Friday, September 23, 2011

Happiness... is it really there?

Oh please don't be choked by the title. Yeah it may sound ridiculous, but to some people who's never been happy, this is a very valid question. But to some, it sounds absurd. It actually really depends on how you describe happiness.

I chanced upon a very interesting book on happiness as I dwelt with the meaning of happiness with some friends. I was trying to figure out whether or not I'm happy since I've becoming such a pessimist being, and since I couldn't answer somebody who asked me "what was your happy moment in the last six months". It really scared me that I couldn't answer that question though I somewhat guess the reason behind it. The book came just timely. And it was a page turner. 

The book, entitled "Hector and The Search for Happiness" is written by Francois Lelord, a psychiatrist in France. Apparently there's a whole list of Hector other books i.e Hector and The Secrets of Love, Hector and The Passage of Time. In this particular book, Hector travels from Paris to China to Africa to the USA and along the way he creates and keeps a list of observations about happiness from the people he meets. The travel comes about from his dissatisfaction with himself. At the end of his journey he listed 23 lessons about happiness. And most of it relates to the reality of life we often overlook. It could be a simple daily experience but we didn't think of it as part of happiness until it's being pointed out to you. I'm going to list only some of the lessons that appeals to me (you have to read the book to know it all!) and of which I may have experienced it at any time of my life.

Lesson no. 1 - Making comparisons truly spoils your happiness. 
Lesson no. 2 - Happiness often comes when least expected.
Lesson no. 3 - Many people see happiness only in their future
Lesson no. 4 - Many people think that happiness comes from having more money or more power
Lesson no. 6 - Happiness is a long walk in beautiful, unfamiliar mountains
Lesson no. 7 - Happiness is not the goal!
Lesson no. 14 - Happiness is to be loved for exactly who you are.
Lesson no. 16 - Happiness is knowing how to celebrate
Lesson no. 20 - Happiness is a certain way of seeing things.

I shall stop at Lesson 20 as it will kill the joy of reading the book if I were to reveal all. The book is written in a very easy-going language, rather informal and very interesting and easy read. You can digest it easily and I truly loved the way the writer relates the facts and the stories, it just makes sense!

Having read the book I come up with my own conclusion about happiness. Happiness is not a constant feeling. It's not something that you should look for, it should come naturally right from your heart, it's not a plan thing or something for you to ponder about. Happiness is an instant feeling! If people ask you if you are happy or not, the answer is subject to your current situation. Surely there are happy moments for me for the last six months but I couldn't answer as I was looking at it differently. So perhaps I should redefine the meaning of happiness.. in relation to my disorderly life!

1 comment:

mamachupan said...

Was it me that asked you the question? hehehe.. So there you are, next time some idiots ask you the same thing, you will know what to answer..