Prof. Abdul Shakoor Shah
The Writer is Prof. in English and Freelance Columnist based in Lahore.
“Every moment is golden to him who has the vision to recognize it.” Henry Miller. The only moment in which we can truly be happy and control over it, is the present moment. Happiness is the ultimate goal of life and it is an attainable process. For all of us, happiness is determined more by our minds than circumstances. All the factors that lead to increased happiness (such as helpful thinking and good habits) can be learned and practiced. Mastery can be achieved by practicing it. The first secret of being happy is to prioritize happiness in your life.
If happiness is not at the top of your list of daily tasks, other things will take priority. Priorities other than happiness can interfere in your efforts to feel happy. Make a formal plan for this as well. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Just as a plan is prepared for success in any other area of life, planning is also essential for the successful attainment of happiness in life. If happiness is not the main priority in your goals, objectives and priorities in life, you will feel sad and lonely no matter what.
Setting happy goals is one of the secrets to being happy. When you plan to be happy, set happy goals to achieve it. Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound). Make it your routine to do all the things that bring you joy.
Although it seems obvious, many people forget to do things that bring them joy. And do them as often as possible. Engage yourself in activities that bring you satisfaction, peace, comfort and happiness.
Along with pleasure and enjoyment, satisfaction is also an important part of happiness. So make sure that when you are planning your tasks and activities, you include things that may not be fun, but doing those gives you a sense of accomplishment. Do not take life’s ups and downs as permanent, nor take them too seriously.
Although we all have responsibilities, there is no reason or rational argument that we should spend most of our lives devoid of liveliness. One of the steps is to become self-aware. Get to know yourself and find out where your strength lies. Try to find out where your strengths and weaknesses lie to avoid problems. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is essential to achieving true happiness and success in life. Keep on tracking your strengths with dedication to overcome your weaknesses.
While we can all strive to improve in the areas in which we are weak, focusing on making the most of your strengths (including all of your positive qualities and attributes) can only achieve so much. Happiness and curiosity are interconnected. Keep looking for new ways to be happy because there is no specific state of happiness.
Your happiness preferences change over time. The sources and goals of happiness vary.
At a young age, even an ice cream or a chocolate bar becomes a source of unlimited happiness for a limited period of time. Watch for new and innovative ways to have fun and achieve a happy life. One of the secrets to being happy is to be grateful and appreciate what you have. More than half of our problems are of our own creations. We are used to looking above ourselves in life. This process triggers our hopes, wishes and desires and happiness goes away from us.
We all have many choices in life, one of which is to focus on all the things we don’t have (which may be many) or to focus on all the things we do have. Undoubtedly, gratitude and appreciation significantly increase your chances of experiencing happiness. Learn to like and ideally love yourself. As loving others is a key to happiness Self-love is also part of happiness. Invest time and energy in your important relationships. Happy people spend more time working on and in their relationships. Happy people are more supportive, generous and altruistic in their lives. Make things easier for others, don’t strain your hand intentionally and keep your faith strong. Communicate with others as much as possible, treating others with importance, dignity and respect. Negative emotions take people away from happiness. Happy people have more and better relationships.
So work on improving the quality of your relationship as well. It is also useful to work on improving your relationship scores. Study comedians, watch comedy shows and movies. Eliminate unhelpful thoughts. The Dalai Lama said, “The key to a happy life is to train your mind in a daily practice that weakens negative attitudes and strengthens positive ones.”
Do not take life’s ups and downs as permanent, nor take them too seriously. Although we all have responsibilities, there is no reason or rational argument that we should spend most of our lives devoid of liveliness.
Learn to recognize and begin to challenge negative thoughts. Happiness cannot arise within you unless you win the battle against negative impulses within you. Focus on more happy and optimistic thoughts. Prioritize the positive aspects in different problems and issues in life because there are two parts to develop helpful and optimistic thinking. The first is to eliminate unhelpful negative thoughts and the second is to plant more positive, optimistic thoughts. The pursuit of happiness is fundamentally a skill, and like any other skill becomes easier and more effective with practice. Make a good diet and exercise your routine. Although it is very difficult in some situations, it is not impossible. Health and happiness are inseparable. If you are constantly sick, it is difficult to be happy. In order to achieve happiness, it is also important that you ensure adequate physical sleep and rest. Continuous work without a break causes fatigue and it is difficult to be happy after struggling to get energy throughout the day. To help with this, it is important to regularly practice relaxation and meditation strategies. Manage your time and priorities in an organized manner.
Happy people believe they have more control over their lives. Doing so makes it more likely to take a proactive approach to problem solving. If something is not right in your life, do something positive. Make sure what you are doing is important and put happiness at the top of your priorities. Don’t let the elements you can control and get used to accepting all the things you can’t control.
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