BALARABA J. JOHN
Many know too well how to engineer and prop up negative emotions. They are very good at getting angry, shouting at the top of their voices, overreacting, being mad at the slightest provocation, making hasty decisions, exhibiting conduct that shows absolutely their lack of patience. They know how be temperamental and they can justify it citing various reasons. Also, they know very well how to blame everybody but themselves on their shortcomings.
It is rather unfortunate that only few know that their happiness totally depends on them. Only few know that they can actually create their happiness regardless of their circumstances, background and whatever temperament they think they inherited. We are created as free beings with rights to make choices. Also, we are wired with creative power that we can, through our desire, thought, word, faith and unwavering determination create and recreate things.
This power is rather unutilized, underutilized or not applied especially on something positive. Some folks think they are destined for nothing good in life. This is as a result of their wrong belief that they are only ‘accidental discharge’. They would rather take life the way it comes rather than do anything to better their lives. Life generally is created by God and is a gift from God, and God did not create us only to live an unhappy, unfulfilled and purposeless life. If we hold on tenaciously to the fact that God wants the best for us, then we are on the verge of totally creating for ourselves a happy life.
Below are ten ways we can create our happiness:
Believe you can be happy The secret is that nobody can be happy that thinks he cannot be happy. It is the first and the fundamental principle to creating your happiness. You have to believe deep inside of you that you can be happy regardless of circumstances around you, background or even temperament. Believe that you hold the key to your happiness and not your boss, manager, colleagues, friends, government or society. Believe your happiness is your sole responsibility and a job you must do irrespective of where you find yourself. Happiness starts with faith, faith that we can be happy.
Confess happiness daily Do not only believe you can be happy, speak happiness to your life. Say to yourself, ‘It’s a great day, I’m going to be happy’, ‘my heart is full of joy’, ‘I like my job’, ‘I love the people I work with’, ‘it’s so awesome being here’, etc. There is power in our word. Yehuda Berg noted: ‘Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble’. Why then using your words on something negative when you can use them to bring about happiness into your life?
Do not be anxious about tomorrow Though it is hard to ask a poor widow, for example, not to worry about where her next meal and that of her children is going to come from or not to worry about her house rent that is due for payment in some days’ time. It is hard to tell an unemployed person not to worry about the clothes he or she is going to wear or about the future generally. But the truth is we can live without worrying about tomorrow. We can live our life today to the fullest and allow tomorrow to take care of itself. Worrying about tomorrow shows our lack of faith in our Creator. It shows that we strongly believe and have trust in our little selves to provide whatever we need for ourselves. You do not have to pack up everything on yourself. Enjoy every day as it comes, it is only through that you will truly be happy.
Contentment Contentment does not mean we should be complacent and not to aspire or work to attain a bigger and better position or more than where we are now, it means appreciating your present level and being satisfied with what you have at the moment and believing that in due time and season your level will change. Lack of contentment is a product of unthankful and unappreciative mind. People with such a mind can hardly be happy. They want everything their friends have. They are covetous and that denies them happiness as they are always devising means to either have one thing or the other even when they are not qualified for it.
Live above your failure Many people cannot live a single day without thinking about their past and present failures, setbacks and disappointments. Some brood over them day in and day out. This denies them happiness and turns them to frustrated and injured beings. When you fail, learn your lesson and move ahead. When you fall, pick yourself up, dust you butt and move on. When you experience disappointment, just say to yourself ‘there’s a reason for it, it happens for my good’, then move on with your life. When you are heartbroken, do not break your whole self to pieces, just say to yourself and whoever that cares to hear, ‘the relationship isn’t good for me in the first place, I’m going to have a stable and better one’ and then move on with your life. Do not give yourself hypertension over your past mistakes. That is the secret to creating your happiness.
Live a guilt-free life Guilt is a thief that steals away our happiness and causes us to live a saddened, depressed and regretful life. You cannot be happy when you have feeling of guilt on your inside. Guilty people, no matter how hard they try, are never happy. If you want to create your happiness, you have to endeavour to live guilt free life. If you are guilty of one offence or the other, all you need to do is to confess it. Admit you are wrong. It is better you are punished for a wrong you committed than conceal it only to live in pain all your life. Confessing our sins or wrongs makes us free them and builds happiness on our inside.
Forgiveness You cannot be happy having a mountain of unforgiveness within you. When you do not forgive people that hurt you or forgive yourself, you imprison and deny yourself from accessing liberty and joy that comes with it. To be happy, you have to learn to forgive people. Learn to forgive even before you are offended. Create an allowance for your offenders. Also, learn to forgive yourself. When you do something wrong, confess to God, ask Him for forgiveness and apologise to people you hurt and then forgive yourself.
Do not live above your income When you do not spend more than you earn or spend simply to impress your friends or colleagues, you are living a modest life and sure of happiness. The reason some people end up sad and live regretful lives, is simply because they always try to show off. They are not their real selves. They do things simply because others are doing them. They spend recklessly and above their budget and at the end, they are broke and sad.
Do what you love doing When you force yourself to do things you less cherish or have no flair for, you will sure be unhappy. The secret is look for that thing that you can do without being compelled, that you can give your whole self to and can do even without being given some kind of incentives. When you discover that, you have discovered have to be happy all your life. Doing what we love to do, does not only enhance effective and efficient performance, it makes us happy.
Be a giver It has been discovered that givers are always happy. People are happier spending on other people than themselves. So, if you want to live happily, learn to give. Learn to give your time, give money to the needy, give clothes you are not using any more, give that excess food instead of throwing it into the bin etc. Be generous with your resources and share with those that do not have.
In conclusion, nothing good can be accomplished without happiness. Happiness starts from within. It has so much to do with our words, thoughts, attitude and character. Achievement is not happiness nor does happiness depend on outer appearance. It starts with you and lies in you. To be happy is a choice. Regardless of your circumstances, you can be happy. It only requires a decision and a change of mentality.
BALARABA J. JOHN is a member of the Editorial Board and advisor to youngNigerian.com. She is a writer, motivational speaker, and founder of Cintabali Consults International. She serves as a board member of Josh & Jonbally and heads the Human Resources Unit of Sarason Resources Limited. Currently, she is doing her post graduate studies at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK. Her book, Destroy Boredom, Create Your Happiness was published in 2015. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org . Read more of her articles here