First of all. Nobody, better than a pessimist knows how much value has happiness, therefore if you’re unhappy, be optimist because it is this unhappiness that will make you appreciate your future happiness.
This isn’t one of those hippie articles claiming the world is all flowers and rainbows. No… this article is about the freedom to be happy. Although in many countries people claim to be free, the truth is that there’s no such thing as absolute freedom. We’re all slaves of something, a perfect example is money. So, ask yourself… does anybody trully know how to be trully happy? A hint: becoming an hermit isolated inside your own self from the rest of the world won’t give you happiness… at least, not the long lasting kind of happiness (despite of how much you could feel digusted about this world).
The truth is, that nobody knows the answer to this question and neither do I. It’s reassuring to hear this from a “guide”, isn’t it? Well, although I don’t know the answer to that question, I’ll try do my best, which is sharing with you a bunch of friendly advices that helped me a lot and that I hope will help you too. The first is…
1 . COPE WITH LIVE
This is the basic rule you need to learn for all the other rules to work.
In life, we all have highs and lows, we all have (at some point) to cope with people that make us angry or to deal with unpleasant situation. Now take a deep breath, count to ten and then shout:
“TO HELL WITH IT!!!”
honestly speaking, one of the most irritating things about our society is that there’s this weird stereotype that you should always be happy and always repress your anger. Then, after repressing the frustration your serious problem caused, you explode for the silliest of things, arguing with someone and getting even angrier. So, what should you do?
First: Find a good way to relax your mind and explode in a constructive way, letting out your deepest thoughts and repressed anger. Everyone does it in a different way. Somebody goes boxing or starts doing other sports. Someone else goes for a run, or paints, writes, cuddles his dog or cat etc… the possibilities are endless. What helps you depends on you.
Second: For me, writing is the vent valve. I sit at a keyboard and write down everything I feel, although I often morph it in something else. Perhaps it could help you too. Try with writing a diary. It’ll help you clear your mind. Write everything that bothers you and then EVERYTHING you are GRATEFUL for (I know, I know… you probably don’t feel like it). Remember, there’s always something to be grateful for. Maybe you think it’s just one garbage of advice or maybe you think that it is a good advice indeed but that it just doesn’t apply to you, that it wouldn’t help you, you know? Well, I’m about to tell you straight in the face that it DOES HELP. I found it quite annoying at first too (and all throughout) but it did help me.
Third: Often we feel angry about stuff we have no control over.
Man (or woman), give yourself a break! Even if to you it may seem impossible. Afterall, how can you give yourself a break from something you NEED to worry about, like paying bills for example. And in that case my friend, one of the best advices I ever read was from an 8th century’s indian buddhist scholar called Shantideva:
If you can solve your problem, than what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?
if you have a serious problem, what you got to do is quite simple.
Think about the problem from a rational point of view for only an hour or two. That’s what most people struggle with, because their anxiety distorts it with the light of fear, even if they think they’re doing fine. That’s why someone must write it down somewhere to trully understand it.
Write lists about it.
- It’s pros and cons.
- The reasons that make you fear it and the solutions (if there’s any. Even if you don’t like it). If you can’t find any solution, don’t worry.
- How you feel about both the solutions and the problem.
Then, let the paper rest for a day without reading it. Right after you finished it, you’re no longer allowed to constantly think about it to remember it, because you’ve stored it on paper.
Now that you have your nicely depressing lists, re-read them, ask yourself which of the solutions you prefer and solve the problem.
If you can’t find an answer (or if you couldn’t write any solution) at first, don’t worry. Simply try to keep thinking from a rational point about what you can do. Make researches on the web. I can assure you that no matter how bad your situation is, YOU CAN FIND A SOLUTION. You simply don’t know it yet. Heck! These so called “humans” which caused most of your problems are not the only ones on Earth. Ask questions to others. Soon or late you’ll get an idea or you’ll learn a way to resolve the problem, just believe it.
Fourth: But there’s still the fact that yet, I didn’t tell you how to concretely cope with it in the meanwhile. Try with listening to music that relates to the way you feel. Try to find out what your biggest passion is and once you found it, work on it everyday. Even if just for 5 minutes, even if you think what you’re creating is terrible, work on it EVERY DAY.
Art is the best medicine for the soul.
2 . NEVER PUT GASOLINE ON THE FIRE
If I say that there’s someone who has the power of making your blood boil in your veins just by opening their damn mouth, it’s probable that you already pictured that someone in your head, isn’t that so? What I’m about to tell you is more a sort of personal reminder for myself than an advice for you. I never managed to follow it completely and trust me, the results weren’t a pleasure.
