How to find Freedom Peace and Happiness
June 17, 2018
Krishna, God of joy
Bravery = Happiness
“We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors, they are our terrors: has it abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them…How should we be able to forget those ancient myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.” RAINER MARIA RILKE, LETTERS TO A YOUNG POET
Happiness = Bravery
Why do I say this? Why do I believe this with all my heart; because this is how I completely turned things around for me.
I’m happy!! Yes, I am finally happy and content, deep in my heart. I can actually say I have fallen back in love with myself again; something I thought would never happen. I have been able to achieve this through the recognition that I had stopped being myself; that I was pretending to be someone else and it was that which was making me unhappy.
I am aware from talking to other like-minded people that I am not alone in this; I think many of us are living a life of conformity, of doing what is expected from us by our peers, our employers and by society in general. My happiest years in the past were when I was living a crazy life in my youth. My hair was all the colours of the rainbow and my clothes were flamboyant and eccentric. I frequented clubs full of hippies and world music fans and I saw lots of live music. I was comfortable being ‘me’.
But as I grew older I started conforming to society and I cut my hair, shaved off my beard and started wearing conservative clothes. Over the years I had become lost in work and forgotten about who I really was.
It has only been since an enlightened moment in India that I was able to say to myself “what happened to you? Where has the real you gone?”
“Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.” Frank Tyger
I realised that for the last few years I had been trying to be another person, listening to my mother and my colleagues who would say “I prefer your hair short like that” or “your beard needs a trim” and I would think, oh yes I will do that when I get home. I stopped going out because the places I was going to were simply not who I really was; I was bored of them.
Then one day I found myself in a hippie club in Goa and felt a wave of happiness; I was amongst my own and it felt right. I danced all night and I met some amazing people. For the first time in decades, I felt that warm glow of happiness and elation.
It felt so right but there was something very wrong. Everybody there, of every age and race, with their beaming faces and warm embraces, were dressed in flamboyant garb, beads and colourful clothes, their hair long and wild; they were being their true selves. And in the centre of it all was me, dressed like an American tourist, in chinos and a blue suit shirt and smart shoes: who the fuck was that?? Not me, what the hell had happened to me? What in gods name had I been thinking all those years?
I felt angry at my self. It was a true awakening!
“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” James Dean
At 53 years old I decided from that day on I would go back to being the person I really was and I don’t just mean looking how I wanted to look, but also to live the life I wanted to live. To grab that dream of living on a canal boat six months of the year and living in Goa for the rest of the year. To embrace the hippie I always was and stop being somebody else.
I stupidly thought I was unhappy because I was overweight, old and unattractive, but it simply took my accepting who I really was to make me happy.
Now, I don’t give a shit if I’m a bit fat or older because I am being real and true to myself and I feel great! But this transformation from a grey moth to bright butterfly can involve a lot of bravery.
So, if you have ever wished you could be the person you really want to be but don’t because of work, or family or peer pressure; heed my words, this will only lead to unhappiness. If you secretly wish you could have a Mohican hairstyle with a stud in your nose but feel you cant because the world would call you weird; tell the world to go to hell and just do it. If you want to grow your hair and beard long and take off on a motorbike around the world; just do it. If you want to move to a hippie commune in a forest and live off the earth; just do it and stop conforming.
So, my answer to how to find Happiness, Peace and Freedom is to find the ‘true you’ and to be that person, not society’s version of who you should be. Once you are being true to yourself and living the life you really want to live, happiness will follow.
LIFE IS FOR LIVING!!
75 thoughts on Happiness
- “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” James Dean
- “Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.” Frank Tyger
- “Be happy with what you have. Be excited about what you want.” Alan Cohen
- “Life is a journey, and if you fall in love with the journey, you will be in love forever.” Peter Hagerty
- “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
- “Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” David Allen
- “We forge the chains we wear in life.” Charles Dickens
- “If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the world belongs to you.” Lao Tzu
- “Everything is a gift of the universe–even joy, anger, jealousy, frustration, or separateness. Everything is perfect either for our growth or our enjoyment.” Ken Keyes Jr.
