, that's what a recipe is right?
Here we go………
1. LOVE YOURS!
Up there, topping of the list of things that threaten most people’s happiness are; Inability to buy the “latest” things, dissatisfaction with perceived defects in personal physical attributes and “oppression” generated by achievements of other people.
CONTENTMENT is the ultimate shield against this threat.
CONTENTMENT is the ultimate shield against this threat.
This should not be confused with laziness.
Contrary to popular belief, contentment does not take away your motivation to achieve greatness. Rather, it relieves you of an overburdening pressure and put your mind in an optimum state for productivity and achieving your dream.
In this context, Contentment is the state of sincere appreciation of what your legal effort have achieved, and of being at peace with your share of nature’s distribution- which you, more often than not, have no control over. It is a very important prerequisite for happiness because there's always going to be someone out there with something better than what you have.
Lack of contentment will translate to constant dissatisfaction even at the height of achievements.
A poet rightly said;
“A king is a slave on his throne as long as he's greedy, and a slave is a king as long as he is contented”
We'll always see cases of people chasing more money, bigger houses or political posts, while neglecting their families and other important aspects of their lives. They end up realising their mistakes when it's too late to make amends. Learn from these people and avoid falling into the same trap as them!
Some suggestions on how you can achieve contentment are;
- Most importantly, Pray to God for it.
- Get rid of that greed.
- Be yourself. Drop that fake life and be real.
- Be humble, live simple.
- Work on your self-esteem. Give it a BIG boost.
- When next you feel pressured to get something new desperately, take some quiet, peaceful time to reconsider why you need it.
- Convince yourself about the fact that life is not a competition and remind yourself about it day and night.
- Avoid friends that put excessive pressure on you.
- Know that there are hundreds of millions of people in the world dreaming to have just half of your blessings.
- Count your blessings and thank God separately for each.
2. ALWAYS REMEMBER. THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS.
A popular quote says: “everyone is fighting a different battle”. It's indeed true that every individual must face challenges at one point in life or the other, I like to call them trials. These trials, however little they may be, are the cause of most cases of depression and unhappiness generally.
PERSEVERANCE is the key to get through them.
Perseverance, which is perhaps the most important requirement for success in any task, is the ability to keep going despite difficulties.
Its importance is stressed in the gospel;
“...rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation...”
Remember the prophet Job (Ayyub), PBUH. He was a devout worshipper but he had his own trial too, losing all his wealth and family. But he persevered and got through it.
To keep your happiness intact while going through trials, never forget these facts;
- There’s always a positive effect of every trial but we hardly notice them. The most important one is forgiveness of sins.
The prophet (SAW) said; “No calamity befalls a believer except that God expiates some of his sins because of it, even if it were a prick he receives from a thorn.”
Always focus on the positives of your trials.
- Trials don't mean that you're hated. God tries His most beloved people. Remember Job was God’s chosen prophet.
- Worrying about tomorrow only takes away the joy of today and distorts effectiveness of proper planning.
- Most challenges will disappear in few days, weeks or months. They are really not worth the worries and sleepless nights they generate.
- God never place on a person, burdens stronger than they can bear.
- Never underestimate your ability. You are stronger than you think.
Whenever you find yourself worrying over a challenge, calm yourself down and whisper convincingly; "This, too, shall pass." It will surely become history too.
Once, I was speaking with a friend who had spent 3 extra years in the university because of administration issues. He told me something that may be relevant to this discourse. He said "I appreciate these extra years in a way, because I probably would be living a reckless life now if I didn’t have that challenge. I wouldn't have known God if I had it all smooth."
You'd agree that he'd hardly ever lose a minute of happiness thinking about that challenge.
3. SEEK YE FIRST PEACE WITH YOUR CREATOR!
This one may sound a little too religious or spiritual but it’s the most important on this list! The happiest people are those who HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. They know how to get through both the sunny and rainy days. These people have one secret- they understand the primary assignment!
Our primary assignment is clearly stated by our Creator;
“I have not created the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me”
This means that every other thing we’re doing out here is secondary.
People who bear this fact in mind are hardly affected by lack of money or some sort of trial. They are always happy as long as they are in good terms with God, and are only sad when their relationship with Him grows defective.
Focus more on the primary assignment and happiness will be added unto you.
Jesus (PBUH) was reported in the gospel to have said:
“seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these other things will be added to you.”
This is, in fact, God's promise as stated;
"...And glorify (Him) during the hours of the night and at the ends of the day (in Prayers), that you may attain (real) happiness (and true bliss).
There you have it!
- A good relationship with God.
Once you have these, every other thing- inner peace, positive outlook, good relationships, and much more- will be added unto you. Then you can spice it up with the seasoning mentioned earlier.
Let me repeat that a combination of these "ingredients" has never failed to generate happiness.....
Now, you have all you need to stay ever happy!