Happiness is to….? “The notion of happiness has become tenuous and misleading and too frequently associated with transient wants and needs” – Dr John Demartini. If we are honest with ourselves, we all experience feelings of unhappiness periodically, and all we long for is “to be happy”.
Maybe finding happiness should rather be seen as seeking fulfilment. Eudaimonia is the word that Aristotle used for this state of fulfilment. Referring to goals of Wholeness, Wellness and Wellbeing. A translation would be “Human Flourishing”, as opposed to hedonism and gratification. Meaning that happiness is the fulfilment of whatever is perceived to be important and partly missing in your life.
There are a few basics that are common to all people, although each have a unique set of voids and values. Let’s ask ourselves a few key questions to start with:
1. What is the issue that is causing my unhappiness
2. What perceptions and attitudes do I have about this issue?
3. Where can I actually exert control over it or contribute?
4. Therefore, what decisions or actions can I take?
The common issues, based in our psychological needs for fulfilment are:
Unhappy about Politics and society? – One has to ask a “re-appraisal” question such as “Are there really more drawbacks here in South Africa than in other countries in the world?” – Most of them has their own set of challenges with a lot of insecurity about the future. Make an effort to talk to other people with different opinions than yours, expand your awareness and keep an open mind. There are many different ways to see the world or a challenging situation and we have the ability to reframe of perception which brings perspective and a level of acceptance and calmness.
Unhappy about Humanitarian crises? – If there is something concrete you can do to help, do it! If not, make a difference in your own world, at community or city level. Expert a positive impact on your environment. If you can’t do anything about the Syrian refugees, find a smaller issue you can do something about, and contribute there.
Experiencing financial hardship? – We are expecting financial freedom without saving. For Financial freedom, you need to develop a source of income and practice outstanding work ethic. You need a motivation to save and the right investment vehicles. Financial freedom means work. Ask yourself the question –“ Am I waiting for someone or something to save me?” How can you serve more people more effectively? – this is the way to make money.
Feeling overwhelmed and overloaded? – Once other people can access and take up your time, you can’t get essential things done. Look at your day and week and schedule dedicated chunks of time for all your commitments. Assess those commitments in terms of the longer term impact they will have on your goals. Remember is you say “Yes” to something or someone, you are by default saying “No” to an infinite number of other opportunities. Delegate and delete more often.
Remember that every event is Neutral – until you decide to make a heaven or a hell out of it. After defining the issues that are making you unhappy, use it as an opportunity to serve more people in a way that’s meaningful to you (with credit to Dr John Demartini)