- “There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.” Richard Bach
- “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.” Andrew Carnegie
- “Tension is who you think you should be, relaxation is who you are.”Chinese Proverb
- “For me it is sufficient to have a corner by my hearth, a book, and a friend, and a nap undisturbed by creditors or grief.” Fernandez de Andrada
- “You cannot judge what should bring others joy, and others cannot judge what should bring you joy.” Alan Cohen
- “The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than growing with them.” Bernard M. Baruch
- “Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect.” Alain De Botton
- “If you start to think the problem is ‘out there,’ stop yourself. That thought is the problem.” Stephen Covey
- “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” Denis Waitley
- “Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” Margaret Lee Runbeck
- “Security is when everything is settled, when nothing can happen to you; security is the denial of life.” Germaine Greer
- “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” Greg Anderson
- “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha
- “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, then there will be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be.” Anne Frank
- “In our lives, change is unavoidable, loss is unavoidable. In the adaptability and ease with which we experience change, lies our happiness and freedom.” Buddha
- “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” Mary Anne Roadacher-Hershey
- “You never regret being kind.” Nicole Shepherd
- “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Ben Franklin
- “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” Paul Boese
- “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” Buddha
- “True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” Helen Keller
- “Money is neither my god nor my devil. It is a form of energy that tends to make us more of who we already are, whether it’s greedy or loving.” Dan Millman
- “The need for forgiveness is an illusion. There is nothing to forgive.” Rachel England
- “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.” Bernard Meltzer
- “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many–not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens
- “Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.” Carl Jung
- “He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.” Marcus Aurelius
- “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Dalai Lama
- “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” Helen Keller
- “Happiness is not having what you want. It is appreciating what you have.” Unknown
- “True happiness…arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one’s self.” JosephAddison
- “Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.” AynRand
- “Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be.” William Adams
- “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” Dale Carnegie
- “We can have peace if we let go of wanting to change the past and wanting to control the future.” Lester Levinson
- “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
- “Money doesn’t bring happiness and creativity. Your creativity and happiness brings money.” Sam Rosen
- “Happiness is the experience of loving life. Being happy is being in love with that momentary experience. And love is looking at someone or even something and seeing the absolute best in him/her or it. Love is happiness with what you see. So love and happiness really are the same thing…just expressed differently.” Robert McPhillips
- “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Carl Jung
- “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Reinhold Niebuhr
- “I am not bound to win, I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to the light I have.” Abraham Lincoln
- “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
- “There is no stress in the world, only people thinking stressful thoughts and then acting on them.” Wayne Dyer
- “We all get report cards in many different ways, but the real excitement of what you’re doing is in the doing of it. It’s not what you’re gonna get in the end–it’s not the final curtain–it’s really in the doing it, and loving what you’re doing.” Ralph Lauren
- “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” Deepak Chopra
- “Success at the highest level comes down to one question: Can you decide that your happiness can come from someone else’s success?” Bill Walton
If you can, you take the most important step towards becoming a great leader.
- “There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience.” Archibald McLeish
- “Once you do something you love, you never have to work again.” Willie Hill
- “Anything in life that we don’t accept will simply make trouble for us until we make peace with it.” Shakti Gawain
- “The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character.” Margaret Chase Smith
- “Persons of high self-esteem are not driven to make themselves superior to others; they do not seek to prove their value by measuring themselves against a comparative standard. Their joy is being who they are, not in being better than someone else.” Nathaniel Branden
- “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” Soren Kierkegaard
- “Do what you have always done and you’ll get what you have always got.” Sue Knight
- “The happiness of life is made up of the little charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment.” Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- “We avoid the things that we’re afraid of because we think there will be dire consequences if we confront them. But the truly dire consequences in our lives come from avoiding things that we need to learn about or discover.” Shakti Gawain
- “Think of what you have rather than of what you lack. Of the things you have, select the best and then reflect how eagerly you would have sought them if you did not have them.” Marcus Aurelius
- “Happiness is where we find it, but very rarely where we seek it.” Petit Senn
- “To be content means that you realize you contain what you seek.” Alan Cohen
- “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” John Milton
- “In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy.” Albert Clarke
- “Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.” Betty Smith
- “You are responsible for your life. You can’t keep blaming somebody else for your dysfunction. Life is really about moving on.” Oprah Winfrey
- “Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.” Shari R. Barr
- “View your life from your funeral, looking back at your life experiences, what have you accomplished? What would you have wanted to accomplish but didn’t? What were the happy moments? What were the sad? What would you do again, and what you wouldn’t?” Victor Frankl
- “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs–even though checkered by failure–than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt
- “Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time…serenity, that nothing is” Thomas Szasz
The significance of Happiness in Hinduism
by Jayaram V
“Existence; for truly on obtaining the delight of existence one becomes blissful. Taittiriya Upanishad, 2.7.1.
“Peace arises from cultivating friendship with those who are happy, compassion towards those who are in distress, joy towards those who are virtuous, and sameness towards those who are not virtuous. Yogasutras 1.33
“According to Hinduism, happiness in human life arises mainly from one’s own actions, past life karma, actions of gods and others, and the grace of God. In Hindu scriptures we find references to mainly three types of happiness as stated below.
- Physical (bhautika) happiness, or sukham, which arises from comforts of life, sensual enjoyment, and bodily pleasures.
- Mental (manasika) happiness, or anandam, which arises from sense of fulfillment and freedom from worries, afflictions, and anxieties.
- Spiritual (adhyatmika) happiness, or atmanandam, which arises from freedom from the cycle of births and deaths, and union with Self.
“According to Hinduism, an embodied being’s ultimate purpose is enjoyment of supreme bliss as a free soul (mukta) in the highest heaven. Enjoyment is also the basis of happiness upon earth. However, in mortal life happiness should not be pursued for happiness sake alone, because mere pursuit of happiness in a bound state (baddha) leads to attachment (Yogasutras 2.7), and bondage. It should be pursued as part of a way of life in which liberation or union with the Self should be the highest goal.”