“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
~ Dalai Lama XIV
I chanced upon this quote when I was browsing the net and searching for inspiring quotes. I am the kind of a person who seeks answers now rather than dwelling on: why did this happen to me? There used to be a time when many a days I would sulk about the fact that I was not as happy as I deserved to be. It all changed when I started to seek happiness in small things.
A lot of times we hold on to so many things, moments and memories that cause us nothing but pain, grief and suffering. What we instead should learn is to let go of things that weigh us down.
1. Let go of the past.
No, I cannot rewrite history, nor do I have a time machine to go back and change the past. The best thing I can do is make peace with the past. No matter what I do and how much I think, the past has served its purpose and it will not change. Incidents and events changed my life in good and bad ways. But my past is what has gotten me to today.
I have learned from the mistakes, so all I need to do is move on. All I need to do is be grateful for the experiences and enjoy the moment now.
2. Doubt myself.
“Can I actually do this?”
“Will I be able to meet the expectations?”
“What will people say?”
These questions (and more) swarmed in my mind as I would prepare myself to take up new tasks. I had two options: either I could face the issues head on or just not move out of my comfort zone. Early this year, I set a word for myself that I started working on. My word was faith. I began to let go of the doubts and started believing myself and my abilities. The leap of faith allowed me to know what my true potential was.
3. Compare myself to others.
Each one of us has abilities to excel and succeed. I would think: why is my life not shaping like some one else’s? Weren’t we doing the same things? It was upsetting until I learned to let it go. I decided to follow my own path which would allow me to learn from my own mistakes and experiences.
I read this really nice mantra on the internet and I have this printed out as a card on my desk:
Happiness formula = Do your best and feel good about it.
Unhappiness formula = Compare yourself to everyone else.
Isn’t it so simple so follow?
4. Let go of the need to be right.
I’ve been through moments when I felt I have been wronged or misunderstood for my actions. I have been on the other side of the fence too, when people felt I had wronged or misunderstood them. Did I expect an apology from those who caused the misunderstanding? Until a few months ago, I thought yes! Now? No.
Let me explain this here in one simple sentence: Two people may not see the issue in the same perspective; while I could be right in my world, so could they.
Does this mean that I do not apologise? Of course yes, if I have hurt someone unknowingly, I do need to. Isn’t it better to let go and not allow feelings of negativity to take root inside of you? When I would enter a negative mind-set, it would spill into other areas of my life too. At the end I realised I wanted to be happy. With that, I moved ahead in life.
Start today. Let go of the negativity and things that affect you and weigh you down. Instead look for happiness within and your life will be beautiful. Tell me, what are you willing to change about yourself and accept happiness in your life?
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Editor: Catherine Monkman
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