Everyone, of course, wants to be happy. People do all kinds of things to achieve that. But I believe that there is actually a simple way to be happy. If you do it, you are pretty much guaranteed to be happy.
Do you want to know what it is? Simple: Be grateful for what you have.
You might have heard this before. In fact, you might have heard this so often that it begins to lose its meaning.
But think about it. Where does unhappiness come from? It most likely comes from thinking about what you don’t have. You think you need something in order to be happy and you don’t have it, so you become unhappy. You say something like, “If only I have <something you don’t have>, then I will be happy.”
It’s a never-ending cycle though. When you get what you want, you will be happy for a short while, but then there will be another thing you want, and another, and another.
The good news is that if thinking about what you don’t have will make you unhappy, then thinking about what you do have will make you happy. You just need to make the mental switch.
The bad news is that many people do that only after they have lost the thing. They don’t appreciate what they have until they have lost it.
It happened to me once. I didn’t really appreciate being healthy, but one day I got ill. I couldn’t eat or sleep well for a few days. At that time, I wanted one thing and one thing only: to be healthy again. That experience taught me the value of being healthy.
There are other seemingly simple things you should appreciate in your life. Here are some:
- Living in peace. I read stories about war. It’s terrible. You constantly live in fear, not to mention the horrible things that could happen to you. Living in peace is a great blessing.
- Having the necessities of life. Don’t believe me? You have the Internet access to read this. Millions of people don’t have access to clean water and food, let alone the Internet.
- Being with your loved ones. Many people are separated from their loved ones for various, insurmountable reasons. If you are with your loved ones, be grateful.
- Having friends. Many people are lonely, so don’t take your friends for granted. In fact, you could go further: be a friend to someone who needs one.
- Living a convenient life. Believe it or not, your standard of living is higher than many royalties in the past. They didn’t have the Internet, but you do. They didn’t have bright light at night, but you do. They couldn’t fly to faraway places, but you can.
These are just some examples. I’m sure there are many more (don’t hesitate to share them in the comments!).
The point is that it’s simple to be happy. The key is to appreciate what you have, and don’t take them for granted. As a wise person once said:
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.
Are you looking for a dose of inspiration? Check out Wisdom of the Ages, a collection of the best quotes I have found.