By Azizi Ali -
I think it would not be too much to state that a lot of people are not happy. While a few are actually miserable, not too many people can truly say that they are living a happy life.
Part of the reasons for this is because there are many things that we have to do to be happy. Or in other words, there are many secrets to a happy life. And by the way, a happy life here is for both the short and long-term, and not just for a moment in time. Let me share with you what Dan Baker wrote in his enlightening book What Happy People Know:
If you don’t think happiness is critically important, perhaps it’s because you have a narrow definition of it, as many people do, thinking that it just means being in a good mood most of the time, or experiencing the emotion of joy. But happiness is neither a mood nor an emotion. Mood is a biochemical condition, and emotions are just transitory feelings. Happiness is a way of life – an overriding outlook composed of qualities such as optimism, courage, love, and fulfillment.
Wow! Dan managed to do a wonderful thing: he explained that there are many answers to the happiness question in such beautiful words!
Now I will add to that: A major reason why a lot of people are miserable is because they don’t know what to do to live a happy life. I know this by my personal experience. For the first twenty-five years of my life, instead of living, I was just existing. Meandering left, right, forward, backwards and going nowhere real fast. Yes, there were some happiness but there were also much pain, misery and suffering. Worse, the happiness was short-lived but the daily grind was long, monotonous and hard.
I supposed I had a good excuse – I didn’t know much about happiness. No one taught me – or for that matter, no one taught you – on how to be happy. Happiness is not taught in schools, colleges and universities. No one spoke about it. Parents, siblings, neighbors, elders and even the wise skipped the lecture on happiness. So this is one reason why many of us, while not exactly in pain, are not happy.
If the reason sounds familiar, it should be because it is the same reason why many of us are having financial problems or are just one salary slip away from disaster – we were not taught how.
I have since learnt that happiness, and by that I mean real and long-lasting happiness, is hard work! There are many things we must know and many things we must do if we want to live a life of long-lasting happiness. One of them is to enjoy your current toys.
However, that’s just one of them, which means that there are more secrets to happiness. Since I’m so happy (!), I’ll give you more clues:
- Do the work that you actually have passion for
- Know your purpose in life
- Have goals that will stretch you
- Exercise regularly
- Eat sensibly
- Give thanks regularly
- Praise good work done by others
- Spend time with people who brings you up and those that makes you happy
- Learn new skills
- Do things instead of talking or watching others do them
- Enjoy the journey and not just the achievement/result
- Be in the moment
Azizi Ali is Malaysia’s premier writer, speaker and coach on money matters. He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and holds an MBA from University of Bath, UK.
Log on to http://www.beahappymillionaire.com to find out more about Azizi and how he can help you lead happier prosperous lives.