We are all out in the market for happiness. OK just think for a second since birth we are in a race to achieve something, to reach somewhere- good schools, good education, good Jobs, good house and lifestyle, a good life partner etc. We all have our own definition of good and that definition is what we think will make us happy.
Each achievement is supposed to bring us happiness and it usually does even if for a short period of time. But usually even before we reach a goal we have our sights set on a further bigger goal.
And God forbid if sometimes we fail to reach that goal or if it takes longer than expected, dissatisfaction sets in. That may even lead to depression or loss of self esteem which is a further recipe for unhappiness.
Someone close to me recently asked me do humans not have the capacity to love. Seems like a disconnected question here but its an important link- Love and happiness are closely related. But like in everything else we have conditions to love as we have conditions to happiness. If the other person can do this for me, make me feel a certain way , respects me etc then we love them. IF we achieve something, get something we feel happy.
I am not saying that its is bad to set goals for your life but we will be even more successful and happy if we start the journey with a state of satisfaction and happiness within, wherever we are, whatever we have, whoever we are – an acceptance of our life and everything in it.
Also love- love for oneself. Do you love yourself unconditionally?? Before you love yourself you have to like yourself. Well most people may say that we like yourself and yes many do- but is it unconditional? Do you like yourself even if you fail at anything? Do you like yourself even if you did something you are not proud of? We all make mistakes but do we accept our mistakes, learn from it and move on. Or we get stuck in them- either we ignore the mistake or keep thinking too much about it. But do we accept ourselves fully and completely with all our faults.
The first rule of true happiness is FLY- First love yourself unconditionally. So accept yourself, nurture yourself, be open to making mistakes and learning from them.
Once we learn to accept ourselves and forgive ourselves then we can learn to accept others too. We are a society where we have to interact with other human beings throughout our journey of life. When we interact with others there is energy exchange and each energy exchange is relevant to our happiness.
A single negative energy exchange can destroy our happiness for a full day or even more. So why would you have a negative energy exchange with anyone. Well.. we all have some expectations with whomsoever we are interacting. And when those expectations are not met then it affects our state of happiness.
So how to get out of this cycle of Expectations?
Firstly we have to accept that not every human being is made the same way , thinks the same way, has had the same experience or same level of knowledge. When we expect someone to act or react in a certain way that is because of our preconceived notions and our desires for certain outcome. We have to understand that every person is different and their thought process is different. We do not know what is the mental state of the person with whom we are interacting at that time.
SO whatever the response we get from that person firstly we listen to it with an open mind, without any preconceived notions. This way we can truly listen to that person and make an informed and neutral judgment of our next action.
So what happens if a certain person has a habit of continuously disappointing us. Well firstly we let go our expectations and accept that person as they are with their faults and all. Once you accept that deep within you, then you can start a process of explaining to the person what you expect from them. IF something is explained from a neutral point of view it has a much better success ratio. And we accept that even after explaining the person does not meet our expectation, we simply let go of our expectations. Once we let go of our expectations it stops bothering us so much. So acceptance helps us to let go our expectations.
But most of all acceptance helps us keep our peace of mind and be in be in our happy state. So I really feel that the first rule of Happiness is Acceptance.