Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Happiness Is A Choice

Posted Nov 02 2010 6:00pm
A couple of weeks ago I was reading an interview with a Buddhist Monk named Matthieu Ricard on the topic of happiness. According to the interview, Ricard is apparently known as the happiest man in the world because MRI scans done on his brain reveal a lot of positive emotions and very few negative ones. But the portion of the excerpt that I found the most interesting was his personal definition of happiness:

"Happiness is a way of being rather than an endless search for experiences. Pleasure is fine but depends on things that are subject to change: people, places, things. Something tastes good; fire warms you when you're cold. But then this experience turns neutral or averse: Even the most beautiful music is unpleasant after 24 straight hours. But happiness is a more durable state. It's a cluster of basic human qualities that nurture a state of fulfillment, flourishing, of appreciating your life. It's inner freedom, inner strength, inner peace. These are the resources to deal with the struggles of life. The more you experience happiness, the deeper and more stable it becomes."

Dang, he's right. For many years I used to think "if only" I had something or someone, I would be happy. If only I had more money, if only I had a better job, if only I had a boyfriend, if only I had more friends, etc. etc. etc. I never really got the "love yourself first and others will love you" mantra until I actually practiced it.
Happiness really is something that must be created internally. Relying on outside people or things to bring you happiness won't work because, as Ricard says, these things are subject to change. A lover may leave us, a friend may flake, a loved one may pass away, or we may lose our job or just be experiencing a plain ol' bad day. Being able to work through difficulties, hold onto inner strength, and still find a way to appreciate life, even when certain people or things leave it, seems to be what Ricard is talking about. 

Recently I've been dealing with a dating-related disappointment. I was pretty bummed about it, until I finally decided today that life goes on. Perhaps it was not meant to be because it would have prevented the universe from helping me find the person who is the right guy for me. It took some effort, but I decided today to be happy. I'm grateful for my friends who support me and I've been finding pleasure in my blogging. I know I have a lot to offer the right guy at the right time and place so it's all good. I'm continuing to do the Snoopy dance.
The irony and beautiful paradox to all this is when you are internally happy, and it begins to show in your outward appearance, you seem to naturally draw more people to you. If there is such a thing as the aura, then those people who are happy and internally strong probably have the most colorful ones.
Do you agree with Ricard's definition of happiness? Or do you have your own? Feel free to share it in the comments. 

Wishing you a peaceful and positive (and happy) day.
Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches