Why do you want to be happy?
Everybody will have their own versions of why they want to be happy. For me, it’s because happiness makes life interesting and enjoyable.
Would you agree with me?
Let me list down in more detail the obvious reasons we should feel happy.
Improve social life
Because when we’re happy we tend to be nice and kind to others around us. Whether they’re our family, friends, relatives, neighbours, colleagues, or even strangers outside.
Naturally, those people will be nice to us as well. So our social life will be more enjoyable as you feel the good vibes around us.
Uplift our mood that leads to enthusiasm
You notice that the joy you feel can raise your interest and eagerness in doing whatever you’re doing. An easy example is that you feel more motivated to work when you feel happy. Or, you’ll be keener to study when you’re in a jovial mood.
Put things into positive perspectives
When you’re feeling happy, you tend to be more positive and motivated too.
Boost our self-esteem
Our happiness enables us to appreciate and to value ourselves better. We get a boost to our self-confidence.
Become more optimistic
In the end, all the positives that we feel will make us more optimistic about what we want to achieve or in things that matter to us. We will also be encouraged to keep improving ourselves.
Being happy can improve your health
Last but not least, happiness gives positive benefits for our overall health such as boosting our immune system, protecting the heart, fighting stress, etc.
But happiness doesn’t last!
Now, would you agree if I say that happiness doesn’t last?
Yes, the problem is, happiness doesn’t last!
Especially if you’re faced with a problem or difficulties right after you thought that you were happy.
Because the happy ever after thing only happens in movies, darling! In children’s movies to be precise.
When I was younger, I swallowed this “you must aim to be happy” kind of life goal.
However, as I’m getting older and hopefully wiser, I realized that happiness shouldn’t be my life goal.
Especially, after I experienced stressful times as well as happy times throughout my life.
Just like everybody else, I too have had problems in life. Problems that make life can be quite stressful.
But as time goes by and I manage to overcome the stress and resolve many problems, I realize that the problems in life always exist. They just come and go in different forms and shapes.
As much as I want to claim myself being happy amidst the stress, that would be a total lie.
Because it doesn’t make sense. How can you tell yourself that you’re happy whilst you’re having a quite-stressful problem? And when we can’t feel happy due to that life stress, and we shouldn’t be miserable due to the stress, what should we feel then?
Yes, that’s what we all should try to aim for. Feeling content.
Because when we feel content, we can be at peace with ourselves and with whatever is happening in our lives. We’ll feel calmer.
Somehow if we do have a problem, we can see it as just merely a problem to solve.
In a positive way, we can see the problem as a means to be more patient, persistent, creative, resilient, and persevering.
In the end, we’ll feel content with ourselves regardless of whatever has happened in life.
What does it mean to be content?
Being content means that you accept the circumstances you’re in and that you feel pleased with yourself and everything that you have.
This includes the good, the not so good and the bad things that happened.
Contentment also means having peace of mind that no matter how good your situation is, it doesn’t excite you too much to the point you lose yourself and become arrogant. Instead, the joy and happiness you have actually make you humble.
And when things get ugly and difficult, it doesn’t drag you down to the point of depression and losing hope. Instead, your sadness and hardship become your source of strength, inspiration and empowerment.
Basically, when we feel content, we have more self-control. In any situation. In a middle way.
Thus, all the reasons why we should be happy that I mentioned above will be easily achieved if we’re content.
How to be content with yourself and your life?
Define your life purpose
The main key to contentment is having a life purpose.
It’s like a destination on a journey. You won’t go on a journey if you don’t know where your destination is, will you?
Or worse, will you go on a journey if you don’t have a destination at all? Because it means you’ll end up roaming around in a circle wasting your time and energy.
That’s how I see the importance of having a clear life purpose.
And life purpose is not the same as a life goal. It must not be. Because life goals are just something you want to achieve and normally measurable. For example, money, career, study, children, spouses, etc.
However, a life purpose is something higher in value. It can be related to beliefs, religions, and spirituality.
It’s something that fuels and drives you to live your life regardless of what circumstances you’re in.
You can’t measure your life purpose. But it can measure you. It influences your attitude towards life, shapes your behaviour, and defines your self-worth.
Say, you had a life goal of getting married before your 25th birthday. Or perhaps you had a life goal to have financial freedom by the age of 40. And maybe you had a life goal to earn a PHD before your 30s. Anything.
What would happen when you achieved all that? Or, what would you become if you didn’t achieve it?
Have you seen or heard that some people feel unhappy, stressed and gone into depression despite their success and life achievements? And of course, we sadly see too often that people become depressed due to life’s difficulties.
This is why we need to have a life purpose because it can save us from getting lost, feeling mundane or worse, feeling depressed. It also encourages us to keep going when we miss our goals.
Another key to contentment is gratitude. When we are grateful in any situation, we can survive the highs and lows of life.
Naturally, it’s easy to feel thankful for the good things in life.
However, it’s definitely difficult to feel gratitude when everything seems to be falling apart. In fact, chances are we would complain, moan and blame everything and everyone for whatever bad thing that happened.
But, when we manage to control our mind from going negative and we can see the positive side of the circumstances, we will be able to feel grateful.
And when we have gratitude within us, we will feel calmer and content.
Be generous and giving
Last but not least, be a generous and giving person.
Because when we give good things out, we spread positivity around that it brings back the good to us at the end.
What goes around, comes around.
Perhaps, you want to be more involved in charity work for children? Or maybe you want to be helpful for people around your neighbourhood? You can also aim to be a humanitarian? Or a philanthropist? It can be as simple as doing voluntary work for any course or charity you like. You decide.
The happiness you give to others not only will give back happiness to you but also create contentment in your heart.
Knowing yourself to be beneficial for others in a positive way, is very powerful.
So, let’s all be generous.
Can you be happy and content at the same time?
Yes, of course, we can be happy and feel content at the same time. But not all the time.
You know why?
Yes, you’re right. Because life is full of ups and downs.
When we’re up, we have more things that make us smile, joyous and happy. But when we’re down, we may have more things to cry about and make us miserably sad.
However, just because you’re sad, it doesn’t mean you can’t be content. Equally, when you’re happy, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be content.
Our goal is to be in control so that our peace of mind doesn’t get disturbed either by happiness or sadness.
Final thought on why shouldn’t aim to be happy
From a very young age, we’ve been indoctrinated that happiness matters and that we must aim to be happy in life.
But the thing is, happiness doesn’t last. Because life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes they make us happy, another time they make us sad.
So, in order to be more resilient and persevering, we should teach ourselves to be content more than anything.
Because when we’re content, not only we’re pleased and happy with the good things in life, we’re also able to be patient and at peace when life throws difficulties to us.
Not to mention that we can become more in control of ourselves. That we keep our humility at happy times, and we stay patient during hard times.
We can train ourselves to be content by doing things below:
- Have a life purpose
- Be grateful
- Be generous and giving
I truly wish you will achieve happiness and contentment in life.
If you find this post helpful, feel free to share it with those who may need it. You can also leave in the comments below if you have more tips to achieve life contentment.
All the best.