Happiness is the most wanted thing in the world and yet the hardest thing to find. The search is endless and bounds no place and time.
The level of manís longing for happiness becomes higher and higher as the standard of living also increases. The first step towards happiness leads to another step, and then to another until a progression of steps is made transgressing the three dimensions of time - the past, the present, and the future. Like love, happiness is a vague concept. Based on the dictionary, happiness is parallel to contentment. However, contentment is a thing that does not actually exist because man has never been content all his life. His success for having attained a particular end always paves way to the urge to meet a higher end.
Epicurus, an Athenian philosopher, suggested that in order for man to achieve happiness, he should give up all the complexities of life, like wealth, fame and power, and go back to basics when the things that only matter are those necessary for pure biological subsistence, friends, freedom and analyzed life.
However, it is hard to persuade man to renounce lifeís worldly pleasures. If man will relinquish his desire to aspire for the better, progress will be hampered and everything will be doomed in complete stagnation. Time moves forward and progress has been the norm. There must be a machine that will turn back time. However, by the time that man may have reached the basics, time will again start to tick and it will not be practical to do the same process over again.
Happiness might seem to be very far, but manís journey towards it endures. There are only three steps to perfect the quest for happiness.
FIRST, be aware that you are a participant in the universal search. Every person regardless of age, sex, gender, religion, citizenship, ethnicity, talents, abilities and physical condition, partakes in the worldwide hunt for happiness. Look around you, you will see other people walking. Beside you are people who are almost in the same situation you are in; you are all walking to the same pace. Others might speed up and be a few steps ahead. Do not fret; rather, cheer up for them and persevere.
On the other hand, if youíve been blessed and have gone farther than your fellows, do not brag; rather, assist those who stagger. While you proceed, also look at the people in front of you. They are those who started the walk much earlier and are now closer to happiness. Make them your role model. Analyze the strategies they used and learn from their mistakes.
Also look at the people behind you. They are those who started the walk later. These people are the neophytes and they look up at you as their guide. Show them a good example. Let your works touch their soul to keep them going.
SECOND, accept that the quest for happiness is never-ending. Do not race with time, but also do not lag behind. Savor the moment and pursue the right level of happiness that is achievable at your age.
The level of happiness varies from individual to individual. When babies crave happiness, they normally cry and this necessity can simply be satisfied by attending to their basic needs such as a gentle pat, cuddling, words of assurance, simple entertainment or just oneís mere presence.
On the other hand, for adults, happiness is at a much superior level. Adults have an infinite list of needs and wants, ranging from lifeís essentials to intimacy to a well-defined career path. Adulthood is the busiest stage of manís existence and oftentimes causes man a lot of emotional turbulence.
Two other crucial stages in manís existence are adolescence and middle age. These stages are the most dramatic, stressful, and overwhelming segment of manís life. It is in the middle-age period that man prepares for his retirement; it is the period when most of his dreams have been fulfilled. By the time he reached old age, his journey in pursuit of happiness may have already ended. However, manís desire for happiness does not end at old age; the longing continues as long as he lives.
LASTLY, love yourself. Take good care of your health - physical, mental, and emotional. Choose a healthy lifestyle so that you will live longer and stronger. In this way, you will have more time and capability to do the things that you want. Do not pressure yourself too much. Take it easy, enjoy life, and appreciate even the little things that you achieved, but do not stop striving for the better. Reward yourself for work well done. The reward does not have to be expensive, it might be simple and it may not be a material thing.
Most importantly, share your love with other people. As James M. Barrie said, ďLet no one who loves be called altogether unhappy. Even love unreturned has its rainbow.Ē
These are the only steps you need to be happy.
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