Everyone is stressed out, even if they don’t show it. If someone uploads their negativity on you by telling you some bad news, by arguing with you, critiquizing you or by yelling at you, be detached.
It would be ironic if a guide that tries to teach you how to be happy would suggest you to be isolated, wouldn’t it? Well, that’s not the case. I don’t mean you should be isolated. Fortunatelly (or unfortunatelly, depending on the point of view), we’re a social race. This means that we need to be close to other humans to be happy. It’s our instinct.
Therefore, what I mean is that you shouldn’t take that negativity close to your heart. At first is difficult, but with practice (and God only knows how much practice we’re forced to do) you’ll learn to be ice-cold against someone’s provocations. Obviously the best thing would be to surround yourself only with positive people, but soon or late, it’ll happen that you simply won’t be able to do so or that you will be able to do that, but that you still shouldn’t exclude some of those people from your life because of one reason or another. In those cases, what you must do is to not let them ruin your day. How to do that?
Freddie Mercury said (in the song Another one bites the dust):
There are plenty of ways that you can hurt a man and bring him to the ground. You can beat him, you can cheat him, you can treat him bad and leave him when he’s down, yeah. But I’m ready, yes, I’m ready for you, I’m standing on my own two feet…
you are the KING or QUEEN (ha! See what I did there??) of your mind. If someone is in a bad mood, calmly listen to what they want to tell you and give them an advice. If they get even angrier or simply won’t listen, ignore them. You did your part. Just don’t let them ruin your mood and walk away. Don’t repress that stress. As I said there are countless way to release it. Release it and try to be optimist and positive. Avoid as much as you can discussing with those negative people. It’ll be just a waste of your precious time.
If you argue with an idiot, there are two idiots.
by Robert Kiyosaki is a quote that in my opinion perfectly catches this meaning.
Second: You should never ever transmit your negativity to others by telling them bad news or bad things other people did. This is extremely hard for many people because they do it without even realizing it. That’s why I told you to write your problems down instead of speaking about them.
Be very careful with what you say because complaining will give you nothing more than more things to complain about.
3. BE OPTIMISTIC
I put this one as the third step instead of the first because of one simple reason. No matter how optimistic you’re, if you let people influence you, you’ll become a pessimist.
Being an optimist doesn’t mean to simply ignore the negative sides of life. It means to aknowledge life as a whole, including the good sides of it. I felt a little hipocritical writing this. I mean, just look at the news (or at TV series) for a few minutes and you’ll see murders, wars, hunger, crisis of all kinds, humans’ stupidity and so on, right? But then my question is another… are you a masochist?
Why should you watch only that? I understand you want be informated about what’s going on in the world and that you want to be entertained after a tough day, but why won’t you try something “new”?
- Try to watch or to read the stories of people who traveled around the planet’s most beautiful places.
- Try to learn about people who made their dreams come true.
- Try to listen to the words of those who had nothing and were at what we all know as rock bottom and didn’t give up, managing to rise and become some of the happiest humans alive.
Why should you watch it when you don’t have that luck? Why should you torture yourself with the view of other people’s happiness when you feel miserable? Because there are two kinds of people in this world. Those who always complain about their life and those who try to change their life. And you know what’s the best thing about these latter? They manage to do that. As Bob Proctor said:
If you do just a little research, it is going to become evident to you that anyone that ever achieved something didn’t know how he was going to do it. They only knew they were going to do it.
why am I telling you this?
- Because happiness is to work on something you love.
- Happiness is doing what you love.
- Is looking at something and trully enjoy its beauty.
- It’s making the people you love happy, including yourself.
So, how to be optimistic?
- Aknowledge every shade of your current situation
- Aknowledge you can change it
- Choose how you want to change it (even if you don’t believe you can)
- Start believing you can.
- Work on it without giving up.
I suggest you to watch the movie “The Secret: Law of Attraction”.
I believe it could help you a lot in learning how to make YOUR dream become true.
4 . ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS
Happiness is also enjoying the little things. We are sad either because we focus too much on the external world and too little on our internal mind, or because we focus to much on our mind and too little on the external world. This second option is usually the most common. Just look around you to see that it’s true.
We all focus a lot on ourselves and just a little about others. And we are absolutely RIGHT in doing so.
Not gonna lie, I dreamed of changing the world in a better way and I still want to do it, but as I’ve learned from other people’s experiences, you should never trust too much or give too much to someone because saddly, 99% of the times they’re gonna let you down during your tough times.
Giving should be all about doing it without expecting nothing in exchange, and that’s what some people do, but it’d be nice if other people would at least be thankfull or love you/care about you at least a bit.
