How To Realize Happiness

People seek happiness. That is the reason of their studying and working, improving their personal quality to achieve success. The question is what will happen after we reach success. Probably the answer is getting piles of money and massive personal consciousness, the mediums to reach happiness. At least that is what most people think. Is that true?

A few days ago, as it was near my birthday, my older brother asked me, “What do you want for your birthday present?”. I thought for a while then. But funny, it seemed so difficult to find the answer of such a simple question. I just answered, “I don’t know”. I have been thinking since then, why I cannot find the answer of the question.

Like everyone else, sometimes I wonder what happiness is. And some other times, when I will feel true happiness. I believe you also have similar questions, or at least not far away from it.

Well, actually, before we ask such question, we should ask, what is happiness? All of us want it, but not all of us really know it. Sometimes this question seems easy to answer, but sometimes frustratingly hard. People tend to have different meaning on the word. Ask yourself my friend, what is happiness to you? What do you want from it?

Let us imagine a few things here, if you want an expensive car so bad, will you be happy after you get it? If you want a decent job, will you be happy after you get one? May be yes, may be no.

Then, if you get an expensive new car but your house got burn down to ashes, would you be happy? If you get a great job with six digits income per year but one of your children commits suicide, would you be happy? I guess there is only a few of you who answers yes.

You see, happiness depends on many aspects, so it makes the question more difficult to answer, meaning they cannot be answered by simple yes or no clauses. Life variables are constantly changing and influencing each other, and this fact makes it hard to tell whether you will be happy or otherwise regarding an event.

It is as difficult to find the answer of what is perfect happiness, since it seems does not exist, my friend. You see, we live in an imperfect world, between imperfect people, inside imperfect body, and along with imperfect personality. None is flawless. If we want perfect happiness as described in fairy tales as “live happily ever after”, it is simply impossible ever after.

Some people say that perfect happiness can only be achieved in after live. Do they have any proof of that claim? No, since they have not been there yet. No man goes to afterlife and comes back to earth. In courts, if you say claims without evidences, you are a laughing stock. Ironic comparison, but that is how our law works.

What actually we can enjoy is only imperfect happiness. We feel happy because of something, but deep inside our heart there is a small portion of sadness that is caused by something else, which sometimes, we do not realize it at all. Ces’t la vie, that is life, sometimes bitter and at the same time, sweet.

Therefore, you know that in this article I would rather refer the term “happiness” to the imperfect one.

However, seeking and realizing happiness is something distinctively different. Seeking happiness means you are either not in a happiness at all, or, you are in a happiness, but you do not aware of your status. In the later cases, you only need to realize it, before enjoying it.

Perfectionists tend to face more difficulties in realizing their happiness. As, the main point of being perfectionists is not looking for value, instead, looking for flaw. If I meet an irritating perfectionist, I would like to say, “So, Mr. Perfect here wants it to be done perfectly.”, since it’s a pity to expect perfection without remembering that we are flawed humans. Mirrors are not that expensive, are they?

After analyzing all these thoughts, I finally know the reason why I could not answer my brother’s question, “What do you want for your birthday present?”.”. It is because I did not want anything for my birthday, meaning I would accept any gift. Though I still wanted to improve myself and getting some addition in my life, I was somehow satisfied with my life, I mean did not own everything a man dreamed, I was also not always happy, but I thought it was the best life I could possibly experience.

Some people’s nature is always wanting more and more, and it makes happiness run away from their hands. However, those are weak, the strong people are those who can defeat themselves, conquer their own lust. They are the one who will achieve happiness in their life.

Once I heard a wise word saying, “the richest one is the one who need the least”. Well, it is true, different people have different needs to please. Some people are more easy to be happy than others. To reach happiness, you may need only a loving family, or having top 10 wealth in the world.

That is why you need to be careful with your ambition. People set goals to reach magnificent career / state in their life, which is probably can only be earned in 5 or 10 years later. What happen between those years? Will they be happy after they achieve it? Careful my friend, it can also waste years of your precious time in life. Simple but true, most precious times in life cannot be bought with money.

My friend, the key to realize happiness is by asking yourself, “Do you want something now?”. You can make some use of many things in your life, but if you cannot tell what you really want, you may have found the happiness you seek. Because you do not need any more things to please your heart. In the contrary, the more answers you can mention, the more distance that separates you from happiness. Things we have will not bring any happiness to us, but the meaning of the things we have for us is the ones that will.

Gratitude for everything we have is also a critical criterion in finding happiness. There is no use of being a billionaire if you are not happy with it. Remember Kurt Cobain of Nirvana? He killed himself after he became a superstar, a level of success that is wanted by many. Success without gratitude is definitely not bringing any happiness at all. If you are never satisfied with your life, it is the same as drinking seawater; the more you drink the more you get thirstier. I do not know Kurt personally, but I guess he did not die because of thirst :D

It is up to you, choosing to consider your life happy or the contrary. Any option you choose will not alter the fact that you will have to live your life, unless you kill yourself.

However enjoying your life does not mean you do not need to improve yourself. It is better to reforge our personal quality while enjoying the process. Only then both solid outcome and satisfying happiness in life shall be obtained.

Related to the issue of realizing happiness in life, my friend Burak Bilgin of Distiller’s Corner wrote an article where he states “All you have to do is to answer a single question: “How would I like to have lived, if I were lying on my deathbed?”. I guess I will answer, “My life is not perfect, but I couldn’t experience any better life than this.”

So let me ask you, “Do you want anything now?”

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