Are you happy? This is one question that I often ask myself.
I know I am slow but I just read a couple of days ago that 20 March is the International Day of Happiness, as proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on 28 June 2012.
Just very recently, I also came across a website called “100 Happy Days” while surfing the internet. Basically this is a website for people to take part in a challenge to stay happy for 100 days in a row. The website says that 71% of the people tried to complete the challenge but failed, quoting the lack of time as the main reason. In other words, simply no time for happiness. What a stark reality of life in our rat-race environment today, if the statistics are accurate.
Anyway, I have no intention to take up this challenge.
Just what actually makes one happy? And how difficult is it to be happy?
We all know that the answers are very personal, depending on one’s perspective, level of expectation, desire or satisfaction at a certain point in time.
I asked DS, how do you define happiness?
His answer was the freedom to do what one wants!
I then responded, for me, the freedom, time and/or money to do what I like or enjoy!
So, our idea about happiness is not very far apart, though mine is of a narrower scope.
One example, I would be happy if I could have the freedom to take part in the HSBC Marathon, at least a 10km run, once in my life. I remember how I always enjoyed the yearly cross-country race in school, and how I envied my brother and sister who have run in the HSBC Marathon a few times. However, my artificial knee (after a total knee replacement surgery some years ago) does not allow me to do so (and many other sports). If I look at this in another perspective, I am very happy and even grateful that despite my physical limitation and what I had gone through (quite a number of orthopaedic surgeries), I am still able to lead a normal lifestyle like any healthy person, and I also have the freedom and ability to carry out many activities that many disadvantaged people can’t do.
And, do we really need time for happiness? Again, it all depends on individuals. Happiness can actually be a very simple thing and sometimes, it is just about meeting the basic needs in life but not so much about having the time to do something to attain happiness. For example, to young children suffering from starvation in third world countries, a bowl of rice/noodles will surely make them very happy, won’t it? It’s that simple. DS and I have a simple happiness too – a bowl of instant noodles, and our all time favourite is the Assam Laksa flavour by Maggi! 🙂
I count myself very fortunate to have been blessed with a reasonably comfortable life thus far. I didn’t come from a well-to-do family. Unlike many children these days, I grew up with hardly any toys and I only had the opportunity to travel out of the country after I got married. My childhood was very simple. There was no pressure at all when it came to studies and I knew nothing about peer pressure. I am certain that I was happy then, and I have a lot of fond memories which I still cherish in my heart.
Back to the question, am I a happy person?
I must admit that I actually don’t have a definite answer now. Sometimes I think I am, but sometimes not. I am still searching my path to real happiness in life and I hope I will get there someday. I know it is all about our mind, and it is for us to pursue.
Today, my happiness index is 7/10 because I am close to finishing a book which I have been enjoying the past week.
One of my happinesses in life is to have my time well-spent and I learn something new!