The pursuit of happiness, by Osmund Agbo
For someone whom Grace had located at every defining moment of this eventful journey of life, you would expect to see a face still beaming with a smile and a heart full of gratitude. But that wasn’t really the case with yours, especially in early 2013. And yes, I clearly remember that period in my head since it was the same year that my family and I moved to Houston, the city ââwe love. It was also the year we bought our first home. I had completed my vocational training, I got married with the love of my life and our union was fortunate to have two beautiful and healthy children. By then you could say that life had put me on a positive trajectory, but I would wake up every morning looking like a gloomy figure and struggled to loosen myself from the tight chains of melancholy. .
Looking back, it was as if there was an inverse relationship between a bad mood and the manifestation of God’s grace. In fact, the higher one climbed the ladder of material success, the more elusive happiness seemed to be. It was like chasing shadows. I lived in a funk sometimes for weeks which left my wife visibly worried and pushed her over the edge. On many occasions she tried to question what could have been the bad luck problems because in fact there were none. âWhat do you really want?â She asked repeatedly. I wish I had known, but the truth was that I too had no idea.
It’s been almost ten years later and things have certainly improved a lot. However, a great lesson learned was to accept that the pursuit of happiness is a personal journey one must be prepared to embark on. Of course, life will always be a rich assortment of curvy bullets, contentment, elation and despair, but many are like me back then, gripped by lingering negative emotions and stuck in the âblahsâ. In truth, cultivating continued happiness takes practice, and getting to that destination may involve having to reset baselines and temper expectations.
Every now and then we strive to be perfect and get frustrated that we have failed. Do we even realize that there is no such thing as perfection and neither is a perfect life? We must accept imperfection as part of life and embrace the beauty and grace of our imperfections. Carol Dweck, in the book âMindset,â explains that the most successful and happy people have what she calls a growth mindset. That is, these individuals, unlike the rest of us, see failures and challenges as an opportunity for self-improvement and a catalyst for growth. They capture the lesson that comes with every experience, good or bad.
“Anyone who said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop.” – Coco chain
In as much as it’s difficult to match a happy face with an empty stomach, the statement credited to the owner of this eponymous fashion brand is partially true. However, it will be so wrong to assume that one can buy one’s way to happiness, simply in the way suggested by miss. Or better yet, why aren’t the happiest people to be found among the rich and famous? Why do so many Hollywood A-listers and Glitterati struggle with depression, drug addiction, drugs and alcohol on a daily basis and many end up tragically in suicide? Most certainly, happiness has to involve other things that money cannot buy.
Make no mistake about it, money is essential to happiness and no one in their right mind would argue with it. In fact, a study done at Princeton University in 2010 found a positive correlation between wealth and happiness, but only at an annual income point of around $ 75,000. He showed that people feel worse when their income is less than that, but when their income is above that, happiness does not increase. To begin with, $ 75,000 was the amount that was supposed to cover basic human needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Failure to pay them would lead inexorably to stress and discontent.
What this study seems to suggest is that once basic necessities are met, other life problems that may arise will not be of the kind that can be solved by simply spending money on them. go out. Of course, the amount mentioned may vary from country to country and culture to culture, but the result should not be different.
In truth, it turns out that there isn’t a single bullet action that can guarantee a happy life from what is currently known. There are, however, a series of time-tested actions and patterns of behavior, a combination of which has always been shown to help lead more fulfilling and happy lives.
Work takes up a large portion of our day, but it shouldn’t be the only thing we do every minute of the day. Finding a balance in life will reduce stress and provide another way to express yourself and have fun. It is very important to engage in activities and pursue interests beyond our work.
It turns out that spending wisely on experiences like travel, meals, vacations, or whatever else we love is a good investment, especially when shared with those we love. Such behavior supports happiness more than the joy of having a luxury car wrapped up in your garage. Word-wise, the happiness associated with material possessions fades, but experiences help us define our purpose and passions in life.
At every moment of life always have a dream and go after it. Without a future to look to, looking only to the past could be boring and sometimes depressing. No matter how little, always practice giving to others. Psychologists say it improves a loving and generous self-image that makes us happy. It may sound counterintuitive, but time and time again it has proven to be true. Moreover, by offering to others (it does not have to be money. It can be a service), you are also buying someone’s experience of happiness and gratitude.
No matter how much we maintain our public image and pretend to be living our best life, there is no joy in living above your income and struggling with a mountain of debt. It pays to be you and to be real.
There was a little story about a village schoolteacher, loved by so many people and respected by all. In one of his teachings, he began by asking his students what they thought of life. One said life is a struggle, another thought life was fun while the third argued that life is a journey. By the time he got to the last person, he heard as many responses as there were students in the class.
When they were all done, the teacher turned around and said:
âI ask a question and you all gave different answers. If life was just one thing, chances are you all gave the same answer. But it’s not. So life is what you say you are. If you think life is a struggle, then it is a struggle. If you think life is a party, have fun with it. “
We may not have attended this teacher’s class, but my new life is heavily influenced by his lesson. My glass is never half empty, it stays half full. Always. Because happiness is indeed a choice that we must all make, individually.
Oh! and wife? She giggles ear to ear these days, just like a kid in a candy store. It turns out that happiness is contagious too.
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