Category Archives: Life

Defining Happiness

smile

What may be considered as the most encompassing definition of happiness was provided by the great Greek philosopher Aristotle. He said, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” The Dalai Lama seemed to have concurred when he said that the very purpose of life is to seek happiness.

Life indeed is an endless quest for happiness. People always seek for things that gives them pleasure and enjoyment. They do whatever it takes for them to attain contentment and satisfaction. They enjoy the moments when they feel untroubled, delighted and satisfied.

Happiness may come from different sources. It can be put this way also…that happiness is an effect resulting from different causes. It depends on a person’s beliefs and perspectives. People define happiness in different ways thus they tread different directions when pursuing it. They differ in opinion as to what brings joy and meaning to one’s existence.

Since time immemorial people have been debating whether or not money can buy happiness. The question commonly asked is “Are wealthy people really happy and those who are not unhappy?”

Democritus articulated,“Happiness resides not in possession, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” In disagreement Albert Camus had this to say, “It’s a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.”

Which of the two contentions would hold water in a world driven by materialism, Democritus’ or that of Camus? Can people be happy without money? Does happiness reside on the things that a person’s wealth would allow him to buy and to own…clothes, jewelry, gadgets, cars?

However a person responds to the questions aforementioned is grounded on his perspectives about life. Whatever a person does to his life is his own prerogative. Believing that money dictates happiness would not make a person bad. And if believing so would make him focus on amassing wealth then fine. People do whatever makes them happy. As Aristotle said, “Happiness depends on ourselves.” How a person gets the money is another question.

Oscar Wilde once said, “When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.” Believe that or would you rather take it from Benjamin Franklin who said, “Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness.” He also added that the more of it (money) one has the more one wants.

Here’s another one from Henry David Thoreau… “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” In response, Dennis Waitley explained, “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, work or consumed.” In addition, he argued that “happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.”

The downside of embracing Thoreau’s thoughts can be summed up in the following question: What happens if you don’t have wealth? Would it mean that those who do not have money cannot fully experience life?

Not everybody can be rich so much so that they can buy beyond what is necessary. Many are content with having just enough. Many live modest lives and they do not complain.

There are people who earn just enough to buy the basic things they need yet they are happy. They live in modest houses, not big mansions and not all of them have cars yet they are satisfied and contended. Why? They don’t have lots of money but perhaps they have love. They chime to George Sand’s idea that there is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved or sing along with The Beatles who, in one of their songs said, “For I don’t care too much for money, for money can’t buy me love.”

There are people whose happiness lies not in the material things the world offers. Some people find happiness by helping others. They believe that there is more happiness in giving than in receiving (Acts 20:35). They embrace the idea “Happiness never decreases by being shared (Buddha).”

Some feel ultimate joy when they bask in the glory of their achievements, when they finally get what they have worked so hard to achieve. As Franklin D. Roosevelt puts it, “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”

However a person wants to achieve happiness is entirely up to him. But as Zig Ziglar pointed out, “Until your are happy with who you are, you will never be happy with what you have.”

We don’t only chart our own destiny but we also define our own happiness. It starts from within. It should not be contingent on anything nor dictated by terms set by other people.

Happiness is a decision we make. “Most folks,” according to Abrham Lincoln, “are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

So, heed Leo Tolstoy’s advise, “If you want to be happy, be.” Remember what Buddha said, “Happiness does  not depend on what you have or who you are; it solely relies on what you think.”

Source: Defining Happiness

Do NOT Expect

If you think this is a perfect world then prepare to face a perfect disappointment. This world is not a perfect one and will never be. Things are not the way you wish them to be. People don’t behave, talk and think the way you thought (or wished) they would. Your co-workers, your boss, your friends…even the people you love… might  treat you in a way quite the opposite of what you expect.

Nothing is perfect in this world. Nobody is perfect in this world. So, do not expect too much or do not expect anything at all from anyone.

Do not expect that the politicians will deliver on their promises. Do not believe them when they say that should you vote for them they would bring about utopia. Be thankful if they could but do not bet on it. The truth is no earthly being  is capable of making the social, political and economic conditions of the world perfect.

Expect nothing from your leaders. If you think you could do better than them…that your country is better off with you at the helm… then run for public office.  Oppose them. Or march to the streets… deliver your protest against the inefficiency of your leaders. Convince people to champion your cause.  But if you don’t have the balls to do those, it would be best if you just keep quiet and perform your civic duties and be a responsible person and citizen.

Do not also expect that the workplace is a perfect environment. That’s the worst assumption to make. You will never find a heavenly workplace. You will end up disappointed if you expect that the people in your organization, from the rank and file to the people upstairs, are angels. They are not. They are just like you and me…humans.

Expect nothing from anyone in your workplace. Just work and perform your duties and responsibilities as stipulated on your job description. That’s the way to do it. Love the job and enjoy the pay.

If you’re not happy with the job and the pay… LEAVE. If you love your work and the compensation is good but you feel that the organizational climate is so terrible that it suffocates you then LEAVE. If you feel “taken advantage of,” RESIGN and LEAVE. It is as simple as that.  Find employment somewhere else. Find the perfect workplace you dream of. If you think you are too good to be just an employee then start a business. Make it grow. Employ people and see for yourself if you would be a better employer than the employers you hate.

