Advice On How To Be Happy

I recently got this in my YouTube inbox:

Hey can you give me advice on how to be happy, yeaah

I really liked that question. It’s something I’ve thought about long and hard. I made a video real quick about it last night, but… I wanted to see what else would come out if I let my fingers do the talking. 😀

Levels Of Understanding Happiness

Now… whatever you or anyone come up with for an answer for how to be happy is correct if it’s working for you. 😉 I’m just going to share some things I’ve observed from myself and sometimes from others.

Having Fun – When you’re I was younger, I think I could have easily answered the “How to be happy?” question with “Have fun!” Depending on how old I was that might have been eat candy, watch cartoons, play video games, jump off large objects, dance, etc. Having grown a little older (and perhaps a smidgen wiser lol) I don’t think it’s that simple. Some of those things still make me happy (like playing video games!) but it isn’t a sustainable/healthy happiness. I can’t just play video games ALL DAY (although some people certainly do or try) and I also can’t jump from one happiness producing activity to another. I mean I can’t logistically do it, I gotta earn money to eat and stuff. 😉 And even if I could logistically play video games all day, observation (of, for example, wealthy folks committing suicide, being super depressed and addicted to all kinds of drugs) and a little experience has told me that it eventually wears off and doesn’t produce the same level of happiness as it once did previously. Having fun only gets you so far.

Doing What You Want – I’ve never used this as an answer to the question but I hear it a lot. To me using that as an answer already implies that something is amiss. I mean… You can always do what you want. I know in extreme circumstances this isn’t true (like being a hostage), but outside of situations like that you can… do what you want to do. The first thing I ask anyone that responded with that is “Well, what do you want to do?” I rarely get a clear answer (as simple as that question is). I guess in a way “Doing what you want,” is an acceptable answer, but I think it goes deeper than that.

Doing What You’re Passionate About – I think this is WAY better than a simple “Doing whatever I want… YEEEEEAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!” (seems like an answer you would get from a partying college student or something). Now doing/working towards a passion, that’s something that feels really good. If you’re passionate about art, doing art probably makes you feel REALLY good. You could probably do art all day. Heck, if you’re passionate about video games, that works too BUT it’s never as general as that with a passion. It’d would be about a specific game. Working on or towards a passion is a really good answer. Is it the best answer? I don’t know. It might be for you. 😀 I think it can definitely play a large role in sustainable happiness.

Helping Others – I forgot to mention it in the video but helping others feels GOOD. It feels really good. I think it definitely plays a role in sustainable happiness. I don’t think it’s something that one should dive into head first without first taking good care of oneself BUT some people do and it seems to work for them (example: being like FUCK IT and moving to Africa to teach English). I only say not to dive in head first because I think in most cases you could help even MORE people if you took care of you first… BUT, sometimes you gotta…

Follow Your “Gut” – I have to throw this in there. I’m not sure if this is a good idea all the time but I think an element of following your gut is important. I think it’s your subconscious (or soul/spirit) telling you what your conscious mind doesn’t want to hear.

Becoming “Enlightened” (or trying really hard to anyway 😉 lol ) – This probably needs a whole post or series of posts dedicated to it, but if I were to give people a blanket answer to the question “How can I be happy?” it would be “Work on becoming enlightened.” Why? The quest for enlightenment will take you ALL over the place and the journey is largely an internal one. You’ll seek out spiritual teachers, read spiritual stuff, try to understand the nature of desire (and aversion), struggle with the fact that the answer to many of life’s questions end in paradox, start to see through the illusionary nature of the material world and… yeah. And when you see “enlightenment” you don’t have to see the Buddhist version, this definition works just as well:

1 : freed from ignorance and misinformation
2 : based on full comprehension of the problems involved

I mean… I honestly can’t even tell you what it’s like to be unhappy anymore, but I would assume it has to do with being frustrated about something, angry, scared, etc. With the right bit of knowledge those feelings can be washed away. I’m not saying I’m never depressed, scared, angry, etc. but I have a large toolkit for dealing with those feelings so they never last very long. I also understand where they’re coming from and even while I’m feeling them I’m kind of simultaneously feeling happy. 😀 lol If I don’t understand where they’re coming from, I’m happy to have run into something new that I don’t understand and have to reflect on to find out where it came from.

Fin

My fingers have talked long enough. Would love to hear your thoughts on happiness. I know my mom will have something to say about this. 😀

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2 Responses to Advice On How To Be Happy

  1. Namahottie says:

    I would agree with the points posted. I would add this:

    1)Freedom from judgement and competition. When you’re not focused on who/what is doing what/where/how and focused on yourself and challenging yourself then that can produce happiness.

    2)Being responsible for yourself. I have a friend who always tells me about what HE wants in a woman. But he never tells me what he will BE for her. It’s almost as if that dream woman/companion/relationship is there to serve him. I’ve learned that it’s never going to work if you’re looking outside of yourself for something. The world reflects back to you over and over what you possess inside. Or the energy you’re giving out. BE/DO/Have is a good place to start with having happiness. (something that has taken years to actually understand for me) Be happy. Even if you just lost your home, job and your dog bit you, be happy because it will cause you to DO happy things and *POOF* you’ll eventually have happiness. Just fake it until you make it.

    3) Give up expectations— Stop thinking happiness is a permanent thing to achieve. Who wants to be happy all the time? For real, think about it. It’s like having sunshine all day. If that were to occur, then we would never have night (no sleep sucks! =)) and all the other good things that add to growth. Embrace the sadness, the failures, the “dark side” (just don’t go to it ;)) and you’ll be happy.

    and finally

    4) Acceptance/Approval. One problem people have with religion is the condemnation that is practiced by some. I’m God freak, a religious/spiritual person but have had to struggle with acceptance and wanting approval. It’s cool if someone pats you on the back for a lot of stuff or really think you’re just over all the bomb, i.e. my friend Miltownkid, who has shown me so many times that I’m okay with all my faults and stuff. But even with that type of friend it ultimately came to me to realize that I had to do it for me. Cause only I determine my experience.

    Hope you find happiness Mr. questioner. Know that you deserve it. =)

    • miltownkid says:

      That’s a good point that I forgot to mention. You can’t know happiness without sadness, that might be the problem with trying ALWAYS be happy. All these “successful” people who get depressed probably get depressed because… they don’t think they should be depressed because they have so much. It’s OK to be depressed! A person probably needs that from time to time and needs to be OK with it.

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