Riding on the Trail in Pursuit of Happiness

I’ve heard, and you probably have too; ✧ “Truth is perception” ✧ Neutral events are made subjective by interpreting them through the lens of perception. “Truth” therefore is said to merely be a product of perceptions.  Perceptions are colored by experience, which is then filtered through the current state of mind and altered over time. By the time an event is processed, it is often a work of fiction. Yet our personal truth is accepted wholeheartedly. Can there be truth in this world, or is it all a matter of our psychological and experiential filters? Moreover, what does this have to do with happiness? I’ll do my best to explain and hope you will do your best to understand and find a moment to reflect on how this may apply.

WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS TO ACHIEVE HAPPINESS? Faith - Purpose ✧ Health - Genetics ✧ Choice - Opportunity ✧ Significant Life Events

Click on this image for “The Secret to Happiness”

A person with their unique character and blend create, promote and maintain a perspective on what is significant and true in their lives.

How we go about achieving this is open to debate, but on some points a convergence of factors emerge.

Social scientists have spent a great deal of time on what is happiness and more important, how is it obtained? Can there be a formula for this or must there be illusion of this only as a concept?

I haven’t studied this exclusively nor am I a gifted resource. I have come to a point in my life where I think I understand more clearly that which works. The graphic image summarizes what I think and I’ll explain each point. Your thoughts may be different and that is completely normal. Feel free to comment at the end of this post.

If you’re interested in finding out “The Secret to Happiness” scrutinized through 40 years of research, click on the image above; “What are the ingredients to achieve happiness“.

BLAME IT ON YOUR PARENTS – GENETICS

Yes, it can be said our parents have influenced our happiness quotient because of DNA. Your health, features, and even your disposition are all factors from your genetics. This plays a large role in your overall wellness.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
Norman Vincent Peale

OPPORTUNITY – LIFE’S GAMBLE

We may be part of a country that states, “All are created equal”, but in truth, no matter what country of origin, opportunities and outcome are not equal. Don’t expect life to be fair, accept it as it is, not as though everyone must conform to your point of view.

I briefly suggested physical and mental traits are inherited, which means for some, there’s automatically a significant difference between individuals. People born from good-looking parents often also end up that way. It’s also understood attractive people are thought to be better leaders, are more fun to be around or associate with and make better partners. Of course this is nonsense, but social bias leans that way.

Additional factors which may aid people in their opportunity are those born into families with strong financial foundation. It’s generally easier to gain a leg up  in society if you come from a family which can feed, clothe, shelter you and help you gain a well-recognized education.

Just as there are certain physical traits, social inheritance, family circumstances, economic position, opportunity can come to those willing to prepare and accept risk. Prior standing doesn’t determine final outcome.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”
― Animal Farm by George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair)

Opportunity’s value is in the preparation more than the moment. Thus working toward a goal is achievable not only by “being in the right place at the right time,” a person must also be of sufficient health, educated, experienced and decisive enough to use the opportunity in the best way possible.

Taking advantage of opportunity and obtaining financial rewards from successful execution of a business or employment, isn’t necessarily going to make someone happy, but at the very least, basic needs must be met. Most importantly, no one is completely happy by themselves. Total isolation contributes to depression. It’s difficult to remain up beat and healthy as a loner. Humans are social creatures. That is why solitary confinement is so punishing for almost all people.

SIGNIFICANT LIFE EVENTS – FAITH – HABITS

“Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.”
― Og Mandino

It should be all too obvious to realize that happiness is an elusive feature to a life put under severe stress such as war, hunger, severe poverty, natural disaster, etc. Even under the most severe conditions, those who often were successful in achieving some level of peace & happiness after the most arduous events were those who had some level of faith and bigger picture.

Into each person’s life, rain will fall, and some people seem to be given downpours. No matter how well someone seems to live, principles of faith or how strict of a diet, there will come problems. No one knows and it’s probably for the best, the kind of situations one must face throughout their life. Resiliency seems to be a key element for those who face big challenges.

“Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.”
― Mike Tyson

As a child growing up I lived in a city which valued its trees.

Happiness is a good sandwich

Happiness is a good sandwich.

Many avenues and streets were lined with an arbor of beautiful elm trees. You could walk down the middle of the street and a canopy formed high above you. It was as though you walked into natures cathedral. Beginning in the 1970’s, a disease spread affecting these beautiful trees, none of which had sufficient time to develop a resistance. Dutch elm disease is caused by a member of the sac fungi which affects elm trees, and is spread by the elm bark beetle.

So how is that relevant to personal happiness? It may seem as though an obscure analogy, however for me it illustrates how a once a large mighty tree can be brought down by a combination of a plant fungus and spread by little insects. We often manage to handle major catastrophic events, but accumulation of seemingly small incidents, events or habits can lead to personal disaster. Thoughts lead us to habits which can lead to addictions. Rumors and innuendo can destroy reputations and credibility. They don’t have to be true to be destructive.

It’s up to us to learn about and adopt best practices in our lives which can lead to well-being and happiness. We may get caught up with what others expect us to do with our lives, but we alone are responsible for our decisions and the consequences. Everyone is an example. There are good examples and bad, when you look at each, select the characteristics which you find gain the best long-term results. Life may not be formulaic but there are some things which are problem enablers and other habits which strengthen our resolve and inform us of conduct which help make our lives more abundant.

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”
― Og Mandino

The Secret to Happiness

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