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Vishal Ostwal

I Write About Life

What’s Really Needed to Live a Happy Life?

Happy Life

“The search for happiness doesn’t need to be so complicated – because most of the time the answers you seek are right in front of you.”

So, what can really make one happy?

  • That black Lamborghini you dreamt about all your teenage years?
  • Finding the sweet relationship you thought would fix your life forever?
  • Finally completing your bucket list and skydiving the third time?
  • Winning the awards that all the big shots in your field brag about?

Maybe.

But I’ll be honest – they are mere events, not everlasting. They may or may not occur. Even if they become a reality, they’re not a permanent way to happiness.

Here’s a catch

To most of us, happiness is really indefinite and idealistic. Which means that we don’t know what we’re seeking, and neither do we know what’s right for us.

So to overcome the pain of facing the truth, we lie to ourselves about a better tomorrow that nobody knows really exists. We simply tell ourselves that happiness is some “destination” which we’re bound to reach in the future.

Such daydreams and illusions devour a huge part of our lives, prevent us from being happy at the moment, and trick us into deciding whether something is or isn’t the key to lasting joy.

But we do it anyway.

“One day I’ll be happier…” sounds so perfect and better than facing the present.

So, what do you really need to be happy?

I had earlier written here that one way to everlasting happiness is cherishing the little moments in life. I still believe it’s the most meaningful answer I could’ve come up with.

It makes sense.

Recently, I was reading The Power of Now (it’s a great book), in which Eckhart Tolle mentions how we waste our lives thinking “I’ll be happy,” leaving no space for “I’m happy.”

The now is gone, and the awaited future doesn’t come either, and hence we remain unhappy. I’ve experienced it myself. But then, what’s the cure?

You can use the following ideas to create some more space for happiness in your life

  • Be thankful. I’ve thanked God for a breeze of sea air. I’ve interacted with different people. I can’t deny that being alive is a blessing.
  • Be happy now. Don’t save anything for later. Don’t daydream the perfect life. If you’re ever getting a chance, it’s today.
  • Act soon. Act and do what matters to you. Move away from what shrinks your heart. Go with your heart.
  • Be alright. Accept that you cannot control everything, welcome uncertainty, and believe in some sort of magic.
  • Choose peace. It’s more important than happiness. It’s the quiet inner-feeling, a calm assurance that everything’s alright.
  • Stop wishing. You really need to question yourself why you aren’t happy now, and why would anything else make a difference anyway.
  • Make it a habit. To some extent, you also need to teach yourself to be happy until it becomes a part of you.
  • Appreciate ordinariness. Give up the notion that life needs to be ‘special’ for you to be happy. It’s really the ordinary life that counts.

Finally, I’d say don’t try too hard.

It’s odd to suggest these ideas about happiness because, in the end, you don’t think of such practical matters when you’re happy.

For instance, read at the quotes below, which I feel signify in some way that happiness is much more about what we expect out of life rather than following some hard and fast rules.

“I’m an old-fashioned guy… I want to be an old man with a beer belly sitting on a porch, looking at a lake or something.” – Johnny Depp

“This morning, with her, having coffee.” – Johnny Cash, when asked for his definition of paradise.

Does music make your heart chuckle? Do you feel appreciated when calling your best friend? Do you feel joyous while working in your garden? – that’s what happiness is. Let’s not turn it into rocket science.

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