If there was a store somewhere in the world that sold the eternal art of happiness, imagine how crowded that store would be? We would find people from all walks of life, all backgrounds, and all socioeconomic statuses outside that store.
Unfortunately, there is no such store anywhere in the world, and all we have are places that try to sell temporary, momentary happiness potions in installments.
This happiness that we bring home in the form of a new gadget, a vacation plan, bottled-up spirit, or any other possessions, come with an expiry date. None of them last long enough to take care of a human being’s happiness needs. We tide over it and then we repeat the cycle numerous times.
The real search for happiness starts only when we realize the limitations of the happiness that any outward item can bring.
That is when we embark on the actual journey of finding the Art Of Happiness.
Once we realize the futility of searching for happiness outside, the bigger question of where else to find it daunts us.
Many spiritual leaders from all over the world have spoken and written about the art of happiness. They have all pointed it towards the most accessible source that we have at our disposal. That source is we ourselves.
Lack of love for oneself and others, and lack of faith, can cause hindrance to the feeling of happiness from within.
The source of abundant happiness that lies within each individual can be tapped into only by consistent effort to reach it.
The layers of doubt, fear, insecurities, rage, etc., that cover up the hidden treasures within, are removed by the light of knowledge.
The knowledge that the art of happiness is, is in engaging one’s thoughts and actions in meaningful and productive activities that bring joy to oneself and others.
By following practices like
- Being grateful for what we have.
- Engaging in activities of service to the community.
- Spending quality time in the present and not thinking about the past or the future.
- Realizing that the trigger for happiness can be outward but the source of happiness is within us.
These practices, though they appear to be difficult, are to do with our mind, and are about constantly being mindful of our thoughts, and directing them towards our goal of getting better at the art of happiness.
Since they are primarily concerned with us as an individual, it doesn’t matter where we are, or what we do. These are practices that can be implemented everywhere and by everyone.
The Art Of Happiness At Work
Since people spend a considerable amount of time at work every day, it is important to understand and practice the art of happiness at work.
Though all the points discussed in the earlier section apply to work and the workplace as well, there are some specifics when it comes to the art of happiness at work.
The Work We Do Vis-A-Vis Work We Are Capable Of Doing
Psychologist Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work on the concept of FLOW shows that a person in a state of Flow (immersed in activity) is at a happy place.
The state of Flow happens when the skill or knowledge level of the person, and the challenge level of the work that he or she is performing, match.
The work should not be too easy or too challenging for a person. It should be one where the person can fully immerse himself or herself in the activity in order to produce the desired outcomes.
The Monetary And Other Perks Of Work
Work is almost always done in exchange for money and other perks. This is important for a person to carry on with his or her life’s requirements.
The key in finding happiness at work would be to make sure one is not underpaid for his efforts and to not be overly worried about the money and other perks.
The focus has to be on doing the work to the best of one’s abilities and getting fairly remunerated for that. That is a part of finding happiness at work.
The People We Interact And Socialize With At Work
All workplaces involve interactions with coworkers and other people.
The environment that makes up the workplace is important in determining one’s happiness levels at work.
A group of people who can challenge each other to become their best versions and can create an environment of healthy competition is ideal.
The key here would be to do unto others what you expect others to do unto you. Being supportive and understanding, and being supported and understood is the key to a happy workplace.
Learning to put in all our effort and then accepting the results of our work is the key to the art of happiness at work.
Finding a work-life balance and being able to devote time to all important aspects of life is also key to the art of happiness at work.
Time with family and friends, health and fitness, ability to invest time and effort in self improvement, are all factors that contribute to one’s work-life balance and happiness at work
The Art Of Happiness In A Troubled World
External factors play an important role in our life. The conditions of the society we live in, the political and economic environment, etc., impact our lives.
For a long time, we focused on rectifying everything in the outside world. After some time we realized that the outside world cannot be completely fixed and the happiness of a person is not directly proportional to the environment outside.
People have found happiness in the worst of external circumstances. People, young and old, under extreme pain and suffering, have managed to enjoy bouts of happiness.
The happiness that springs from the satisfaction of having done one’s best, is not dependent on anything else.
The happiness that engulfs one’s mind and body during a deep meditative state is not dependent on anything outside.
In a troubled world, where a lot of things don’t seem to be under our control, what we have complete control on, is our efforts and what we are willing to do.
There is always light at the end of every tunnel and as we wait for that light to show itself, it is a good idea to look for that light within.
By indulging in prayers of hope, spreading hope and positivity through words of wisdom, and working towards reaching the end of that tunnel, one can find happiness in a troubled world.
Living in the moment is the key to the art of happiness in a troubled world.
When we live in the moment, we are only dealing with the situation that currently presents itself. Most of the unhappiness and anxiety springs from thinking about how we will deal and cope with the situation in the future.
Living in the present makes us more action-oriented. We are able to focus more on dealing with the situation when we live in the moment.
Our world has always had trouble lurking on. We will never have one free of all troubles, though the intensity of it might vary from time to time.
Hence finding happiness in a troubled world is the art of happiness in the real world.
The Art Of Happiness Review
We have access to all emotions at all times and we can alter our emotion by altering our thoughts.
In order to know our current emotions, we only have to be mindful of the quality of thoughts that we have at this time.
The review of the art of happiness would be an assessment of what it is and what it is not.
The art of happiness is about leading a simple life, focusing on doing one’s best under every given circumstance. Whatever accolades and possessions come along are only accompaniments and nothing more.
The art of happiness is about searching for it within oneself and nowhere else. It is about understanding that wherever and whenever we are feeling happy, the source is within and not without.
The art of happiness is NOT about hoarding material things and seeking happiness in possessing those things. Neither do the possessions last forever nor the happiness that came along with them.
The art of happiness is NOT about waiting for all problems to be solved and all troubles to be rectified because that might never happen.
It is about finding happiness here and now because that is all we have access to at this point in time.
The Art Of Happiness Summary
Happiness can be termed as a feeling of wellbeing, and of joy, and of contentment. And such happiness is the empowerment of oneself.
A smile on our face can instantly make us feel happiness. A sad face can instantly take it away too.
For some, happiness is the purpose of living, and for others, happiness is a byproduct of living a life of purpose. Some behind happiness, and others, carry happiness within them.
It seems like there is a store that sells eternal happiness and each one of us, has a franchisee of that store within us.
In summary, the art of happiness is living a balanced life of self-love, and love for others, hope, positivity, diligent work, devotion, and service. It is found in all places and under all circumstances, for happiness is within oneself.
Contributors: Kazim Abasali and Deepa Kadavakat