Causes of Happiness

From our e-book “We are Here to Celebrate”

grayscale photo of man and woman smiling

Many books have been written about living happier lives and the methods are varied. My list of the ‘causes of happiness’ are based on a loving husband and wife team I have known for many years. I must admit that they are probably the happiest people I have ever met. I observed the way they lived and in the following paragraphs we will discuss certain patterns that are both practical and highly effective.

Live simply. This is the advice that the masters of all religions constantly give us. Living simply means maintaining a lifestyle of a middle class family and living within one’s means. Living simple lives free up our time to do the things that are important in our lives. In these modern times, we are always torn between making more money and spending more time with our family. Working overtime takes priority over our spiritual practices. After a certain point, material comfort contributes very little to our happiness. It is important to recognise that point.

I have a friend who is always talking about buying a bigger car. When I visited his home, I realised why he was in such a need to do so. All his neighbors own a few expensive cars. I could see the pressure that the environment was placing on him.

Accumulate friends, not enemies. If we can walk away from a fight, it is better to do so. This is not a weakness. Acting against our tendency to get into arguments and defend our standpoint requires wisdom and strength. We need to choose our battles because not all battles are worth the effort.

Spend more time with wise and happy friends. By ‘happy friends’, I mean those who live their lives with wisdom and love. Spending time with them increases our energy levels instead of draining them. We learn how they live their lives and this helps us to see where we can improve.

Once I was having lunch with the loving couple I mentioned earlier. There was a man name Low, who was walking from table to table selling lottery tickets. He had some physical disabilities due to a high fever he suffered when he was young. When Low reached our table, the couple flashed the brightest smiles you have ever seen and invited him to sit with us for a drink. They have been long time friends and even had nicknames for each other. Despite Low’s physical disabilities, he was wise and we learnt a lot from him about enjoying simple pleasures in life.

Enjoy simple pleasures in life such as walks in the park, reading, looking at the rain, sunrise or sunset, playing or talking with our children, meditation and so on. We do not need material things to make us happy and as parents, it is best that we teach our children this early on in life. If we buy them lots of toys, they will grow up depending on material things for their happiness.


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