快乐只有自己能给 (Your Happiness, Your Call) by 何权峰

Part 1 – No matter how bad the situation is, don’t forget to give yourself some space

1.1 You are the master of your heart and emotion. It is possible to selectively listen to others’ inputs and only hear those which you wish to listen. Do not accept criticism if you choose so. This will make you feel better. In some sense, no one can make you unhappy. Only when you choose to accept what actually say, will it affect your emotions. No one is responsible for how you feel and therefore it is not necessary to put the blame on others. Other people or external factors will not cause one heartache or troubles, unless we believe they have the ability to cause us heartache or troubles. This is the root cause of the problem. No one can enter your head and change the way you think or feel.

1.2 I just can’t forget! Through the course of time, it will be easier to forget. Change your mindset and avoid recollecting unhappy situations caused by others. The less you talk about it, the easier to forget. A human’s capacity to remember facts and situations are limited. Avoid mentioning issues that may trigger your bad memories to resurface. Sometimes, trying to forget does not work. Instead, dropping the issue completely will be more effective.

1.3 Are you thinking too much? Refrain from being too suspicious of others and guessing how they will feel about you or what they currently feel. Once you let your thoughts stray, you might become too suspicious of the other person. We often believe the thoughts in our heads to be true. The fact is that most of our thoughts/perceptions about others turn out to be false. Often, an angry person will recall thoughts of the situation which led him to be angry in the first place, causing a heightened sense of anger. The key is to question whether the thoughts that surface will come true in reality.

1.4 Things are not the way it seems. People tend to misunderstand situations although they think that they fully see the whole picture and understand the situation. Always seek to gather more facts and gain insights from different perspectives before jumping to conclusions. Try to avoid guessing what others are thinking as it will often be inaccurate. Simply ask them instead.

1.5 Why the urge to feel angry? Anger usually stems from viewing things from a narrow perspective. Troubles can be caused not by external factors, but simply having a strong but narrow one sided view of the situation. It is important to sit down and analyse whether your anger is caused by external factors or your own perspective. The next time you want to flare up at someone, ask yourself this question. Which do I value more? Getting my point of view/perspective right or our friendship?

1.6 New insights. Discover. If you adopt a fresh perspective and view things differently, your actions will naturally change accordingly. Give others the benefit of the doubt sometimes, especially when they commit a mistake. Things will be very different with just a change of mindset.

1.7 Paying attention to a particular act will allow you to discover more about it. If you look hard enough, you will find it. We often pay attention to the object in focus, often forgetting about the objects in the background. Every morning, we get to choose how we want our day to be. There are two common ways of looking at a situation, with optimism or pessimism. Think of happy moments when feeling down. Life is like a photograph, it has to be appreciated from the right angle. A good way to recognize the happy moments in life is to jot them down as they come along.

Part 2 – Life is already tiring, why make it hard on yourself

2.1 Those you hold dear. Try not to hate anyone. For every time you remember how much you hate someone, he dominates your thoughts. For every time you whine about him to your friends, he dominates your speech. For every time you hear his name and related events, he dominates your feelings. Once you try to get away from him, he, in turn, dominates your actions. Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer. Love your enemies so that you can completely get rid of them.

2.2 Degree of hurt. Don’t sweat on the small stuff. Don’t get angry over small incidents. The ironic is that people dwell on these things more than on happy moments in their lives. Ask yourself whether you get upset over small stuff.

2.3 Hurting others does not give you pleasure. Avoid having the vengeful mentality, or the need to get back at those you hate. You hurt your well-being just by hating others as your mind will be filled with dark and sinister thoughts. ‘An eye for an eye’. Everyone loses.

2.4 Difficulty in letting go. Those difficult moments in your life are such that you should always strive to let them go and disappear from your thoughts. Learn to be bold and accept changes. Clinging on to the past won’t help. Venture into the unknown.

2.5 Ain’t you in the past, the one from the beginning? Looking back retrospectively won’t help you, so will regretting what you did not do in the past. If you haven’t chosen a path, how will you know it isn’t the right one? Often, we make decisions based on all the information gathered at that moment. This tends to be an optimal decision. There is no such thing as ‘what if I had known’, ‘on hindsight’, ‘I should have known better’ etc. If you can learn from the experience of making a mistake in the past, then you should not be having any regrets over the mistake made.

2.6 You see, I don’t know. Nothing is certain, that is for sure. Life is unexpected, not everything can be explained. Accept that some things are beyond your control. Who knows what will happen in the future? Who knows?

