I have a question for all of you.
Who wants to be happy?
Writer Henry David Thoreau once said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Every single human being on earth is on a pursuit to happiness. We are all crying to grasp this elusive goal. Why is it hard to achieve? Why is it hard to catch?
Picture a cat. This cat is named Sam. He believes that his happiness is by catching his tail. So he swirls, he runs, he jumps, he reach out , he tries to grab his tail. But alas, his paws are empty. His happiness is unreachable. But then he realize that when he goes about his business, trotting confidently his neighbour’s pathway, he noticed that his happiness, his tail, is chasing after him.
That is a revelation for us folks. Happiness has always been within us, attached to us, embedded within our beings. It is upon ourselves to tap that treasure within us. I’ve read a book called “Living in The Light” by Shakti Gawain . It gave a message that ‘We don’t need to look for Love and Happiness outside of ourselves. We have all the love and happiness deep within us. People, things and experiences are catalysts to allow that treasure dwelling inside of us to flow out. Just imagine a big harp flowing out wonderful sound of music. But after awhile we assumed that happiness came from other people and things. We demand from these outward sources the love and happiness we seek and that creates a discord inside of us. The beautiful music stopped playing.’
Yes. Happiness may be elusive but it is attainable. So here is a challenge for us. There is a movement that started last year called 100days of happiness. You see it in facebook, twitter, instagram #100daysofhappiness. It is a challenge by which every day for 100 days you find something that you are happy or grateful for. Add photos, quotes, videos of anything that you enjoyed that day with hastag #100days of happiness or #100happydays.
Here are some tips that I can share with you to increase happiness in our daily lives
They say it takes 43 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile. Yes, it is easier to smile than frown. When we smile, we channel ourselves to positive vibes and happiness slowly creeps out from its hiding place.
We avoid exercise like a plague. We think it takes too much work, too much of our precious time and we get sticky & sweaty. But hear me out first. Once we exercise, we release what we call these happy hormones called endorphins. People who exercise are happier than those who don’t. But then again of course, these people will be happy because they will have sexier bodies than those who don’t exercise.
3. EXPOSE YOURSELF TO THE SUN & NATURE
The Universe has created for a wonderful playground for us to explore and marvel. But instead what do we do, we coop ourselves inside dim poorly- ventilated building, fiddling with out smartphones from morning until night. They say that depressed people are told to exposed themselves outside for fresh air and a bit of sun as therapy to decrease depression. There are studies that say winter time is often the time when depressive patients get a relapse of their illness. So let us come out and play. Go for a swim. Sit out the patio and drink your iced tea. Plan barbecue parties.
4. HAVE A GRATEFUL HEART
Every end of the month, I would pull out my notebook. I would make a lists of things I am grateful for. It makes me appreciate little things – things that we often taken for granted. We can go wild with what we put in our gratitude list – from big to small. From ‘I got a promotion’ to ‘my crush in school liked my facebook status update’. Gratitude begets happiness. I also add after my gratefulness list, a list of goals for the next month to challenge myself for the next month ahead.
5. VALUE RELATIONSHIPS, NOT THINGS
A shopaholic will argue with me –“ But pretty new things makes me happy.” But I challenge her back. “ Will your new Prada bag hug you back when you are sad?”” Creating life-long, deep relationships enriches our lives. When we connect with someone in a genuine manner, we fill in our love tank and we glow with happiness. We are born with a need for friendships and solidarity. If we disconnect from the world, avoiding interaction with other people and hiding in a cave, unhappiness sets in.
In our lives, we have people who have wronged us in more ways than one. But if we hold on to this and don’t forgive, this negativity from the past will ruin our present. So let it go and forge on without baggages from yesterday. Being able to forgive not only means forgiving those who has wronged you but also forgiving yourselves. We have high expectation of ourselves that we give ourselves such a hard time. We must remember that we are not perfect, no one is. Learn to laugh at yourself from time to time.
There are still a thousand of things and techniques that can make us happy. I am sure you all of you have other tips on how to be to be happy to share with me as well.
So starting today, let us sit a little straighter, flash that lovely smile and let us glow with HAPPINESS. Wouldn’t the world be a wonderful place to live in if every inhabitants are all happy?
And I hope that this article made you a little happy tonight as well.
This speech was delivered for my Toastmaster Project 2: Organized Your Speech. This speech was shortened during speech delivery to accommodate the 5-7 minutes requirement of the speech.