Every day when I wake up from bed to start a new day, I tell myself; “I don’t want to be anything today but happy.” I want to go through the day with some sort of exuberance that will not be easy to extinguish. Very often I fail. Few times I experience happiness in patches. In the night when I’m about to sleep, I go through the day’s life all over again in my head. I usually end up saying; “I could have been happier today than I actually was.”
To be happy, there are lessons most of us have been taught never to forget. Most of this lessons we forget them because we are too busy thinking of the next step. Today, I present what most of us already know about happiness but have forgotten or refused to put in practice. Below are just five of those lessons:
1. Forgive, don’t wait for an apology before you do.
We are yet to feel the full effect of forgiveness as individuals. There’s nothing refreshing than letting go of the grudges you hold with people in your heart. Holding grudges is like allowing unwanted people live rent free in your heart. Life becomes very light and less cumbersome when we accept all the apologies we never got in the first place.
At a lecture in school one day, the lecturer before she began lecturing warned the class to put all phones off or on silent. Because if she should hear any phone rings during the lectures, she will send the culprit out of the lecture hall. Just about thirty minutes into the lectures, a phone loudly rang! Everybody was steady waiting to hear what the lecturer would say. Then the lecturer said, “Don’t worry, let’s move on. I know the one whose phone rang is sorry and I accept his apology.” Instant forgiveness, that’s what it is.
Forgiveness doesn’t come cheap, but if we are able to, it sets our souls free like a kite in the air. When we forgive others, we give them a promise. We promise them that we are never going to hold what they did to us in the past against them. We are setting them free cos we also want a freedom of heart. On the other hand we appreciate the kind of lesson they’ve taught us.
2. What you have or don’t have do not define who you are
Things are just things and that is where it ends. We don’t need everything that we think we need to live a fulfilled life. We should be able to create our own culture. We shouldn’t go about copying everything we see on TV, or consume every fashion we see from the magazines, and we don’t have to take in too much of the cosmetic empowerment these media seems to be promising each day.
We should rather find the strength to fill our time with meaningful experiences that have connections to our lives. The space and time we are occupying at this very moment is LIFE, and if we’re worrying about getting the hips of Joselyn Dumas or the skin colour of Yvonne Nelson before we can be happy, then we are dis-empowered. We’re giving our lives away to marketing and media trickery, which is created by big companies to ultimately motivate you to want to dress a certain way, look a certain way, and be a certain way. This is tragic, this kind of thinking. It’s all just advertisement brainwashing. What is real is YOU and your friends and your family, your loves, your highs, your hopes, your plans, your fears, etc.
Very often we are told we are not good enough until we get a degree, get a job, get a car, get a house, and keep on getting. And it’s sad, because someday you’ll wake up and realize you’ve been tricked. True life is what you create for yourself because you enjoy living it.
3. It’s not anybody’s job to love you
It’s your job to love the person that you are. Often times we give lots of love to others whiles we starve ourselves of it. Yeah, it’s good to show love to some individuals but the ultimate love should be given to yourself. No one ever accomplished anything without giving themselves the love they need.
Stop looking at yourself from the spectacles of those who have little value of you. Look into the mirror and talk to the person you see in there. Today let someone also love you for who you are, for all your weakness and for all your blemishes. Let someone see value in yourself and let that person be you. It’s your job and no one else’s to love you.
4. Failures will come, don’t let it turn you into a quitter
At a point in our lives, failure will show itself in the things we do. However best we sometimes prepare, failure will still find a way to encroach our space. We should not let failures of today turn us into quitters.
Whenever we fail, we are presented with two choices; either to give up totally or rise up and try all over again. We should always let the latter be our choice. Successful people usually say that success comes at the step just beyond the point where we nearly gave up.
Most mistakes happen because we had no means of avoiding them. We should learn to forgive ourselves when those mistake comes. It’s not a problem to make them. It’s only a problem if we never learn from them. The difference between a master and a beginner is that the master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. Behind every great piece of art is a thousand failed attempts to make it, but these attempts are simply never shown to us. Look beyond your failures, light comes after darkness so does success shines after our failures.
5. Death will come when it will come, no need to be afraid
We usually make jokes with the phrase “Life is too short to…” but the fear of death rains supreme on the mind of the average man. Shakespeare made a very sincere observation in his Julius Caesar play. He said; of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear; seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come.”
We have no control over the time and space when we will meet our necessary end so why need to fear? We know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know. Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside of us while we’re still alive. While we could have done something with the life we still have.
LIVE your life TODAY! Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either. Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action. Be bold. Be courageous. Be scared to die, and then take the next step anyway.