2.7 Don’t worry, be happy. One thing is certain. Worrying over your problems will lead to more problems. Whether you worry or not worry, things will still proceed in the same way that it was meant to. Frustration and anxiety is like paying interest upfront on a loan, without having received the principal sum yet. There will definitely be rainy days, but that doesn’t give you a reason to open an umbrella in the bright sunshine. If you are not even afraid of the end of the world, then what’s there to be afraid of?

Part 3 – Learn to see the imperfections in life, don’t strive to be perfect

3.1 After seeing the chicken’s excretions, you forget the chicken egg. Unhappy people always recall unhappy moments in their lives. People usually strive for improvement, some to the point of perfection. Don’t keep trying to pick on others’ weaknesses and find fault with others. Learn to capture the positive moments.

3.2 Your evil heart. Striving for perfection can lead to frustration and despair. Don’t become obsessed with perfection. Perfection is also relative, depending on one’s expectations and desires. Mistakes can be a form of ‘beauty’ as well.

3.3 Tug at the heart strings. Once you come up with one side of the story, your mind will automatically consider the other side of the story. Sometimes the other side of the story is simply not present; one just imagines it to be so. Learn to accept others’ weaknesses and avoid judging them too quickly. Only by learning to forgive and forget, will one learn about compassion and empathy.

3.4 Who does the true problem lie with? Refrain from pushing the blame to someone. Learn to take responsibility sometimes. Learn to accept that some things are beyond your control and therefore, there is nothing to be upset about. Ever considered the fact that you might be the one having the problem instead? Whether a problem with a person/situation exist completely depends on your point of view.

3.5 This is life. Anticipate problems/obstacles in life so that you won’t feel so disappointed when they eventually hit you. Change is constant. Life is full of ups and downs. Accept that in order to lead a more complete and fulfilling life. The more you are able to accept life’s challenges, the more you are able to turn sorrow into happiness. Accept things the way they are.

3.6 Some things are beyond our control. You can give suggestions on how others should change/behave etc, but you can’t really change them. Therefore, how a third party reacts or says is beyond our control. The problems in life can be divided into those which we have control over and those which we have no control over. You have control over your actions. Ask yourself, ‘What more can I do?’ In conclusion, just do your best and leave the rest up to fate. You cannot control others’ actions, but you can control your way of thinking.

‘You cannot control the daily temperature, but you can control the mood of the surroundings. You cannot control your looks/appearance, but you can control your facial expressions. You cannot control how long you live, but you can control how you want to lead your life.’

3.7 It’s all about changing your perception. Withstand the bitter cold winter and blazing hot summer. Whether a situation is viewed positively or negatively, it all depends on your perception. Happiness does not stem from external events, because they will never forever stay the way we wish.

Part 4 – Desires bring short term happiness ; Strive for long term happiness

4.1 Imagining happiness is not true happiness. Often, we are unhappy when things don’t go the way we anticipate them to go. Unhappiness is caused when we try to how a situation will end up and then compare the results with reality. Even if things don’t go as planned, try to see how other objectives (such as getting together with friends) may be achieved. The least you expect, the less unhappy you will be.

4.2 Plenty of wishes from the heart. It is hard for others to meet your expectations if they are not well communicated. No one agreed or has an obligation to meet your expectations/demands. On what basis do others have to meet your expectations? It is hard to predict the feelings and emotions of others.

4.3 A little less love will lead to a lot less problems. Once you love someone, you will try your best to change them. However, changing someone is different from love. Try to understand where the other person is coming from, like their point of view etc. If you don’t change, then you will eventually see the real change. Everyone has their freedom of expression etc. Therefore, it may not be very right to attempt to change them. Accommodation is a very powerful tool indeed. There is a type of love, which is to love the way the person currently is. ‘I like you just the way you are’.

4.4 Wrong to treat challenges and troubles as happiness. Life is originally meant to be happy. Live for the moment. Enjoy while you can. Future happiness doesn’t count for anything as it is impossible to predict the future. Happiness can be unconditional. Ultimately, happiness is a decision, a choice.

4.5 How short lived is your satisfaction? People always have bigger and bigger dreams. Often, material goods can only lead to short term happiness. To attempt to continuously satisfy your desires is like self-inflicting trouble. Separate and distinguish long term goals from short term wants/desires. Desires can only bring short term happiness.

