Happiness is simple. We often try to make it complex. Choosing happiness in the present moment, living you life as you want to live it, understanding impermanence and infusing positivity in all things are essential. We can call this the happiness pentad. Let us explore this.
1. Choose happiness: We cannot control the events that happen in our lives. But between each event that happens and our reaction to it, there is a space. We have choice in that space: to see things as opportunities rather than disasters, to think happy thoughts rather than unhappy thoughts and think positive thoughts rather than negative thoughts. The first step is to be aware of that space. To do that we need to establish silence in our beings. Step back before you respond. Do not judge. When you step back, remind yourself thus: Pause, say the words– opportunity, happy, positive, kind, then respond. As you keep doing this, you will find that you are more happy. This is because you know that you can choose happiness. You can choose because you know there are always options and we can always choose the happy option.
2. Choose happiness now: We cannot live in the past. We cannot live in the future. We can only live in this moment. This moment is what it is- with all its joys, sufferings, happiness, unhappiness, fame, dishonour, money, poverty and all the dualities we can ever think of. The perfection of life lies in the acceptance of its imperfectness. So accept life as it is. So no matter what happens, we have to choose happiness now, because that is the only reality. The now.
3. Choose your life: You have this life in your hands. You can choose what you want to do with it. There is not much point in living according to how others want you to live your life. Why? Because it is your life. Yes, you can take the advice, learn from those who have gone before you. But ultimately, you have to see whether it works for you. We are all at different stages of evolution and nothing is correct or wrong from an absolute sense in most things. So choose how you want to live your life and if you do so, you will find yourself happier and peaceful.
4. Choose to understand that this too will pass: The rose bud blooms into a beautiful flower. It then withers, dries and drops off and goes back into the mud from which it came. Everything will pass away or change. Nothing is permanent. Understand this simple and beautiful truth and that will give you peace that passes all understanding. That will make you happy.
5. Choose to see the sunshine and not the shadow: What this means is to focus on the positive things and bring it gently into everything in your life. The negativity will drop away naturally . Just like the candle dispels darkness. Just like the sun lights the world. There is no point in fighting the darkness. Gently see the light and bring it into your life. The darkness and the negativity will drop off. You will feel happy.