What makes us happy? A very generic question that can have a variety of answers to it. More often than not, it depends on who is asking. There is however one common element of happiness that we can all steadily learn to embrace. I find it very ironic that as adults, we think that we really have the world at our fingertips and we have it all figured out. We know how to pay our bills, we can do our laundry, we earn money and we know how to go about life but come to think of it, do we really know how to be happy? Most of us live in the illusion that happiness is hard to come by, hence we are very much in auto-tune living our lives every day, but inherently we remain unsatisfied. We are conditioned and we believe that we are doing everything right. In my opinion, we couldn’t be further away from the truth. I am not denying that knowing how to pay your bills, managing your household are all essential skills that one does need in life, but routine life brings in so much of auto-tune that we often forget to embrace and truly live the very moment we are experiencing. Try to observe yourself the next time you are involved in an activity. More often than not, you will find your mind preoccupied with thoughts that are irrelevant and contribute nothing to what you are doing in the present moment. I have come to find that children are truly the best teachers when it comes to happiness. They live in the moment and enjoy the present. They seldom think of the future as their attention primarily remains focused on the now. Every child is selfless and pure and has the ability to form unbiased decisions. They see the situation for what it is. Their mind doesn’t coax them into exaggerating anything or making a mountain out of a molehill but unfortunately, with us adults, that is just not the case. The majority of the time, our minds control us when it should actually be the other way around. If we can truly control our mind, our emotions would never go overboard and we would see just see the situation for what it is. How do you resolve this issue? Being a mere 26 years old, I do not have a concrete answer for you but I have certainly come to find that a few minutes of mindfulness each day and being fully focused and present in what you are doing can calm the turbulence in your mind by a great deal. As I reflect back on several situations from life, I realize that I was often not fully present in the moment. My mind would frequently wander and I would find myself worrying about incessant things that did not matter. As I grow older, I have come to realize that life is truly about finding joy in your current circumstances. It is good to have a vision and direction for your life and know where you are heading but you cannot forever wait for the future to give you happiness. Right now, all you have is the present and it’s up to to you to make it beautiful and worthwhile. The more conscious I have become of this fact, the more I try to enjoy my everyday activities to the best of my abilities. I know I will never get the present moment back. Thus, why not make it joyful? Something as simple as drinking a cup of tea can be the most blissful experience, that is only if you let it.
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