Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Being Happy discusses my responsibility for my own happiness. I can claim to be made happy by family, friends, or some inspiration. However, it is all up to me in the end. Even at depressing times, an opportunity at my happiness can emerge. Being responsible for my own happiness is being freed from the possible sadness coming from depression. Thus, I can be happy and feel happier. It all depends on my positive thinking. The inspirational quotes, real-life stories and practical methods in the book lead me to the direction of optimism. This, ultimately, brings me to my happiness.
The book is important for describing things toward happiness in a funny twist. For example, it suggests why I smear my best dress with spaghetti Bolognese. Why can’t it be my less favored shirts? It happens, of course. However, it makes no sense to spend my whole time blasting the spaghetti for losing the chance to wear again my favorite dress. It makes more sense to move on after the ugly Bolognese episode. Also, it suggests why bills arrive all at once. Why can’t it be alternately? It happens. However, it makes no sense praying that bills come at reasonable days apart. Since they cannot come one long after the other, it makes more sense to plan and to try to realize this plan. Also, it suggests why traffic lights stay red for half a day when I’m rushing to get to an appointment. Why can’t I rule time? It makes no sense asking that question in the first place. As far as time is concerned, ruling time lies in my own capacity for management. Lastly, it suggests why old cars do not get scratched for many years while the brand new one gets dented after two days. Why can’t it be the other car around? Of course, it happens, However, it makes no sense to dwell on the misery way too long. It makes more sense to live after disaster. Often, it depends on my capacity to accept and to stay optimistic that happiness comes. I can remain miserable, but it feels better to be happy.
This is the insight that the book suggests: that these painful things happen to make room for growth. The difference appears when I let go of anger and frustration. I can hang on to my pain and hate the world for my stained dress. I can hate the world for the arriving bills, even as my parents will pay for them (and will scold me for them). I can hate the world for the traffic jam. I can hate the world for the scratched car. All these pains, however, cannot be escaped from. Hence, it becomes my choice to be miserable out of these pains. Thinking positively, it becomes my choice too to heal myself after letting out my frustration after 5 seconds. Instead of me, it’s the misery that grows. I cannot allow that. I will make up for the lost time by letting me control the situation. This way, I can be happy.
My academic life, personal life and future life as a professional can benefit from this insight. These phases can be an area for low points or high points in my life. I can make a rash decision at school and regret it later. Say, I can skip classes to make way for my more difficult subjects. However, thatwill just have me catching up on the subject the next time I attend the class. My difficulty becomes more complicated, then. I can choose to burden myself with more hardships, or to consider time management. Of course, I want the easier way out. Say, I can spend all my energy thinking how not to be in speaking terms with my parents who scolded me over bills. That complicates things, since I’m responsible for the bills, to begin with. I would rather not risk personal relations for something out of my own doing. Say, I can wonder why my work is not as fulfilling as I wish it should. Business is not as exciting, and clients are not as many as expected. This can happen if today, I will not erase negative thoughts. It helps to be positive in my dealings today so that it becomes less difficult when I’m conducting real-world dealings inthe future. Few clients and sleepy business are realities, but I can choose to look at these positively. I can see these as challenges to my capacity to improve on client relations and business management. I would rather be happy today so this can be reflected in my future profession. Some people seem to be in the right place at the right time. I learned that I can be one of these people.
This right time is today because every moment is a chance to choose happiness or misery. This right place is any place where I choose between feeling defective or being in control of myself and of events in my life. I choose to be happy and in control.