You should not expect other people to solve your problem (or solve a problem for you)…not even if those people are compelled by their job description  to solve those problems. Even if it is the moral obligation of a person to help you get out of a difficult situation, don’t expect that you’ll get help from that person. Be thankful if you’ll get it but one thing you OUGHT to learn is to solve your own problems. Find a solution to whatever difficulty you are encountering.

Do not expect people to think and behave the way you do and embrace your principles and advocacies. Always remember that people look at things from their own perspectives and are driven by a set of motivations that maybe entirely different from yours. Never assume that your perspectives are correct and theirs are wrong.

Remember that people think and behave in different ways. The biggest disappointment you’ll ever encounter is when you expect that all people (or even half of them) are reasonable and conscientious.

You will be gravely disappointed if you expect that the love, generosity and kindness you show will be reciprocated by your friends, loved ones or anyone around you.  Do not expect any of them to praise the good things you’re doing and express gratitude for the favors you do for them. Lucky you if they would.

Lucky you, indeed, if the people you deal with , the leaders you elect, the ones you work with and work for, and your family and friends have conscience and conduct themselves within the bounds of reason.

If not, does it mean  you are unlucky? Not necessarily. Things just didn’t turn out the way you wanted. At least, don’t  be like them.

You have two options. You need to decide. Move away from them or embrace them for the way that they are.

Your choice.

As Mother Theresa said, “People are often unreasonable and self-centered, forgive them anyway.”

She added, “ You give the world the best you have and it may never be enough, give your best anyway.”

You might not get the fair treatment and respect you think you deserve but you do not have to retaliate. As Martin Luther King Jr. puts it, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

So, when your expectations are not met, move on and say, “Life goes on.”

Hold on to your dreams. Hold on to the values you hold dear.

Finally, there are two questions you need to answer. Are you a better person than those who you think disappoint you? That’s the first question. Here’s the second. Do they not consider  you a disappointment also?

Reflect!

Source: Do NOT Expect

Do NOT  Expect

Meditation-Silhouette

If you think this is a perfect world then be ready to face a perfect disappointment. This is not a perfect world. Things are not the way you wish them to be. People don’t behave, talk and think the way you wish they would. Your co-workers, your boss, your friends…even the people you love… might  treat you in a way quite the opposite of your expectations.

Nothing is perfect in this world. Nobody is perfect in this world. So, do not expect too much or do not expect anything at all.

Do not expect that the politicians will deliver on their promises. Do not believe them when they say that should you vote for them they would bring about utopia. Be thankful if they could but do not bet not even a dollar on it. No earthly being is capable of making the social conditions in the world perfect.

Expect nothing from your leaders. If you think you could do better than them…that your country is better off with you at the helm… then run for public office.  Oppose them. Otherwise it would be best if you just perform your civic duties and be a responsible person and citizen.

Do not also expect that the workplace is a perfect environment. That’s the worst assumption you can make. You will never find a heavenly workplace. You will end up disappointed if you expect that the people in your organization, from the rank and file to the people upstairs, are angels. They are not. They are just like you and me…humans.

Expect nothing from anyone in your workplace. Just work and perform your duties and responsibilities as stipulated in your job description. That’s the way to do it. Love the job and enjoy the pay.

If you’re not happy with the job and the pay… LEAVE. If you love your work and the compensation is good but you feel that the organizational climate is so terrible that it suffocates you then LEAVE. It is as simple as that. Find employment somewhere else. Find the perfect workplace you dream of. If you think you are too good to be just an employee then start a business. Make it grow. Employ people and see for yourself if you would be a better employer than the employers you hate.

You should not expect other people to solve your problem (or solve a problem for you)…not even if those people are mandated by their job description  to solve those problems. Even if it is the moral obligation of a person to help you get out of a difficult situation, don’t expect that you’ll get help from that person. Be thankful if you’ll get it but one thing you OUGHT to learn is to solve your own problems. Find a solution to whatever difficulty you are encountering.

Do not expect people to think and behave the way you do and embrace your principles and advocacies. Always remember that people look at things from their own perspectives and are driven by a set of motivations that maybe entirely different from yours.

Remember that people think and behave in different ways. The biggest disappointment you’ll ever encounter is when you expect that all people (or even half of them) are reasonable and conscientious.

You will be gravely disappointed if you expect that the love, generosity and kindness you show will be reciprocated by your friends, loved ones or anyone around you.  Do not expect any of them to praise the good things you’re doing and express gratitude for the favors you do for them. Lucky you if they would.

Lucky you, indeed, if the people you deal with , the leaders you elect, the ones you work with and work for, and your family and friends have conscience and conduct themselves within the bounds of reason.

If not, does it mean  mean you are unlucky? Not necessarily. Things just didn’t turn out the way you wanted. At least, don’t  be like them.

You have two options. You need to decide. Move away from them or embrace them for the way that they are.

Your choice.

As Mother Theresa said, “People are often unreasonable and self-centered, forgive them anyway.”

She added, “ You give the world the best you have and it may never be enough, give your best anyway.”

You might not get the fair treatment and respect you think you deserve but you do not have to retaliate. As Martin Luther King Jr. puts it, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

So, when your expectations are not met, move on and say, “Life goes on.”

You hold on to your dreams. Hold on to your values.

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