Being ungrateful is easy. Take being alive.
Happiness - What's it mean to live a happy life?
How much money is your current level of health worth to you? If the richest person on the planet offered to buy your arms from you, how much would you sell them for? What about your eyesight or your sense of smell?
He observed that the human mind is filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, all clamoring for your attention. You just have to sit silently for a few seconds so you can hear them. This is not to say that having thoughts is bad and we should have less of them. Our huge brains are the primary reason we are alive today.
Thinking about the past gives us immeasuarble opportunities for learning and growth and thinking about the future allows us to imagine and create our desired visions. The problem arises when we are over-thinking or worst unaware that we are thinking and have let the monkeys go wild in our minds. When our mind wanders, we lose touch with the present moment and go into endless thought loops about the past or future.
Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence. Watch this TED talk for more research on this. We have come a long way since Buddha, yet his teachings on meditation remain one of the most effective ways to calm the monkeys in our minds and gain more presence and satisfaction in life. There are now hundreds of studies proving the physical and mental benefits of meditation and other mindfulness practices. We have written a guide complete with stick figures on how to form habitual mindfulness practice here.
You will feel its rhythm. Go with this flow. Happiness lies ahead. Ultimately each one of us is responsible for making our own happiness cake; one filled with ingredients that gives us true satisfaction and contentment.
But even with this perfect life satisfaction cake, we are bound to experience sadness and pain in our life. This is part of the human experience. Equally, we are bound to experience immense joy and pleasure in our life. True happiness is not about being caught up in these emotional highs and lows of life. Happiness never decreases by being shared. We would love to hear from you about your own happiness journey in the comments below. We hope you enjoyed this article! If you found it inspiring, and have any suggestions or ideas to make it even better, we want to share it with the world!
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Your Money: The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth
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1. Don’t assume it’s all about the money
Absolutely agree Martha, being a service to others is a massive source of fulfillment. Thanks for your comment, all the best. It made me feel good accepted, happy, content just to read it. Great article!! Love reading it. Good read… I feel happiness is being content and grateful. Putting happiness on a pedestal is that mountain you can never quite get to the top. For at least consecutive months, the average temperature of the globe has exceeded the average for the 20th century. And as we saw with Foxconn and the recent Beijing smog scare, many of the affordable products we buy depend on cheap, often exploitive overseas labor and lax environmental regulations.
Does all this endless consumption result in measurably increased happiness? In a recent study, the Northwestern University psychologist Galen V.
Bodenhausen linked consumption with aberrant, antisocial behavior. But I was just going along, starting some start-ups that never quite started up when I met Olga, an Andorran beauty, and fell hard. My relationship with stuff quickly came apart. I followed her to Barcelona when her visa expired and we lived in a tiny flat, totally content and in love before we realized that nothing was holding us in Spain.
We packed a few clothes, some toiletries and a couple of laptops and hit the road. We lived in Bangkok, Buenos Aires and Toronto with many stops in between.
Three shirts, four pairs of trousers: meet Japan's 'hardcore' minimalists
A compulsive entrepreneur, I worked all the time and started new companies from an office that fit in my solar backpack. My life was full of love and adventure and work I cared about. The relationship with Olga eventually ended, but my life never looked the same. I live smaller and travel lighter. I have more time and money. Aside from my travel habit — which I try to keep in check by minimizing trips, combining trips and purchasing carbon offsets — I feel better that my carbon footprint is significantly smaller than in my previous supersized life.
I like material things as much as anyone. I studied product design in school. But my experiences show that after a certain point, material objects have a tendency to crowd out the emotional needs they are meant to support. Often, material objects take up mental as well as physical space. Nearly 8 million jobs are gone, many possibly for good. Yet the richest among us have actually increased their holdings.
Some of us have lost the illusion of security. Some of us have lost much more—jobs, health care, pension funds, and homes. All of us have been forced to grow a little. Insecurity pushes us to pay closer attention to our core values. The shift is even more noticeable when we see certain long-established structures around us breaking apart, with more cracks appearing every day.
But these current conditions of breakup, economic chaos, and environmental decline are exactly those which are slowly leading to beneficial change.
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