4.6 Fish are the last to see the water. The more you have, the more you take things for granted. Learn to appreciate what you already have. When you become less happy, reflect and consider whether it could be due to your never ending desires. Are you fortunate enough?

4.7 Life’s small treasures. It is not necessary to win big prizes/awards, winning many small ones along the way can help. Actually, life’s small treasures are all around you. Appreciating nature is an example. Fortune is not based on material needs but more of an emotional need. Life is indeed very beautiful, just that in areas you don’t normally realize.

Part 5 – Most troubles are short lived

5.1 The more you do, the less you live. It is normal to be busy and aim to pursue a lot in life. However, a too fast paced life has its problems, such as stress, anxiety etc. Life is like a book. If life is too fast, it is hard to appreciate the beauty of the surroundings. One can lose sight of the journey when too focused on the outcome.

5.2 Missing out on appreciating the journey is a sheer waste. Enjoy the process. Don’t just be fixed on the outcome. Some things come naturally. There is no need to seek it intentionally. A truly happy person will enjoy the entire process and feel happy throughout the entire journey, not just at the ending. Time spent in life is approximately 98% of the time on a journey and 2% at the destination. Therefore, being happy at the destination is definitely very short lived.

5.3 What exactly do you want? You need to know how to make use of what you have for yourself, if not it will go to waste. It is important to know what the outcomes you want are. Why are you living? What is your purpose in life? Most people seek happiness and chase it. Chasing is the means, happiness is the goal.

5.4 What are you doing now? Why and how do you live in the present moment? Why are you here? Is your heart rooted for this place? Channel all your energies into one task at a time, do not be sloppy or half-hearted in your approach.

5.5 Hate delaying and procrastinating. Do the things that matter now. The future is unpredictable and it might not be possible to do what you want next time. Live life to the fullest at every moment. There is no return ticket in life. You only live once. Time and tide wait for no man.

5.6 Live everyday like it is your last. Near death experiences can bring about great change. Don’t wait till it’s too late. Ideally you would like to tell others that you have lived your life to the fullest. You never know when it’s your last goodbye.

5.7 Imagine your last farewell. Before you do anything, you should always have the end in mind. Try to imagine at your funeral, how will your friends view you as a person? Or what eulogy will you get?. What difference have you made to the world? Has the world become a better place with you around? How would I want others to view me after I die?

Part 6 – If you are feeling really tired, take a step back

6.1 You are also a tourist. We can’t own anything forever. Therefore, in some way, we are always tourists. Objects last forever, humans don’t. Don’t keep thinking that something belongs to you forever. You can use the objects you own, but eventually, you will not be able to take them with you. Learn to let go. Start giving more to others. You can’t take anything away, other than your spirit.

6.2 The moment you let go, you will feel at peace. Once we set expectations or aims for ourselves, we become ‘tied’ or trapped in the pursuit of getting it. Achieving your objective is a moment of happiness, letting go and accepting is a lifetime of happiness. You must believe that life still goes on even though you do not meet your objectives. Don’t take small matters to heart.

6.3 It’s all in the mind. Problems/Troubles are self-created. Misfortunate can be in the form of external events. However, troubles are self-created. Sick people can feel happy. It all depends on their state of mind and how positive their outlook towards life is.

6.4 It will be good as long as you learn how to let go.Why do some people choose to remember unpleasant experiences and thoughts? Tired is when your mind keeps thinking about a certain issue, which you can’t get out of your head. Your thoughts and feelings are not forever with you. You can choose to let them go. Life is like watching a television. During the difficult moments, switch channel fast. This will prevent you from thinking about the turbulent and tumultuous times.

6.5 Are you tired and drawn-out? Have you thought of how much burden are you carrying on your back? Can these be put aside? The heavier your burden, the more tired you will feel. What are you going to let go and sacrifice? What are your priorities? The more you own/have, the larger your burden to maintain and keep them. Fulfilling desires are just material wants; the true wisdom comes when you learn that you can do without all these desires.

6.6 When you’re gone. What will the world be like when you’re gone? Without you, everything will proceed as normal. Once in a while, opt to disappear. You will realize that you will start appreciating the people around you more. There are no certainties in life. Don’t take things for granted.

6.7 Relax and unwind. It’s never too learn to turn over a new leaf and change. You will be better off if you realize that human desires are often never ending. Life is dynamic, with never a dull moment. Relaxing will give you freedom, letting go will give you liberation; knowing what to let go and when to relax is the attainment of true intelligence. Happiness is definitely your call!

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