Remember the most happiest day of your life. Maybe it’s the day you got chance at your university of choice, or the day when you passed the final exam with distinction or your marriage day when you first hold your wife’s hand or maybe the day when your son said for the first time, ‘daaadyy’.
How did you feel at those moments? Didn’t you felt like the happiest person of the world? Of course you did.
But, the concern is, right now, are you as much happy as you were at those moments? Or half as much happy?
Of course not. You have reached to a stable level of happiness. This is called Hedonic Adaptation.
What do your think? The boy who is always getting first at school or college is the happiest one? You wish you could be like him and be happy? Trust me, the most happiest guys were the backbenchers. They are always chilling, making fun, roaming around with friends and what not? They are living the moment. Living the moment — that’s the phrase. Happiness is living in the moment. It’s not taking a vacation from work after 6 months of hectic work schedule, or maybe it is. But does it worth it? Putting happiness in a queue? No, it doesn’t, happiness is about finding joy in your work so that your work becomes pleasant.
That is why some people finds happiness without having too much while some are unhappy having too much. They love what they do and they live in the moment.
Here is a parable of Mexican fisher. This is one great read about happiness.
An American investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. The boat had several large, fresh fish in it.
The investment banker was impressed by the quality of the fish and asked the Mexican how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.” The banker then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish?
The Mexican fisherman replied he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.
The American then asked “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman replied, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos: I have a full and busy life, señor.”
The investment banker scoffed, “I am an Ivy League MBA, and I could help you. You could spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats until eventually you would have a whole fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to the middleman you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You could control the product, processing and distribution.”
Then he added, “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City where you would run your growing enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”
“But what then?” asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You could make millions.”
“Millions, señor? Then what?”
To which the investment banker replied, “Then you would retire. You could move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
Now, what did we learn from the parable?
The story differentiates among two groups of people. One group, those who were like the fisherman, are happy with what they have and they like to live in the moment. The other group, like the businessman, they are always chasing the next big thing in life putting happiness in a queue, which can only be felt after achieving something.
The story portraits how we have sacrificed the joy of a simple living chasing blind ambition and pursuit of more money. Sometimes the very thing that can raise our happiness level are so close to us that we overlook it. Sometimes gratitude is enough for happiness.
Once our income is enough to comfortably cover up all of our basic needs, gains in happiness from more money are quite minimal.
There is a Finnish proverb:
Happiness is a place between too much and too little.
There is a law named Hedonic Adaptation, it is the observed tendency of human to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes. What this law suggests is that whether it is happiness or feeling of sadness, it doesn’t last or at least doesn’t last long enough.
You are not still that much happy for the great university where you got accepted, nor for your long desired promotion that you eventually obtained. You are not still that much sad for the death of your loved ones. It’s not your fault. You have came to a relatively stable level of happiness. Brickman in his research suggested that after the initial euphoria, even the lottery winners come to a stable level of happiness too. Some even end up less happy because of changes in relationships that can occur. First bite of something delicious is experienced as more pleasurable than the third or the tenth. People become accustomed to the pleasure rather quickly. If you have the same meal every day for a week, for example, you may find it to be less pleasurable by the end of the week if you’re like most people.
That means we have to learn how to be happy with what we have while pursuing all that we want.
Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.
How to achieve long lasting happiness?
~~Sheldon and Lyubomirsky found in a recent study that varietyand appreciation can help sustaining gains in happiness over time.~~
Things I do to be happy—
First things first don’t put happiness in a queue, rather put it somewhere you have always access to. Don’t wait for your next promotion to be happy. This cycle never ends. Try to find pleasure on *little things of life*, it maybe your mothers love for you, on your fathers smile, or even on a cup of coffee.
Do something what you are passionate about, that you love, something that doesn’t tire you, rather pushes you forward, unleash your creativity and makes you happy.
Reflect on your what God has given to you and be grateful. The fact that you are reading something about happiness is enough. There are people dying out of hunger. Help them. Be happy for yourself but don’t forget about others.
Materials doesn’t raise your happiness level for a long time. These just fades away. Switch from materialism to minimalism. Learn to live with less.
Choose to be positive, peoples are going to hurt you, sometimes even your own actions will hurt you, let it go.
Choose to forgive. It doesn’t worth being unhappy hating someone. Just forget it.
Live in the moment. Don’t fall in social media trap. Give time to people who matters in life. Spend an evening with your mom. Go do something cheerful with your siblings. Have a morning coffee with your dad. Tell him what you are planning, you will see how great of an adviser he is. Practice mindfulness
Learn to be alone, learn to think and reflect, don’t say what you don’t meant to. Say less than necessary if you have to. Most of the problems of our life are due to things we have said but sometimes didn’t meant
Think and reflect on yourself.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you are stuck. Let go of your ego. Ego doesn’t worth it. You deserve to be a better person.
Forget sad moments and disappointments of your life. You have whole life ahead of you to be happy.
Explore and learn new things.
And always remember what Jim Rohn said about happiness:
Happiness is not something you postpone for the future, it is something you design for the present.