Keys to Happiness
Search of happiness is one of the basic purposes of human life. However, it is also the source of greatest frustration. Many successful people who had been super-achiever feel the futility of their efforts that has gone in the pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately many of them actually feel more depressed and unhappy even if they win the rat race of the material world. There are some others who seek happiness in drugs, alcohol, illicit relationships, gambling and immoral conduct. But it all ultimately destroys the person rather than giving what the person seeks for.
The main reason for this frustrating situation is that most people fail to differentiate between joy or pleasure and real happiness. All the material things in life can actually give joy and pleasure, and that is momentary. It lasts for a while and then extinguishes, like a lamp that gives light till the oil lasts. A new house, a fancy car or an exotic vacation will give joy for a while. But then as the novelty wears of, it will no longer be a source of pleasure. Bhagwat Gita points out that everything in this material world is temporary and that every human being is living in illusion. And this is the cause of all miseries.
Happiness therefore is not in material things, but in certain things that money can not buy. These are the keys or principles that can open door to happiness, irrespective of the situation or circumstances one is in. This is evident from the fact that many families with limited means seem more happy than those who are financially blessed. So, what are these secret keys of happiness?
Physical Health: You have surely heard that health is wealth. We experience everything through our body. It is our body through which we make the efforts that brings results. Therefore it is important to keep healthy physically to experience happiness. In today's world that is full of rat race, people often neglect their health. Lack of physical exercise, unbalanced diet, pollution, stress, all takes toll on our health. To top it, we try to gratify ourselves by involving into drugs, alcohol, tobacco etc, in the process spoiling our physical well being. Of course there is no happiness in indulging in pleasures all night and then getting up sick in the morning. Therefore, a healthy body is the first key to happiness.
Keeping Healthy Mind: Like physical health, it is important to keep a healthy mind. I believe that it is more important, as healthy body often follows healthy mind. Happiness is more in the mind of an individual than anywhere else.
Mental health comprises of a high self-image, positive mental attitude and strong value systems. Like we eat and exercise to keep our body healthy we must also feed our mind on a regular basis with strong positive thoughts, otherwise the mental health may fall victim to the countless negativities that exist in the world. Reading good books, listening to powerful recording and associating with positive and progressive people are the best ways to keep a healthy mind.
Spiritual Well-being: Man is a spiritual being and happiness is a spiritual feeling. Many religions in the world advocates that the only way to eternal happiness and bliss is in service of God, the ultimate spiritual authority. This however, does not mean that we renounce the world and become a hermit. In fact, serving other people in this world is the best way to serve God. That is why we feel internal happiness when we do something for others without any selfish motive. Having faith, praying for others and helping others through our action are often enough for our spiritual well-being. On the contrary, harming others, seeking revenge, victimizing, using dishonest means lowers our worth of self and leads to spiritual bankruptcy, and robs us our peace of mind.
Hard Work: Man is engineered to produce abundance with his efforts. Laziness is one of the greatest reasons for sorrow in this world. People who believe in honest hard work are the one who are far happier than the one who tries to profit by dishonest and seemingly easy means. Hard work is required for good health: physical, mental and spiritual, as well as for maintaining good relationships, and material success. A person, who believes in hard work, has high self image and creates security that gives peace of mind that is essential for happiness.
Hope: Nothing is possible without hope. Hope is one thing that keeps the person going on even in worst situations. You can never be happy if you have no hope. ‘Hope' is the belief that the thing will get better, than what they are now. A person who has lost hope will loose his health, spiritual connection and will take no action to improve his situation. Since everything that we do is with a hope for better tomorrow, hope remains an important key to happiness.
Since, success is not a destination but a journey and happiness is an important ingredient of success, we feel happy as we move on. Reaching a destination may give us joy, but it is the endeavor to reach and the belief that we can reach further is what gives us happiness. Happiness is in playing the game not in winning. So, make happiness a major goal in your life and test all your other goals against it to live a happy life.