I really wish we lived in a world where everyone genuinly cared about each other and helped each other, but such a world is against human nature. The ugly truth is, that if you wanna make the world a better place you don’t have to give away your whole self to others.
Just by existing, even if you won’t believe it, you are unpredictably influencing the lives of the other billions of people in the world. How?
Everybody is linked to each other, even those who never met each other. For example. Let’s suppose you saw a friend and told them something. If your friend would’ve walked a minute lateral, he would’ve got himself killed by a car and the driver would’ve ended up in jail, unable to raise his children which would’ve ended up ruining their own lives once they grew up. On the other hand, by stopping that person, you saved him. He met another friend who met another friend who met another friend and so on. This chain reactions never end and lead to the salvation or doom of our entire planet and maybe of the whole universe. If this seems unrealistic, take this article as an example. You are reading it, spending your time to learn something. What if you didn’t read it? Your time would’ve flown away with something else, like checking another site, answering a friends message or call etc…
As you see, all yours and everybody’s actions are printed in time.
Now, let’s suppose you want to do something more important. Just follow your dreams and work hard and smart to achieve them.
For example, my dream is publishing my book. A book can help people grow and it can change the way they think and see the world around them. I genuinly believe that if every human on the planet would read good books since his/her childhood there’d be much less wars. Maybe there would be no wars at all.
Maybe your dream is becoming a musicist, opening a restaurant or being a good parent (which is honestly the hardest of tasks). By being a good father your children could become better adults once they grew up. And then they’d be better parents than you and their children would be better than them. Can you imagine how many lives could change because of your littlest everyday actions? The little things have the greatest of powers. Don’t waste it. As Michael Jackson said (in the song Man in the mirror)
If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change.
5 . MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS
Ok, this is not really a step or something you should do. I just wanted to clarify something. MONEY. DOES. BUY. HAPPINESS.
I understand people say this because money can’t buy you love etc…
but saying it doesn’t buy happiness is a lie.
- It pays bills, taking away a big stress from your life.
- It pays for food and water, which are basic survival needs and some of life’s greatest pleasures.
- It pays medicines for when you’re ill, giving you health.
- It pays travels, allowing you to see world’s beauty and helping you grow as a person.
- It pays the toys, the clothes and the studies of your children.
- It allows you to realize your dreams.
You dream of saving people’s lives? Buy them food, water and a shelter. You dream of curing an uncurable disease? Buy the equipments you need to research a cure or pay researches to do that. You dream of publishing a book? You pay and voilà! You self-published your book. The possibilities are endless.
- It is true that it doesn’t buy love, but for some reason when you’re rich everybody is nice with you and when you’re poor nobody is. Except that, money does buy true love because if you have money, you can make for your beloved wife (or husband) romantic, candle light dinners. You can take care of her (or him) during tough times. You can make surprises and you can travel together. While if you don’t have money, well… have you any idea of how many couples argued and got stressed because of a big lack of money, to the point that they stopped loving each other? Because I don’t know that either, but the logical side of my mind assumes it happened quite ofter.
So, if someone still dares to say that money doesn’t buy happiness, than, please, PLEASE, proove me wrong. Sell everything you have and give me all the money for I like being sad.
6 . THE STORM
And at last, sometimes there’s absolutely nothing you can do. Maybe you’re going through a dark, terrible period with no signs of exit. Maybe you lost the only chance you had to realize your dream, maybe you got a heartbreak, maybe someone you loved died… or maybe the reason is something else.
Whatever that is, all I can tell you is that although sometimes there’s no hope, sometimes you just have to let go the things you cared the most about, shattering your soul in thousands of pieces that will never stick back together and keep going anyway.
Why? Because… and here comes the hardest part.
I can’t tell you why for I don’t know the answer to this question either.
Sometimes you just have to keep going without having a reason.
Not because of survival instinct, not for the people that love and care about you (if there’s any), not because of a hope you know deep inside that will never become real, but simply to see what’ll happen next… even if you don’t give a damn about it and you’d rather die.
Again, WHY KEEP STRUGLING? Simply keep going. Because I can assure you that no matter how terrible your life is, one day all that sufference will have a meaning that’ll help you be happy, even if you’ll never realize it. I spent most of my teenhood being depressed and wishing to die (although I didn’t have serious reasons to be so sad and now ).
Did it got better? Well, although I’m deeply disgusted by this society, my broken hopes, my broken heart and my broken soul inspired me to write a story (a book) I dreamed to write since I was ten years old. They inspired me to search for solutions to my problems and they inspired me to help others as I can, even if putting words on a screen is not much and it will never be enough, it’s still something and as I said at the beginning of this guide, I sincerely hope it’ll help you.
Good luck my friend.